SXSW Has Real-Life Mario Kart!

SXSW attendees can live out their dreams of participating in a real-life Mario Kart race.

Yep, you read that headline correctly – Nintendo and Pennzoil have teamed up to bring a real-life version of Mario Kart to South by Southwest Gaming.

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The Mario-inspired go-kart track accommodates four racers at a time and comes complete with games staples like stars, mushrooms and Koopa shells.

Well, sorta.

Power-ups are distributed through out the track as little icons which participants can collect as they take laps. The power-ups then cause the karts to speed up or slow down via RFID wireless technology. The karts are also equipped with GoPro cameras to record video of the race, which is then edited to include other Mario Kart effects. 

The event is a collaboration between Nintendo and Pennzoil to promote the release of Nintendo’s upcoming Mario Kart 8 and Pennzoil’s new natural gas-based motor oil.

Wanna race? The track is open to anyone sober and over 18 – so if you’re in Austin for SXSW, it seems worth checking out. Prepare to wait though! Before the track was even open to the public, Austin360 reported having to wait over an hour and a half. The karts will be open to the public from noon to six Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so there’s still plenty of time.

And for those of use who can’t make it SXSW this weekend? Maybe we can just buy one of these life-size Mario Karts 


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Lauren Puga
Designer, Dovahkiin, and aspiring Disney princess.