At this point, most people know that playing a mascot isn't nearly as fun as watching it.
The suits are heavy, poorly ventilated and generally uncomfortable — and that's before you start running around with severely limited visibility and sense of direction. Again, it's fun to watch, but not to actually wear.
However, most of the suits aren't considered dangerous or life-threatening — if they were, there's a good chance that no one would wear them. That being said, one man has come forward claiming that one of Nintendo's over-sized suits may have caused some permanent damage.
According to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ, one Michael Oconitrillo was hired by Nintendo of America to play Donkey Kong at an event in Culver City, Colo. After wearing the Donkey Kong costume for some time, Oconitrillo started to feel the effects of the suit (namely, the heat) but despite his protests, he was allegedly ordered to keep the suit on. Apparently, the heat was bad enough to cause permanent damage, and Oconitrillo is now suing Nintendo of America for both the resulting injuries and emotional distress.
With so little information being available, it's tough to say whether or not Oconitrillo is being genuine with his claim: while these sorts of suits are definitely tough to wear, the idea of one causing permanent, irreparable damage seems like a bit much. It certainly doesn't help that Oconitrillo's suit doesn't mention any specific injuries: it'd make sense if the case mentioned something like severe back pain, but without any particular injuries cited, it's a lot harder to figure out what exactly happened.
As of this writing, Nintendo of America's only statement was, "We have nothing to announce on this topic."
At this point, only time will tell what happened — either way, we'll make sure to update this story as more information becomes available.