Power Up Paranoia

Video Game Law Blog

April 05, 2006

Five Ravenna, Ohio teenagers are facing criminal charges after constructing life-size Super Mario Bros. power-up blocks and placing them around their town on April 1st.  Although Tim Surette of GameSpot reports that "no materials to harm people, mushrooms to increase a person's size, or flowers that bestow the ability to project bouncing fireballs" were contained in the boxes, the police were called in after employees at a local Catholic Church where one of the boxes was found called in a "suspicious package."  They were evidently not familiar with all things Mario.

The girls "turned themselves in" after seeing reports of the flap they had caused by placing the boxes at the church, the high school, the county courthouse and a bakery, and Police Chief Randall McCoy says the girls may be charged to send a message that such acts of mischief will not be tolerated.  The girls got the idea for their April Fools' prank from Qwantz.com, which features a gallery dedicated to public art displays paying homage to Mario, Luigi and the Koopa Troopas that have sprung up world wide.

Coverage here and here.