It’s only recently that I realised that I was wrong. Mario Kart is not the dystopian monster that I thought it was. It is, in fact, a perfect model for society. Imagine how boring the game would be if the front-runners got all the best items. The less skilled players would soon lose interest because they would have no chance. The game would quickly deteriorate because these people would give up. In life, when the perennial have-nots grow restless of their lack of opportunity, it causes civil unrest, boredom and crime. In Mario Kart, they are always afforded a glimmer of hope that they could be a winner. It means that eventually everyone will have their moment at the top. We would all have our chance to experience life as a leader, but only the best would have the necessary skills to stay at the top. It means that there would be no chance for talented people to slip through the net because there would be no elitism.
Applying the rules of Mario Kart to reality would ensure that life’s natural winners were required to constantly raise their standards and to avoid complacency. This relentless strive for excellence would result in benefits for all members of society. If their standards did fall then there would be someone at the back of the pack with three red shells in their box hungrily waiting to take over. At the other end of the spectrum, the have-nots would never lose interest in life because they would know that if they played long enough they would have a chance to topple the big man and have their moment in the sun.
Although this system is technically unfair, it’s one that works flawlessly in Mario Kart. The more opportunities that people are given to prove themselves, the further society will progress. My original thought was that the system promoted laziness amongst losers. What I have discovered is that it encourages excellence in winners. Life would be more fun and less predictable. Now all we need is an utterly fair, uncorrupted and emotionless overlord to cast their eye over the entire world and award help where it is due. Unfortunately, this person does not exist. It would have to be a computer, which is another issue altogether.
Edited to add footnote: There is one item in Mario Kart that I will never try to justify. It is an ugly beast, borne from jealousy and malice. It has no place at the table of equality and exists only to punish success. There is no reason for the blue shell to exist, it tips the scales of justice too far into the favour of the weak. I hate it.