Game Theory: Would Super Mario Win the Olympics?

Game Theory: Would Super Mario Win the Olympics?

Before we get to today’s episode, I have a quick announcement about a NEW YouTube Feature that we just got access to. So, if you wanna skip directly to the theory, go to: Female Robot Voice: “This Location On The Screen” (or 2:32) Thanks, Female Robotic Voice! Y’all good? Good! So like I said This week we just got the access to cool new YouTube feature called the community tab If you look right m’here on the channel page and click right here, you’ll see it There’s actually one right here on both Game Theorists and one on the GTLive live stream channel And I wanted to take a minute to explain how the whole thing works Basically, it allows me to talk to you guys without having to upload an entire video about a particular topic If say I do a collab with CaptainSparklez where we do a EPIC RAP BATTLE sucking helium BOOM! I can tell you about it right there If I’m doing a couple panels at a convention like VidCon BOOM! It’s there: Community tab If there’s a funny GIF, or fan art, or a video online that I think you guys gotta see, it would be right there And, likewise, you can share things right back to me So, if say I need you guys to submit videos to me for some reason, like to get you into a theory Then you can do that over there on the community tab off of my original post Needless to say, there’s a lot that it’s gonna be able to do And any chance that I have to reach out and talk to ya’ll, the better Unlike vloggers or other gamers, Game Theory is such a formatted show that takes so long to produce That a lot of time it’s not easy to do little massages like this It just breaks the flow of the show So the community tab is gonna be a really good way for me to communicate to you guys Without having to do intro segments like this all the time So real quick let me break down how this is all gonna work On the Game Theorists’ channel, I’ll be using the tab to do SUPER AMAZING END CARD TOURNAMENT Style polls to do things like have you guys vote on new episodes I’ll also be posting surveys and things like I did for the Pokemon Go videos To get you guys to give me feedback that eventually goes into episodes Big channel announcements, new merchandise, convention appearances That’s all gonna happen over here And over on the GT Live channel, that’s more to spotlight you guys So, if you like watching the live streams, it’s there that we’ll be announcing when and where the next livestream is happening giving you a link and preview to the game that we’ll be playing but also showing off fun fan art and GIFs that you guys have made for the show. Hosting contests and prize giveaways all that good stuff. So if you’re interested in getting those notifications click right here and make sure that you subscribe to that channel so that you don’t miss a beat. And lastly, I’d love to hear what you think I should be using it for in the first place This new tool is meant to make these channels better for YOU and give us a better way to communicate so please let me know how you’d like me to use it, And since it’s such a new, untested thing I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of hiccups so stay patient and we’ll get through it together. Alright? ALRIGHT! Thanks for listening to all that jiba-jabba. THEORIST FIST And now let’s talk a little bit about Mario’s jump. EPISODE START (Super Mario theme song playing) (song skips) (resumes) (Mario jump sound effect) (classic Mario death noise and music)
what a CATastrophe :^) (EPIC GAME THEORY THEME) HELLO INTERNET! WELCOME TO GAME THEORY where the only magic mushroom we do come out of boxes you have to hit with your head. (elevator smooth jazz) True story I love–LOVE the Olympics you loyal theorists watching know that I’m not much of a sports baller, but I gotta say, when the Olympics come around every two years, I am GLUED to the coverage. You gotta admit it’s awesome to think that these are the best athletes in the world coming together to compete for those medals. People who have trained their whole lives to be the best swimmer, runner, or– ball dancer… horse…prancer– ALRIGHT SO NOT ALL OLYMPIC SPORTS ARE CREATED EQUALLY But this year’s games were extra special because they ended with a twist that NO ONE saw coming. During the closing ceremony of each Olympics the hosting city hands the proverbial and literal torch over to the next hosting nation. But this year during the transition from Rio to Tokyo We were treated to this: MARIO??? THATS RIGHT! Us gamers had a reason to care about the Olympics as Japan’s Prime Minister closed out the Rio Olympics, by rising out of a giant green pipe, dressed as Mario Jumpman Mario himself. I mean, I know Mario and Sonic have been making it to all the past Olympic games in their little cash-grab spinoffs BUT THIS?? THIS!! NEVER IN MY LIFE WOULD I HAVE EXPECTED TO SEE SPORTS AND GAMES CROSS OVER LIKE THIS Admittedly… Had a bit of a nerdgasm. 2020’s summer games cannot come soon enough! But it got me thinking… Mario’s known for jumping right? And the Olympics have all sorts of jumping related events: like the Long Jump, the High Jump, the Triple Jump so now that Mario–sans Sonic–is going to be at the Olympic Games so how would he do? OBVIOUSLY he would win the gold medal in all of those events right? Well, it’s not as clear cut as it seems. His performance actually depends on which game you’re talking about. And remember we’re almost always seeing Mario jumping in the Mushroom Kingdom, and not Earth You’ll notice that in all of the Mario and Sonic Olympic games–games his performance seems fairly realistic. So does this mean that his mean “up’s” have more to do with gravity than massive Mario muscle? Or is his performance being tanked for the purpose of this series? So today we’re looking at the physics of Mario’s jumps across games to see how he’ll fare when the 2020 summer games roll around will he be the Michael Phelps of jumping, or will he wind up in a doping scandal? And by that I mean will he just end up looking like a dope? He al-he already DOES mushrooms, so umm…the Olympic committee has OK’d that. just like they OK’d all of the Russian athletes this year OHHHHHHHHH CURRENT EVENTS HUMOR Now before we get started we gotta talk terms as you all know, Mario has jumped in a TON of games over the years. so I’ve limited the scope to major Mario platformers Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64 and the DS equivalent, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario 3D World. Yeah I’ve looked at a bunch of them and it’s a lot of numbers and for all the measurements, I’ve assumed that Mario is at his Nintendo official height of 5 foot 1 inch or 155 centimeters despite me arguing in the “Deadliness of Bullet Bill” episode that he’s technically 4 foot 6! I mean when you compare his proportions to real life athlete Shaquille O’Neal there’s no denying the TRUTH but after five years of fighting the good fight for accuracy, and Nintendo scaling the heights of its characters, I’m just gonna concede defeat five foot one it is. So all that being said, first things first, how high does Mario Jump? Well it’ll come as no surprise but this varies across games. I mean, if they can’t keep his HEIGHT consistent why would anyone assume otherwise? Anyway, when it comes to just the basic, straight up, vertical jump that has no running start in last place is a game that came as a surprise to me SUPER MARIO GALAXY I mean I’m no Neil Degrasse Tyson but it seems to be that when Mario is on a planet that you can literally sprint around in less than a minute the gravity would allow you to catch some extra air but NOPE APPARENTLY NOT Mario’s vertical jump height in that game comes in at 9 foot 6 inches or 2.9 meters, just under 10 feet. And keep in mind, that’s his SHORTEST jump and that’s with no running start whatsoever so these numbers are going to get ridiculous in a hurry. Coming up in 4th place was Super Mario 64 with a jump height of 10 foot 3 inches or 3.1 meters. Super Mario Bros 3 and 3D world were both next with 13 foot 3 inches or 4 meters and 13 foot 11 inches or 4.24 meters respectively leaving our GRAND CHAMPION Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo with a colossal leap of 15 feet 9 inches or 4.8 meters just think of how high he could reach if he actually bothered to BEND HIS KNEES before he jumped. Well, actually you don’t have to. Remember how I mentioned looking into Super Mario Bros 2? Well because Japan thought the real Super Mario Bros 2 was going to be too difficult for us Americans AND LETS FACE THEY WERE RIGHT! ITS A REALLY HARD GAME. I’ve beaten it though! –It’s one of the things I’m proud of in life– for us they just reskinned the game Doki-Doki Panic, and sold it as a sequel to Mario One and as a result of this not starting off as a Mario game a lot of new game mechanics were introduced. SOME that stuck around like Shy Guy, Sniffets, and Toad’s Speed while others got their first and final appearance in this case Mario bending his knees to charge up his vertical leap and doing exactly that makes Doki-Doki Mario his number one vertical leap at 16 foot 6 inches! A grand total of 5 full meters! that’s higher than all of his running leaps too as Super Mario World’s run n’ jump just misses the mark, 4 inches shorter at 16 foot 2 inches, 4.9 meters. But lets put all of this into perspective the Guinness World Record for the highest vertical jump was set earlier this year at a little over 5 feet 3 inches or 160 centimeters. That’s a mere THIRD of Mario’s highest jump the greatest jumper in human history is Javier Satomayor from Cuba who in 1993 set a world record for the Olympic high jump with a leap of 8 feet and a quarter of an inch or 2.45 meters this guy was 6’5″, over a foot taller than Mario AND he had a running start and Mario STILL beats him with his lowest Super Mario Galaxy jump. Which remember is just over nine feet. Nine feet is the height of a small school bus and Mario clears it without breaking a sweat. those huge double decker buses in England are between 14 and 15 feet tall and at his best, Mario clears those by an extra foot but before we get carried away with ourselves maybe we’re not giving mankind a fair fight here. remember, in most games Mario is jumping in the Mushroom Kingdom which could have a different gravity than ours as I mentioned earlier we see when he competes with Sonic at the Olympic games every few years taking place on EARTH Mario’s performance is a lot more– for lack of a better word–Human. No offense #ItaliansAreHumanToo With high jump scores in those spin off games topping out at like 2.6 meters or 8.5 feet, slightly above the current real life record but nowhere close to the calculations we made in other games maybe the difference isn’t ability but gravity, well it’s a good thought and we’re right–but only half right the gravity we see in the Mushroom Kingdom IS way different than the gravitational forces we have here on Earth but it’s not weaker, it’s actually STRONGER. To calculate the gravity in the Mushroom Kingdom I slowed down footage of Mario’s jumps and measured the time between the apex of his jump and when he reached the ground and plugged this into a kinematic equation that used a known distance in this case how far Mario was off the ground at his highest point and the time it took him to land in order to isolate the acceleration due to gravity. TL;DR I did some science-ing, got some numbers The acceleration due to gravity on Earth is 9.81 meters per second squared. And the gravity in the Mushroom Kingdom blew that out of the water. The LOWEST I got was in Super Mario Bros 3 at 22.9 meters per second squared. in the 3D games, the gravity maxed out at 38.6 meters per second squared. nearly FOUR TIMES as strong as our gravity. you know Jupiter? Giant gas ball, big red dot, inspired the coolest of the Sailor Scouts? Well Jupiter has a mass that is more than 300 times that of Earth its gravity is only 25.95 meters per second squared. All the 3D Mario platformers have gravity that greatly exceed that. And the 2D games are just a little bit behind. Assuming that Mario weighs 165 pounds or 75 kilograms on Earth short guy, slightly overweight with that sort of gravity he would be nearly 400 pounds! ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY ONE KILOGRAMS HE’D BREAK HIS LEGS PRETTY MUCH EVERYTIME HE LANDS for our Olympic jumps, switching to Earth’s Gravity he would no less than DOUBLE the heights and distances he would be able to fly! Makes you really appreciate that “Jumpman” middle name he’s got going on for him. So that’s height, but let’s go back to normal gravity and check out distance. There are two final jumping sports that Mario can medal in: The long jump, and the triple jump. The long jump is exactly what it sounds like– you run as fast as you can, you get as much distance as possible. The triple jump is another one of those sports that you’re like WHY? WHY WOULD THIS BE CONSIDERED A SPORT? You run, and jump three times: back to back to back why they skipped over the double jump is beyond me. It’s sad too, because the fourth jump is where I really shine. If only they had gone ONE step further and made the quadruple jump the legitimate sport it has always been inside of my heart, then I would be there! I would be there :'( One day, the world will recognize the quadruple jump! So looking at all the games again for distance Mario’s long jump from Super Mario 64 proves to be accurately named since it was indeed the longest single jump in his repertoire. To be sure I was getting the most accurate data I calculated it out across multiple trials on terrain that was as flat as possible. Side note: I have a newfound hatred for Lakitu’s camera angles. Aarggggh! It’s like he’s filming the Hunger Games with how shakey his camera is all the time! This definitely made scaling the world around Mario’s size a bit tougher since everything isn’t on the same flat plane AND IS CONSTANTLY MOVING LAKITU!! But I took all of that into consideration and got enough screengraphs from consistant enough camera angles to make sure that the measurements were on point; Basing those measurements against the scaling of Bomb Bomb Battlefield’s bridge and various other map placements. TL;DR more science-ing more numbers. The long jump averaged out to be 533 pixels long which when scaled relative to Mario’s height is about 43 feet 8 inches long, or about 13.5 meters. The world record for long jump at the Olympics belongs to USA’s Mike Powell, back in 1991, with his incredible leap of 29.25 feet, or just under 9 meters. Without exaggeration, Mario’s jump is about the length of the Hollywood sign. that’s how long it is if you took 2 fully grown giraffes, laid them on the ground–as you do– and asked Mario to jump over them like some sort of plumber themed Evel Kneivel he would clear them easily! Leaving a bunch of confused spectators and two confused giraffes. But now let’s talk triple jump, ’cause this is where it gets ridiculous. Plugging three long jumps together gets you Mario’s absolute longest jump in the history of his games at 131 feet, or nearly 40 meters! You know the distance between bases on a baseball diamond? That’s 90 feet! So in three jumps, he’s going a base and a half. NBA basketball courts are 94 ft long, so same thing there, a court and a half Basically it’s like 9 cars parked end to end. And no not those little smart clown car things– FULL MANLY CARS Obviously this goes without saying this crushes the existing world record set in 1995 by Jonathan Edwards of Great Britain who got to 60 feet exactly, 18.29 meters. Not even HALF of Mario’s performance in fact in THREE jumps, Jonathan Edwards was barely able to match Mario’s single long jump. Long story short, If Mario were to truly compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 He would DOMINATE the other athletes, BUT would struggle to get himself any sort of medal in any jumping category whatsoever. Because if we’re opening up Mario to compete, that means the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom clan can throw their hats into the ring. Enter Luigi a character defined by his slippery controls, and his absolutely MASSIVE vertical leap. In fact his basic running jump from Super Mario Bros 2 almost topples Mario’s super jump. Luigi is to the High jump event what China is to Olympic Diving. UNBEATABLE. Easily claiming the gold medal for himself. Remember Mario’s quote uquote “Super Jump” at 16 feet 6 inches or 5 meters? Well Luigi puts that “super” moniker to shame, clocking in two feet and three inches higher: A jump that launches him nearly 19 feet into the air. 5.7 meters And when it comes to distance he’s got Mario beat too. Sure Luigi’s long jump is impressive but when it comes to horizontal distance there is almost no stopping his triple jump from Super Mario 64 DS. See, the trick to Luigi’s triple jump isn’t just that it has height but it also has his signature flutter which allows him to get extra mileage out each of those three hops. And those flutters make all the difference in our hypothetical Olympic triple jump event, as Luigi’s triple jump edges out Mario’s three long jumps by just over 3 feet clocking in at 134 feet 2 inches, or 40.9 meters; which is enough to knock out Mario on the Olympic medal stand– TO BRONZE You heard that right: a bronze. Luigi’s only able to get himself SILVER medals in the distance categories. Remember how I said Doki Doki Panic solidified a lot of characters and abilities that would become canon for the Mario roster? well in doing so Nintendo created themselves a monster. A jumping monster known simply as Princess Peach. Not only does her vertical leap slightly edge out Mario based purely on technique, her hover ability–made canon through Super Mario Bros 2 handily wins her the gold medal for both long jump, and triple jump. It may not look like much but a single jump from her propels her 45 feet 3 inches; that’s 13.8 meters! Nearly two feet farther than Mario’s long jump! Do it three times and you’ve got yourself a nearly 136 foot jump– a 41.4 meter behemoth triple THAT SENDS HER INTO THE NEXT ZIPCODE MAN! And Nintendo would have you believing that SHE’S the one in need of saving! Sure, we see in games like Super Mario RPG that the Mushroom Kingdom makes a big deal about how great of a jumper Mario is, but when it comes down to the numbers, he’s actually incredibly average. At best–AT BEST–Mario is taking home 3 bronze medals in jumping. And that’s only if you disqualify Yoshi because he’s a dinosaur. In the end, he’s outshined in all events by his cowardly brother, and his damsel in distress. Regardless though, well done Nintendo, Tokyo, and the Olympics for giving us gamers a reason to care about sports. That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for Mario-kind. BUT HEY, THAT’S JUST A THEORY A GAME THEORY THANKS FOR WATCHING First things first, make sure that you subscribe for more science and math based episodes coming out over the next couple of weeks. Next week is a Minecraft one that has a really heavy science component. I’m super excited about it. I’m really proud of how the script turned out. It answers some pretty big questions about the Minecraft universe I think you’re gonna like it. So click on that dying Goomba right there to make sure that you subscribe, and don’t miss it. And now that we’re all done debating pixel measurements in the comments head on over to to research theories of your own. For instance I’m thinking about doing a theory based on some ideas from Maestro Mario. A book about the music from the Mario universe. Or if you need a break from the Mushroom Kingdom you can try ALL YOU BASE ARE BELONG TO US which is not only an infamous video game meme it’s also about how gamers influenced pop culture. Both have been really awesome books to listen to. In fact, I listen to them when I’m supposed to be talking to Gaijin Goomba on the phone– I mean…what? Fun fact though Goomba: those headphones you see me wearing are NOT to listen to you better. They’re helping to distract me through another hour long slideshow of your trip to Japan. I can only stomach looking at pictures of a “love hotel” so many times, Goomba. SO MANY TIMES!! So go ahead, be like me and listen to an audiobook anytime, anywhere; like when you’re brushing your teeth, washing your car or say during the meeting where you’re supposed to be paying attention to the Goomba talking to you. A big thanks to audible for sponsoring this episode. They do a lot to help us, and a lot of other Youtube creators make a whole lot more videos, so good on you guys! Big thumbs up. in fact, TWO. Two big thumbs up! Thanks a lot! And thank you to you guys at home for watching and supporting me, and stomaching ads like this. In fact, for you supporting this video by watching it, they’re offering a 30 day trial so you can go check it out for yourself. All you have to do is go to and get yourself some audiobooks. They have a massive amount of books to choose from. Seriously, practically anything that you can think of. There’s a book dedicated to the meme ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US COME ON Go check them out for a 30 day trial at That’s And like I said next week: MINECRAFT SCIENCE GET HYPE!

100 Replies to “Game Theory: Would Super Mario Win the Olympics?”

  1. But isn't Peach's hover jump due to her dress? She wouldn't be allowed to wear it in the Olympic event, right?

  2. He forgot to incorporate the fact that the Olympics are held on Earth not the mushroom kingdom so the jumps would be even longer and higher

  3. o3o horseback riding is a hardcore sport actually. its not easy and its very exhausting to do it properly

  4. How is Kirby not on there he can jump incidentally in on the beginning you put Kirby on the second place podium when he can jump incidentally and he can basically fly with his jumps

  5. “Would Mario win olympics? You’d be surprised”
    triples most world records

    Uh no, that’s is what I expected

  6. When you lose to your coward of a brother and the person you save nearly everyone one of your own games.

  7. 2:18 Can you feature fan art? Not only will help the artist but you also get to see how creative we are and how dedicated to the channel we are.

  8. what if the mario at rio eans e-sports being added to the olympics? i mean mario is a major game in the community of gaming. and tokyo is also the home base of nintendo, so why not.

  9. Theory idea is Mario human? He was a human before he was in the mushroom kingdom was an Italian human….. OR WAS HE!!!

  10. My Maths teacher showed this to my class when we finished all the content we needed to learn a lesson early. It has, since, become my favourite video on this entire platform.

    Also, congrats on managing to make a class of 30 moody teenagers laugh

  11. Take that Mario! Your damsel in distress can save herself or can be saved by your little brother!

    The question everyone asks now is
    Why is Mario the best/popular one when his younger brother is way better than him?

  12. Yknow. Seeing this in 2019, it’s clear Mario isn’t human. I wonder if there’s a material on earth his skeleton can be make of to be dense enough to survive his gravity but light enough for him to reach those heights in that gravity. He’d have to have enough mass to pulverize a mushroom but not enough to pulverize a turtle shell. If it’s possible it has to be precise.

  13. There aint nothing the game theorist can't figure out unless if FNAF or Mario's height or a few other things but just ignore that

  14. in the clip from the Olympic video, Mario is a lot shorter than all those people they must be 7 ft tall if Mario is 5ft 1

  15. ok……comparing video games pixels to real athletes is kinda stupid, but gamers need some tiny crumbs as far as athletes are concerned

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