I am beyond outraged that the Super Mario Bros theme is the first piece of videogame music inducted into the Library of Congress

Mario movie Mario looking shocked, mouth agape looking downward with mushrooms in background
(Image credit: Nintendo, Universal Pictures UK)

The United States Library of Congress inducted its first ever piece of game music into the National Recording Registry yesterday, forever marking it as one of a number of "audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage".

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Obviously, they selected Dragon's Dogma's Into Free Dangan for preservation in this prestigious collection of cultural paragons." Well, that would make sense. Into Free Dangan—an English adaptation of the B'z song Samayoeru Aoi Dangan made for Dragon's Dogma's 2012 release—is a technical and artistic masterwork. But the Library of Congress went and chose Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. theme instead.

"Few musicians have had their work become so internationally recognized for decades yet remain so relatively unknown as Koji Kondo," said the Library of Congress statement on the Super Mario theme's inclusion, blissfully unaware of the staggering injustice it was inflicting on both gaming and human culture at large, noting that "His main, or 'Ground Theme,' for the 1985 game is a jaunty, Latin-influenced melody that’s instantly recognizable around the world today". So into the vault it goes.

The Super Mario Bros. theme is one of 25 recordings selected for the National Recording Registry's Class of 2023. Also inducted were bangers like Madonna's Like A Virgin, Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), and Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven (you can find the full list on the Library of Congress website). Many of the inductees have been collated into playlists for Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services, which you can find here.

"Having this music preserved alongside so many other classic songs is such a great honor," Kondo told the Library of Congress. "It's actually a little bit difficult to believe." See? Even he's flabbergasted.

Kidding aside, and in the hope of defending my Twitter notifications from people who think I am being 100% serious about this, it's actually pretty cool to see game music as undeniably iconic as the Super Mario Bros. theme be selected as a treasure of our shared cultural heritage. I'm honestly mostly surprised it wasn't included sooner. 

Still, while I think it deserves its spot, let's view this as an opportunity to get the stuff that truly warrants inclusion in there next year: Into Free Dangan, the Deus Ex theme, and the entire Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance soundtrack. We have a duty to history. 

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.