I’m a proud member of the WRO.
Anyone else notice that there’s the first of these billboards (on the retro Peach track from Nintendo 64) features Peach, Daisy and Birdo? Even though Birdo’s not in the game? Hmm…
Lookie! Back in 1986, Mario was fighting Bowser in exactly the manner that you had to fight him in Super Mario 64, a full decade later. Is it intentional? An homage? I’m unsure, but it’s far from the only bit from the Mario anime that ended up working its way into the actual games.
I made a big list of them — with visual aids!
I finished with the canon ending of my new image story, The New Member, tonight and decided to go ahead and post it. I have an alternate ending planned for later this month. Go check it out. :D
I guess the “corporate” answer is that race and ethnicity don’t exist in the same way in the games that it does in real life.
In the Mushroom Kingdom, you just have people, instead of black people or white people or what have you, and the people live alongside things like the Koopas and Toads that are very human-like but are not human. And I suppose that leads to the awkward thought that this little universe has Caucasian-loooking humans and then everyone who’s not a Caucasian-looking human isn’t a human at all. But then again Nintendo could easily prevent that logical jump by just introducing a character that had darker skin.
The situation is hardly unique to the Mario games, though. A lot of fictional universes have a default look to humans that a lot of people read as white.
EDIT: Someone pointed out that Daisy used to be Latina. That’s not entirely true, but she did have a way different look — and darker skin — when she was re-introduced to the series. And then Nintendo swapped out her face. Poor, poor Azalea.