Despite the recent success of Terre des Hommes ‘Sweetie’ avatar, Nintendo were forced to concede that hirsute plumbers are unlikely to be an effective ‘honey trap’ for internet paedophiles. Although Mario has sold more than 210 million units, most perverts admit that the fetish for short, pudgy Italians is very niche.
Andy Baker, of the UK’s National Crime Agency, said that ‘tackling child sex abusers is best left to specialist law enforcement agencies’, although he refused to comment on the threat posed by Donkey Kong. One ex-BBC employee said: ‘I’m not sure how I’m expected to get aroused by a polygonal mushroom addict. He’s like some leering Silvio Berlusconi with power ups.’
While Mario has long been associated with the protection of the young Princesses, his brother Luigi was once caught up in a molestation charge by Yoshi the dinosaur. Child protection agencies have expressed concern that any activity described as a ‘two-player session’ is inappropriate and rumours still persist about what Pacman got up to in the early 80s.