First Submission

Reviewer #1
I enjoyed reading your article “Man, Superman, Super Mario,” a Nietzschean study of the early Mario Brothers games. I found myself especially compelled by your argument that the raccoon suit represents the Übermensch form of the Mario character.

However, your paper is not even remotely publishable unless you add another three thousand words discussing Benderman’s brilliant argument from his book Super Marxio Brothers (2007) about how the plumber protagonists symbolize the exploitation of the proletariat.

Also, after listening to the first four episodes of a seventeen-hour WNYC podcast on the history of fonts, I insist that all authors format papers in Helvetica Neue.

Reviewer #2
I loathe your piece, which is not only wrong but indicates severe moral failings in you as a human being. The ultimate problem with your scholarship is that I do not enjoy the Super Mario games. I prefer you write a Nietzschean analysis about Link called “Thus Spoke Zelda.” If you insist on continuing down this ill-advised scholarly path, you must change your argument about raccoon Mario, as fireball Mario clearly represents the Übermensch form of the character.

Although your paper does not exceed our length requirements, please cut exactly 796 words. At the same time, add significant discussion of Morales’s (2017) argument that Princess Zelda is the superior feminist character when compared to Princess Peach. But under no circumstances should you cite Benderman (2007), who is an academic imposter (plus he took the last shrimp canape at the 2012 Games+Learning+Society Conference closing reception).

Lastly, without spoiling my anonymity, I’m a distant member of the Garamond dynasty, so please format your paper in our signature font.

Revise and Resubmit #1

Reviewer #1
I am incredibly disappointed to see that you cited Morales (2017), who once called me a “charlatan” during my presentation about the phallic symbolism of Mario’s Toad character. And while you followed my recommendation to cite Benderman, I do not appreciate the footnote indicating that some scholars consider him a “fraud” and a “canape thief.”

Likewise, I am disappointed that you replaced your raccoon Mario analysis with an argument that fireball Mario provides a direct analogy to Nietzsche’s identification with the element of fire. Further, I just realized that you never mention Luigi, so definitely add an extensive examination suggesting that Luigi’s mustache was inspired by Nietzsche’s.

I see that you formatted half your paper in Helvetica Neue and half in Garamond. However, after learning that Helvetica Neue was originally created by inhumanely harvesting octopus ink, I insist you use Verdana.

Reviewer #2
Since you only formatted half your paper in Garamond, I read only that half. But from what I read, your sole productive revisions were citing Morales and adding images from the original Legend of Zelda game. Please also add pictures of Madam MeowMeow from The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, as these would add tremendous complexity to your interpretation of Mario.

Even though you include an important footnote problematizing the existence of Benderman, this journal will not publish a paper in which you cite him. He once called me “haughty” and “supercilious” after I brilliantly refuted his idiotic conference presentation about Toad, as Nintendo’s Eggplant Wizard is clearly their most phallocentric character.

I’m unclear why you added references to fireball Mario; replace that material with a dissection about how the Mario/Bowser rivalry perfectly enacts Nietzsche’s aphorism “Be careful, lest in casting out your demon you exorcise the best thing in you.” However, I must begrudgingly compliment you on avoiding the temptation to discuss Luigi, whose mustache greatly displeases me.

Revise and Resubmit #2

Reviewer #1
First and most importantly, it appears you have created a brand-new font that blends elements of Verdana and Garamond. I will need documentation that no octopuses (which is the correct plural!!) were harmed while creating this font.

Secondly, the new material on Bowser comes out of nowhere (like the Legend of Zelda pictures you continue adding). But your additions got me thinking that you should add an entirely new conclusion about how Yoshi represents Nietzsche’s dragon called “Thou shalt,” but only if you learn Japanese and travel to the Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto for one to two years of ethnographic and archival research to prove this hypothesis that I formulated just now.

And if you don’t remove any and all references to that haughty, supercilious scholar Morales, I will set future versions of your manuscript on fire.

Reviewer #2
You failed to formulate the Bowser/Mario material the way I would have if I had written it, which I would not have, because that idea is beneath me. What if you delete everything in the existing article and instead write about how the ability to play Zelda games repeatedly enacts Nietzsche’s doctrine of eternal recurrence? (This will make the Zelda images you insisted on including much more relevant.)

Also, it is a personal affront to me that you still reference Benderman, despite the fact that you wrote and submitted an entirely new paper to our journal refuting his Toad phallicism thesis. Please remove the Benderman references and submit a voodoo doll of Benderman with your next revision that I can use for undisclosed reasons.

Revise and Resubmit #3

The Editor
Thank you for your continued submissions to Game Theory (But Not the Economic Kind of Game Theory): A Journal for the Self-Serious Study of Fun Things. In the five years since you submitted the first version of your article, our journal has changed its focus to printing work that reinforces the conclusions of the gambling industry. Therefore, your paper no longer fits our publication. However, we invite you to serve as a reviewer for the upgraded version of the journal. I need a peer reviewer for a fascinating paper that uses Benderman’s and Morales’s scholarship to argue that the memory card game in Super Mario Bros. 3 suggests productive learning outcomes for children exposed to gambling at a young age.