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Nintendo's Kiddy Complex
Written By: AJ Middleton

As Nintendo fans, Iím sure weíve all experienced it. Youíre talking with a friend and say that you own a Gamecube, and they respond with "I like Playstation. Gamecube is kiddy." Or, when telling someone that your favorite series is Mario, the X-Box fanboy replies with, "Well, I prefer mature games, not baby ones."

Itís ridiculous! Nintendo IS NOT kiddy! Itís not logical at all!

Ok, look, first off, Nintendo is the oldest videogame company around. For those of you who didnít know, good olí Ninty started out as a card company in the World War II era. Beat THAT Sony. And Microsoft, you may be able to buy everything material, but age is priceless.

Related to Nintendo age, the company has classic, original characters. Who cares if Mario doesnít have an assault rifle? Whatís the big deal about Bowser never killing anyone? Mario and Bowser are and will always be classic rivals. They have a long history and huge followings. Same with other Nintendo heroes, such as Link, Samus, and even Zelda. They have history and development! I would like to see Crash Bandicoot or the hero from Halo try to match that! It would be impossible to do. Why? Simple. Sony and Microsoft have not been around long enough to develop their characters. Crash becoming a mascot failed. I donít know what Microsoft uses, but whoever it is, theyíre probably flat. Flat characters? Sounds like something a child would create! KIDDY!

The largest argument in the kiddy issue is the level of maturity of Nintendoís games. As I already said, Nintendo rules when it comes to maturity of age and character development. But people look for one thing when it comes to maturity of games, and that is violence. In the videogame world, "mature" and "immature" have different definitions. "Mature" is defined as being loaded with violence, blood, gore, near-nude women, and profanity. "Immature" is synonymous with kiddy, and means lacking all or most mature elements. Ironically though, Mr. Webster would define most M rated games as immature, while most gamers would call them "KOoL!!11"

So the guys at Nintendo find themselves in a fix. Everyone has enjoyed their games since the 80ís. They want to keep that tradition and keep their games open to all; not just those who are (im)mature and over 18. The solution is to make all games so that they fall under the E rating. Simple, right? But, society has changed since back then. E means without violence, blood, gore, near-nude women, and profanity, which means that itís immature by the videogame definition, which means that itís kiddy! Since Nintendo is known by its trademark games, and they are usually rated E, and that means that Nintendo, overall, is viewed as, *gasp*, kiddy.

Iím sorry, but I fail so see why no violence, blood, gore, near-nude women, and profanity is considered kiddy. Why do "cool" games have to carry a T or M on their boxes? Does anyone care that E means that the game is FOR EVERYONE? Of course not. And as long as Nintendo keeps trying to please everyone, they will ruin their reputation as a developer for all. What a paradox! And does anyone have an imagination anymore? Whatever happened to games that were simply fun, like Super Mario and Sonic? They werenít considered kiddy. Then why are Mario 64 and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle seen as such? Why is "maturity" and violence being placed above fun factor? AyÖ

Who cares about the lack of violence? Well, who cares besides mainstream, ignorant gamers who get confused with the plot of Tetris? Nintendo does. Recently, as you probably know, they have been trying to pump out more T and M games, to "appeal to a wider audience." Examples are Resident Evil, Eternal Darkness, and even trademark Metroid Prime. Unfortunately, most ignorant gamers fail to see these. Nintendo will always mean Mario and "Celda" to them, so it will always retain its kiddy image. To further complicate things, it is usually Sony, a "mature" company, which has the most games that appeal to younger audiences, such as Barbie, the Olsen Twins, and Disney games. But, of course, ignorant gamers also ignore these.

Nintendo does not need violence, blood, etc. etc. etc. blah blah blah to be mature. True maturity, as defined by normal dictionaries, shows itself in other ways. I have already mentioned character quality, but there is game quality as well. Nintendo isnít just in it for the best graphics. Gaming is about so much more. Itís about a game that is fun to play and not just fun to look at. Itís about games that involve some brain action and donít just consist of blowing up everything that moves. Nintendo games generally contain these elements. Also, Nintendo is the most mature when it comes to advertising. Which makes you look better - advertising for yourself after decades of experience, or heartlessly bashing your opponent *coughXBOXcough*? I am so sick of Microsoft constantly cracking on Sony and Nintendo by making fun of their game content or console design. Seriously now, itís called good sportsmanship. Itís called being MATURE. Maybe, Microsoft, when you have years of experience under your belt (and when YOUR console size isnít an easy target for jokes,) you can make fun of whomever you please however you please.

And then Nintendo isnít trying to make Bowser a mass killer, or turn every comic adventure game into a Conker. They arenít giving in to the violence and rudeness that mainstream society wants. Isnít that maturity? Doing whatís right for you regardless of what everyone else wants or is doing? Yes, yes, being your own company. Individuality. Maturity.

But, to contradict everything Iíve said, perhaps Nintendo DOES need to "mature" a little when it comes to game content. Society is not like it was twenty years ago, and Nintendo needs to see what appeals to a wider audience. Older fans want realism and, well, less Mario-with-a-big-water-gun. The more cartoony stuff we see being pumped from our favorite company, the more we get nervous. Sometimes we donít care. Other times we do. For example, the new Zelda. The cel-shading caused a huge uproar in the gaming community. Screw it if the Spaceworld demo would have made the game a T! Thatís what we want! Thatís what sells. Nintendo, thatís what you needed to maybe change your image! Well, Zelda will sell nevertheless, but it will only give those ignorant gamers more to complain about.

But, hey, who cares about how mainstream gamers see Nintendo. Nintendo will always have a large following of loyal fans, many of who are more mature than any Xbox or Sony fanboy. And as long as they have age, keep pumping out quality games and quality characters, stay true to themselves, and never sink to the level as some of their competitors, Nintendo will always be the most mature.

Öand screw having Squaresoft or Rareware; THATíS something truly important to brag about!

Posted: 2-11-03
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