ONM Remembered – #168

Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 11:00 am Comments Off on ONM Remembered – #168

“Lylat Wars? I’m glad I’m not responsible for that. N64’s a great read, though. I get it every month.”

from N64 Magazine issue 11 (January 1998)

N64 Magazine provides a summary of Shigeru Miyamoto and Hiroshi Yamauchi’s speeches regarding the future of Nintendo, at Space World 97.

Around this time, their idea of the future of the N64 mostly lay in the 64DD, and a hope for occasional unique, oddball titles to be the console’s draw rather than “bulging release lists.” One of their big pushes seemed to be on user-generated content, which tied into their believed-successful traits of Pokémon and the 64DD; making content for the game and the content growing, both in a literal and nurturing sense, and sharing it all with friends. User-generated content being the future of gaming seemed to be their eventual plan.

User-generated content always sounds cool, but the two factors setting it back are quality control, and the impractically of sharing it, be it finding local gamers who are participating, or trying to share it on an impersonal web space. It can work in the right environment, but that environment is vital to its success.
I get the impression Japan has a big thing for “social gaming” – arcades are (or were) big on meeting people, challenging one another or helping each other out. It’s only in that kind of environment that something like Tower of Druaga could’ve become a wild success. Other countries have had arcade scenes, of course, but I don’t think the social aspect has been emphasised so much.
A friend once told me of a complete stranger joining him in an arcade game, and he spoke of it as if it were the strangest thing he could have encountered. I want to say playing games with strangers should be an engaging part of the arcade experience… but finding an arcade is such a rare discovery (and so thinly populated, if at all!) that it falls by the wayside. Woe!

Social gaming in the sense of people gathering in a central location just isn’t well suited to the American and European markets, unless you want to count those Pokémon tour buses. Nintendo have been aiming for better online social gaming, though, what with the Wii finally getting decent online connectivity, its monthly challenges in certain games, and the Miiverse on WiiU.
I appreciate the sentiment, but it’s never meant a lot to me – mingling with strangers in games just doesn’t do a lot for me, especially if I don’t know if they’re a cheating, snaking son of a bitch. Then again, would I want to meet a crowd of gamers in real life? Would you want to meet me in person? I don’t think I would! The fickle nature of gamers – you want to meet people, but you don’t want to meet people.

… in lighter news, look, you can win Miyamoto’s autograph! Pity is isn’t 1998, though. :(

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