While many lockdowns and mask mandates may have expired in the US, things still aren’t entirely normal. Covid-19 still plays an active role in many day-to-day choices the average American citizen makes, and health care providers are concerned people aren’t being cautious with the new omicron variant going around. A medical university has decided to try and encourage people to get booster shots to protect against the new virus by using Mario Kart 8 as an informational tool.
Even though Covid-19 is still leading to many problems in many people’s lives as well as the gaming industry, such as gaming conventions ending days early if not being outright canceled, things aren’t as bad as they were before thanks to vaccines. Medical professionals are concerned about omicron because the variant can dodge most vaccine protections, which is why strengthening them with a booster is recommended. However, not many people are aware or believe the booster makes a difference against omicron.
In order to help people understand how the booster shot could help protect them from omicron, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health made a video to help explain it featuring Mario Kart 8. The video is well-edited, seeing Mario racing in what’s called the “Covid Cup,” when omicron appears as an item targeting him. Using a ramp marked “booster,” Mario makes his escape.
The PSA video featuring the plumber comes with a link to an article by the School of Public Health itself that goes more into detail on why getting a booster shot is important, as well as a helpful and quick way to back up its claims. The University goes on to say that the fact that boosters help protect people against the new variant is “super like Mario, but less likely doesn’t mean [infection is] impossible.”
Fans have given the video a rather mixed reception in the comments. Some fans are letting the University know that the video’s jokes weren’t funny, calling the video cringe, whereas others are pointing out the video was clearly fun for the editor to make. Those who aren’t fond of the clip are openly saying that they hope the university gets hit with a cease and desist from Nintendo, considering how the company has treated content creators on platforms such as YouTube in the past.
Regardless of how fans have taken the video, it’s evident that the school took its time to present the message in a fun way. The effort can be seen with just how well the clip was made, and it may have done its job and encouraged a few people to get their shots in the end. Hopefully the situation with the pandemic improves before Mario Kart 9 potentially comes out, otherwise fans may need to sit through a similar video later on.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is available now for Nintendo Switch.