“The reason the market is doing what it’s doing is people are sitting at home getting checks from the government… This fair share, is a BULLSHIT concept. It’s just a way of attacking wealthy people and I think it’s inappropriate.” — Billionaire hedge fund manager Lee Cooperman on the Reddit traders GameStop mania, 1/28/21

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I am absolutely disgusted by the reckless behavior of the many retail Mario Kart players who are destroying the sanctity of Rainbow Road. Making a timed hop to the left and skipping most of the course is game manipulation, simple as that. Such blatant disregard for the rules must result in prosecution, perhaps even the death penalty. And sure, I regularly use the shortcut myself, and so do my friends in my exclusive circle of institutional Mario Kart gamers. But we know what we’re doing. That’s the difference.

Mario Kart isn’t a game of random chance, even though it’s set up like a game of chance, with winners, losers, and a predominantly chance-oriented distribution of in-game items and power-ups. There’s a lot of risk inherent to Mario Kart, which some of these reckless players are neglecting to acknowledge. To be an adept player, you should have at least two summer internships and a “Mario Kart Analyst” title on your résumé. Some random uninformed person off the street can’t just pick up a controller and beat Wario Stadium in 46 seconds. That’s lunacy. That sort of thing is reserved for those of us who work hard, study, and attain sensible results. This is serious business, and you have to know what you’re doing to properly race with the Italian plumber, his taller brother, a mushroom man, a business casual gorilla, and the rest of their merry band of go-karting freaks.

Of course shortcuts should be gatekept. What we do is very sophisticated, okay? It requires years of elite education, a deep well of experience, and an unfounded feeling of superiority. We’re better than all of you because we press buttons in a very specific, knowledgeable way. Just because you’ve also figured out how to press buttons in a similar way doesn’t mean you’re entitled to do the same things we do. We’re the best button pressers, damn it. Not you. We paid for this privilege. These are our buttons. We’ve earned the right to press them in a certain way to screw over other players.

If everyone starts using the game’s shortcuts, there will be extreme market volatility. And by volatility, I mean that my pals and I will no longer be able to have an unfair competitive advantage by jumping at the perfect time and soaring from the beginning of the course all the way to the end of the course, like majestic, cheating hawks. The bottom line is that this trend of everyone taking the Rainbow Road shortcut has become incredibly dangerous. Add in the fact that inexperienced shortcut-takers are engaging in incredibly speculative and dangerous racing behavior (and manipulating the Mario Kart landscape in the process), and you’ve got a cauldron of chaos on your hands, not unlike the bubbling lava surrounding Bowser’s Castle.

I just want what’s best for Mario Kart and its players. It’s a sign of a healthy ecosystem when racers like me are allowed to exclusively use the Rainbow Road shortcut while everyone else has to take the long way around the neverending, multicolored track. That’s how the system was built, and undermining the system by democratizing shortcuts will only lead to bad outcomes. Take my word for it, I have everyone’s best interests in mind. Nobody should be allowed to take Mario Kart shortcuts. Except me. And my friends. And our horrible children when they grow up and major in finance and do the same stuff we do. But that’s it.