PBS is furnishing a new weekly webseries called Game/Show, produced by Kornhaber Brown and focusing specifically on video games. The first episode attempts to analyze the popularity and staying power of three gaming icons: Mario of the brothers Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and Link, wielder of the Triforce.

Will we still be playing games starring Mario in 2577? What makes these characters so endearing? Brown suggests it's the shared monomyth themes. Monomyth, a term coined by Joseph Campbell, involves a basic hero's journey where an everyman protagonist is thrust into an extraordinary situation, overcomes all odds and returns home to bestow goods and favor upon their friends and family. Yup, we have plenty of that going on in games.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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