By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
As E3 begins to approach, buzz always circles the video gaming world about upcoming games and announcements regarding beloved characters. This spring, promotional art from a new game has got the internet talking and theorizing. No, it’s not Red Dead Redemption 2 or an Elder Scrolls title — it’s Luigi’s penis.
Mario Tennis Aces, an upcoming game for the Switch, has its characters wearing realistic tennis clothing instead of their iconic outfits. Luigi’s outfit isn’t the only thing strangely human about him, however.
This isn’t an April Fool’s issue. As you can see from the picture, exuding from Luigi’s basketball shorts is a clear lump pushed to the side, indicating that Nintendo wants its characters to be anatomically correct.
Never before has anything like this been visible; Luigi and other Nintendo characters have always worn skin-tight outfits that stifle any such sights.
This isn’t Nintendo’s first time breaking new ground with their characters’ body shots. 2017’s Super Mario Odyssey featured a shirtless Mario sporting regular nipples, a costume choice that became everyone’s favorite clothing item.
You might be wondering, “What is newsworthy about Luigi’s bulge?” Well, it’s not so much the bulge that’s worth headlines, but it’s the internet’s reaction that warrants the most attention.
I would never sensationalize a story like this by pulling a Buzzfeed and saying, “Luigi’s penis has broken the internet,” but there has been a substantial amount of joking about the character’s little bro. Joking, and strangely, calculating.
Overanalyzing small details and obscure lore is nothing new to diehard Nintendo fans, but rarely has the topic of debate been so scandalous.
Besides memes and jokes being spread like any other day on the internet, the zenith of commentary about Luigi’s bulge came from a familiar YouTube face, Matthew Patrick of Game Theory, a channel with nearly ten million subscribers. He’s rearranged Mario family trees and beaten Five Nights at Freddy’s to a pulp, so this is no foreign territory.
After spending an unknowable amount of time measuring pixels and crunching numbers, he uploaded a 12 minute video explaining that based on proportions, the bulge we see in Luigi’s shorts is 4.3 inches long.
Then, through some estimation and assumptions, he concluded that when fully, uh, charged, his bulge can extend to 7 inches.
However, this comes in contrast to a Tumblr user who himself calculated that the bulge is only 3.7 inches long when using the tennis racket he’s holding as a realistic tool for proportion. Yes, that’s right, there’s dissent on the internet over the length of Luigi’s penis.
The anatomical correctness of this Nintendo character’s undercarriage probably has some unnerved, but it has others satisfied.
Ben Guan-Kennedy, junior digital media major, commented, “It’s 2018. It’s about goddamn time.”
“Maybe Nintendo’s trying to make its way into the, um, porn industry,” said another junior, Andrew Tran.
“Now that Luigi has a bulge, I am confirmed sexually attracted to him,” said one student who wished to remain anonymous.
As for the game itself, Mario Tennis Aces promises to be another solid entry into the Mario Sports franchise, a series of games that have been consistently good, but not fantastic. The Switch has been hit ever since its launch despite its unorthodox control scheme, and Mario Tennis Aces should take advantage of the motion controls well.
Nintendo fans have been eagerly waiting the arrivals of a new Super Smash Bros game and a new Mario Kart on the Switch, but this spring, they got something on their console that they didn’t know they wanted. Luigi’s bulge.