So, I've always been a huge fan on Mario Kart. Much to my delight, my rommates were also big fans back in their earlier years, so one of them brings her old Nintendo 64 with her back to our dorm and we begin our battle royale. Then someone (probably an audience member, since the drivers are usually quite busy shouting obscenities at one another) brought up this very valid thought: Who thought of Mario? Who sat down and said to themselves, "Hmm... wouldn't it be awesome if two Italian plumbers fought bad guys in a secret underground sewer world?"
Well, whoever it was definitely liked mushrooms. I like to think that it's a somewhat inside joke of the creators in that they were on 'shrooms when they thought of the idea, but I don't believe that is the case. Instead, I decided to research a bit on Mario:
(Because I have a love affair with it, wikipedia is my source)
"Mario is a fictional character in video games, created by video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. ... Mario is depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. In the Mario series, he repeatedly stops the plans of Bowser to kidnap Princess Peach and subjugate the Mushroom Kingdom. He also has other enemies and rivals, including Donkey Kong and Wario."
"Mario first appeared in the arcade game Donkey Kong as a carpenter named "Jumpman" according to Nintendo of America. In Japan, he was known as "Mr. Video Game". Since the Japanese name was not properly communicated to the American branch, Nintendo of America named him "Mario", after Mario Segale, who closely resembled the character. Segale was the landlord of Nitendo of America's office, and once barged in on a meeting to demand an overdue rent payment." (So... I guess they didn't invent the plumber aspect on their own. What a let down)
Well, it appears Mario is entirely uninteresting in its conception... I guess I'll go back to playing it and speculating its origin however I want...