Those who don't know their video game history are doomed to be completely clueless when an older gaming character or concept returns for some modern glory. Consider the recent announcement of Yoshi's Final Smash attack in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in which our dinosaur pal sprouts big white wings and can spit fireballs. Sound familiar? It really should; those are two of Yoshi's maneuvers right out of 1991's Super Mario World. Coin Heaven laments that a lot of younger gamers missed the boat on this one.
Young Mario gamers may have experienced Mario only in 3D, or worse, only in sports games. You won't believe how many people out there think Mario Kart 64 is the first Mario Kart title or Super Mario 64 is the first Mario platformer. (Although this problem isn't as grave as within the Zelda community, where veterans are forced to explain to newbies that Ocarina of Time ISN'T the first Zelda game on a daily basis.) It's alarming. People don't know Tatanga. The knowledge about epic moments like the Raphael boss fight in Yoshi's Island is dwindling. White Mushroom House? Wario's Dragon Hat? Shell Creepers? No one learns that stuff any more.
I agree that this sort of thing is disheartening. While I can understand how younger fans may not be up to speed on gaming obscurities, some things really should transcend generations when it comes to the more popular and timeless characters. You may not need to like Yoshi to be a gaming enthusiast, but younger players who are just downright ignorant of his existence desperately need a crash course in gaming history even if that means *shudder* playing a game with mere 8-bit visuals.