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The Best Karts in “Mario Kart Wii” -- A Mother's Day Story

screenshot of Scatterplot Matrix of kart factors for Mario Kart Wii; graph was created using JMP software

My 7-year-old son has been playing the Nintendo racing game “Mario Kart Wii” for a couple of weeks and has commented that not all vehicles – known as karts – are created equal. Some perform better than others and give you an advantage in a race.

Players can choose from more than 30 karts – motorcycles, carriages, cars, etc. So how do you know which ones are worth using?

JMP Product Manager Jeff Perkinson has two daughters who also play the game, and he knew how to get the answer.

Jeff had found an online guide to the game that gave “stats” for each kart – measures of speed, weight, acceleration, handling, etc.

  • Using JMP’s Internet Open feature, we brought the data from the HTML table into a new JMP table.
  • We used Tabulate to explore the mean of the stats for all the karts – noting that the stars were Nostalgia 1 and Wario Bike.
  • Then we created a Scatterplot Matrix and used the Data Filter to see the relationships between the stats.When I showed all of this to my son on the laptop at the kitchen counter at home, his eyes lit up. “I want a kart that’s fast and accelerates great,” he said. The Data Filter showed him that he should go with the Standard Bike L. He already knew from experience that this motorbike was good, but the analysis confirmed it.
  • He hopped off the chair and ran over to his Wii. Using the Standard Bike L, he won the level he’d been playing and got to unlock a new feature in the game. "You are the greatest mom in the universe!" he said as he hugged me.

    Thanks to Jeff for showing me how to be a hero to my son! Now it no longer matters that I am terrible at playing the game.

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    1 Comment

    Anon. wrote:

    Very great story, and also very great job =D