Turns out Salman Rushdie stayed in and played Mario when he was in hiding after that fatwa thing:
Apparently when there was the fatwa against Salman Rushdie—when religious fanatics wanted to kill him because of a book he had written—he was in hiding, and he had nothing to do but play Super Mario Bros., and so he was just playing Super Mario Bros. all day long. And he later wrote two kids books, Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Luka and the Fire of Life, which are inspired by Super Mario Bros., the second one apparently moreso than the first. But it involves people punching objects and having coins come out and that kind of thing. It’s very explicitly inspired by Super Mario Bros.