It’s no secret that we game writers tend to lose sight of what’s important about games. That’s not a crack about folks who wrote about representation or social issues presented in games, mind you. I think that’s vital. What I mean is —
Well, let me tell you a story.
I was at a Nintendo of Canada event some years ago. I can’t remember which one specifically, but I do remember I was playing a demo of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I was being all “Harrumph harrumph” about the game, analyzing every frame of Luigi’s bumbling, prodding at the controls, rolling the whole experience around in my mouth and being very serious about my very important work of games writing.
That’s when the kid playing across from me laughed into his 3DS and said, “Luigi fell down and said ‘Ow!'”
I felt my age, then. I also felt very silly.
I don’t know what goes on behind the doors of Nintendo’s corporate meetings. I imagine it’s literal serious business. After all, poor Mr Iwata has to deal with investors who are shocked to learn Nintendo makes video games (how do these people even get the money necessary to be considered important investors? I don’t want to think about it).
But the thing I admire about Nintendo is, it knows when it’s time to put away the books and take out the toys. It’s a lesson I could stand learning myself.
Nintendo’s recent E3 2015 video is a good example of the company shaking itself loose from the maw of business at a key moment. Despite the flashy lights and the nervously joking executives on stage, E3 is a deadly serious time for video games, especially the Big Guys. Press conferences are ranked. Twitter lights up. Knuckles turn white. If someone manages to collect the tense sweat pouring off the bodies of developers, executives, and manufacturers through the entirety of E3 2015, we’ll have a solution to the California drought in no time.
Nintendo, though? Nintendo’s all, “Hey, our games are fun, so we should all have fun at E3.”
This video has a simple-to-parse message that’s vitally important for run-down writers like myself. “Relax on Tuesday morning,” it says. “Watch our press conference in your undies if you want — we’re going to have some footage from the Mega 64 and/or Robot Chicken guys. When you’re ready, get dressed, get breakfast, come over, and play some video games.
“Or go wait in a line for two hours to play three minutes of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Totally your call.”
Sometimes I forget I’m writing about an industry that’s built on a foundation of kidnapped lady-friends in pink dresses, giant apes, giant turtles, and yellow men that eat dots while fleeing ghosts. And the industry is still filled with plumbers wielding vacuum cleaners and girls that turn into squid to swim in and out of runnels of ink.
So thanks for that reminder, Nintendo.
[Special thanks to my brave and good husband for the use of the Dreaming Reggie image]