The new book from Salman Rushdie, who is probably best-known for writing The Satanic Verses, has revealed that during the period he spent in hiding because of a fatwa, he became very involved with the video game Super Mario World.
It seems that his son Zafar was the one to teach Rushdie the core elements of the game.
An excerpt from his new novel, Joseph Anton, named after the cover the author used in hiding, reads: “Thanks to Zafar, he had grown fond of Mario the plumber and his brother Luigi and sometimes Super Mario World felt like a happy alternative to the one he lived in the rest of the time. 'Read a good book,' his wife told him scornfully. 'Give it up.' He lost his temper. 'Don't tell me how to live my life,' he exploded, and she made a grand exit.”
Another fragments adds, “Alone at Hermitage Lane he reached the end of his Super Mario game, defeating the big bad Bowser himself and rescuing the insufferably pink Princess Toadstool. He was glad Marianne was not there to witness his triumph.”
Salman Rushdie has talked about video games before and suggested that a good way to liberate Iran would be to just drop Nintendo consoles on the population.
Even one of his novels, aimed at a younger audience, called Luka and the Fire of Life, has elements that are similar to those found in the Super Mario series of video games.
Salman Rushdie was forced to go into hiding after a fatwa, a religious ruling, was issued against him after The Satanic Verses was judged to be an affront to Islam.
The fatwa meant that he could be killed by pious Muslims.
The experiences that he went through when his life was under threat are chronicled in Joseph Anton.