Super Mario has been remade in the form of “Syrian Super Mario” to show the plight of Syrian refugees.
In “Syrian Super Mario” our re-imagined plumber faces dangerous waters, violent smugglers and soldiers in his attempt to flee the Syrian warzone.
More than 4 million Syrian refugees have sought refuge in other countries since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011.
Stories of their perilous and arduous stories have increasingly gained international news coverage, reached a peak when images of the drowned three-year-old boy, Aylan, emerged online earlier this month.
To show the challenges facing Syrian refugees, one Syrian artist called Samir al-Mutfi has remade the classic Super Mario game (which just happened to turn 30 last week), as a dangerous journey over the border.
Syrian Super Mario grabs his suitcase, withdraws all his savings and attempts to flee across the border. But to do so, he must face armed soldiers, smugglers and the deep waters.
Related: The Evolution of Mario – Super Mario turns 30
Although these might only be 8-bit obstacles that Syrian Super Mario faces, but they are a reminder of the real-life preils facing the Syrian refugees.
When Syrian Super Mario misses the raft and falls into the sea, the game shows the score Wolrd: 5-1, with the number of Syrian Marios left listed as 22,500,000.
“Five months ago my best friend drowned in the sea while travelling from Ismir [Turkey] to Greece. The engine of the boat exploded,” explained Samir to the BBC.
“It needed to be a simple and clear isea which would work irrespective of language. I used Super Mario because it’s famous all over the world. It’s like music – a universal language.”
Since it was uploaded to YouTube and Facebook by Online for Media Production, a company that makes satirical and political content often about Syria, the video has been watched by thousands.