Since his introduction to the world in 1981, Mario has been running, jumping, climbing, stomping and banging his head on blocks on T.V. screens in homes around the world. I think it’s safe to say Mario is the greatest video game character ever created.

A character with this much popularity and respect deserves his own museum. Luckily, IGN agrees. They recently set up a website especially dedicated to Mario, deemed “The Museum of Mario.” The page is “an interactive experience exploring the many eras of Mario.”

The page provides some fantastic information about the history of the little overall-wearing Italian plumber. For instance, did you know Mario was first introduced as the protagonist in the Donkey Kong game that was released in 1981? Did you also know that at the time his name wasn’t even Mario? It was Jumpman (a good fit for the game, I’d say). His name was officially changed from Jumpman to Mario in 1986 with the introduction of the Mario Bros. game. This was also the introduction of Mario’s brother, Luigi.

Since that time, we have seen Mario kill evil creatures, defeat Bowser and safe the princess dozens of times across numerous game systems. Mario has come in black and white, color, 2D and 3D. He’s raced cars and blasted across the galaxy.

For more than 30 years, Mario has been bringing joy to the world. Who knew a fat little Japanese-created Italian plumber who rides and kills dinosaurs could become one of the greatest fictional characters of all time? It’s been a wild ride, Mario, and here’s to the next 30 years of sliding down pipes and collecting coins.

Check out the IGN Museum of Mario here.

Tell us about your experience with Mario in the comment section below.