The "Teens React" folks recently asked a few teenagers to play a Mario Kart 64 tournament. Unlike a lot of the "Teens React" videos, this latest experiment went really well.



Real talk: I watch this series to feel better about getting old. Watch youngsters flail around and be all "Ermagod, what's a Mega Man? Is this an NES or a gray toaster?" makes my accumulated gaming experience seem more valuable. Yes, they've got youth on their side but at least I know the Konami Code.

They don't have much trouble adjusting to Mario Kart 64. They're too young to have played it but many of them are still familiar with the series. A couple of them have been playing MK since Mario Kart Double Dash!! was released for GameCube.

Their experience in other Mario Kart games is enough to make them at least halfway competent in MK64. Yes, they have some issues on Toad's Turnpike and Rainbow Road but screw both those tracks. Having a miserable time on either track is a rite of passage for Mario Kart.

The basic formula for Mario Kart has stayed so similar throughout the years that once you've played one game in the series, you'll have an easy time adjusting to any other. Even newer innovations like Mario Kart 8's anti-gravity sections or hang-gliding from MK7 won't be that hard to pick up on. People who hate the series will point toward the similarity between sequels as a flaw but in a way it's a strength, too. Nintendo nailed the formula back on SNES so well that they're probably never going to need to blow it up and start from scratch.

I'm pleased to see these teens honoring the traditions of the Mario Kart players that came before them. They taunt each other throughout the entire race. This makes it all the more satisfying when they run headlong into an obstacle or get clobbered with a red shell.

"My cockiness gets the best of me so much," one teen says after losing. It happens to the best of us, sir. If you don't cycle between supreme confidence and complete frustration every 30 seconds, you're probably not playing Mario Kart.

The old "shove your partner during a critical part of the race" move is still in fashion, too. The finals of this mini-tournament is decided by one player goosing another. That kid's wise beyond his years.

Long story short: the newer generation is just as loud-mouthed, cocky and underhanded as we were in Mario Kart. I feel better than ever about the future of gaming.

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