News: Nintenderasty

Nintendo To Prey Upon Children

Nintendo Labo was a big, fat, stinking failure. Parents did not want to purchase $80 cardboard, especially given children’s tendency to play quite roughly with their belongings. The Labo launch was absolutely rife with tales of children smashing to pieces expensive cardboard models. It was not just a matter of expense, as parents quickly found that it was they who were expected to spend hours putting together Labo constructions, so while replacement cardboard designs were available online, each broken creation represented hours of lost time to them. And so Labo was stillborn.

I've not seen it!
Is Reggie even capable of feigning human sincerity?

But when one door closes for Nintendo they simply look for a way to claw open the backdoor, like the malignant creeps they are. As such, Nintendo are now looking to force their way into schools. Nintendo has teamed up with the Institute of Play in order to put Switches and Labo into 100 schools across America to “give kids a way to explore basic STEAM concepts“. STEAM appears to be a thorough bastardisation of the STEM acronym in order to unceremoniously shoehorn ‘the arts’ in there, making it so pointlessly catch-all as to be meaningless. Nintendo is aiming to make this as geographically and socioeconomically diverse as possible:

We’re trying to create a really diverse group. Geographically diverse, socioeconomically diverse, we’re trying to do a mix of public and private schools. We’re trying to account for that diversity that we really want. For those that aren’t selected, the teacher’s guide will be available for free to everyone later this fall.

When the American video game market appeared like it may be inhospitable towards the NES because of the video game crash, Nintendo found a backdoor through packaging it with a toy robot – and now that they have found the consumer market to be inhospitable towards Labo, Nintendo has found a backdoor by tapping into the education market in order to shift stock. All that this is going to cost Nintendo is a few hundred Switch systems and a few hundred Labo packs.

By doing this Nintendo not only gains access to some first rate product research concerning how children from different walks of life respond to and interact with their products, but they have also spread their efforts across a geographically broad area, ensuring that most non-participating schools will have a participating school within reasonably close proximity. Nintendo is only participating with 100 schools, but luckily for all the non-participating schools good guy Nintendo is making the Labo lesson plans available completely free of charge – all that they will require is their own Switch consoles and Labo packs, which come at a small price. A trifle really. So parents and teachers talk, and then the educational applications of Labo are spread by word of mouth, and non-participating school communities are made to feel as though their kids are missing out. It is really quite clever. Devious even.

We think it’s important for kids to get exposure to STEAM, and especially the ‘arts’ part of STEAM. Many educators across the country are talking about STEM, STEM clearly is important. The arts aspect, the hands-on aspect, is something that’s important to us.

We’re certainly interested in making sure the youth of today have 21st century skills, that they are exposed to STEAM principles, that they are thoughtful in terms of critical thinking and creativity and collaboration and problem solving. Those things are important to us.” ~ President Liar

On top of this, Nintendo are getting thousands of children interacting with their hybrid console on a daily basis – and they will all want one of their own for at home, and they will now have a better shot of convincing their parents that buying a Switch is a responsible investment for their child’s education. Utterly devious. The children will jump into this enthusiastically, because toys and vidya are preferable to the drudgery of school work. The teachers will, of course, also welcome this, as the lesson is basically on autopilot. The lesson plan is already written, and they do not need to cajole the children to follow it, since it is enjoyable for the children. The children may even learn something, if they are young enough. Of course the children would probably learn a lot more if they were made to sit and drill the educational fundamentals [the good old three Rs], but hardly anyone does that anymore.

Gotta Paise ‘Em All!

From one very cynical use of vidya as a vehicle to another, the Vatican has this week released a Pokemon GO! clone imaginatively titled Follow JC GO! Yes, they also copied the exclamation. Well hi there fellow kids, do you like the Pokiemans? In that case do we have a game for you!

What would Ash Ketchum do?
Can you name these popular Biblical figures?

You know, Francis is not a very technological person, but he was in awe, he understood the idea, what we were trying to do: combine technology with evangelisation.

The app has been developed to commemorate World Youth Day, which is to be held in Panama during January of 2019. Players are able to capture Saints and other Biblical luminaries as though they were Pokemon, though in order to subdue them the player will have to answer a bit of religious trivia instead of engaging them in a Pokebattle. In true mobile fashion, the game is replete with microtransactions.

This app has been developed as a backdoor shortcut to appealing to the Generation Z youth, which is obviously a terrible faux pas on the part of the Catholic Church. This app might actually appeal to certain segments of the millennial generation, but Generation Z tend to be quite a bit more conservative, and are generally disgusted by the kind of pandering that millennials respond well to. The Church would be much more successful in targeting Generation Z by simply upholding tradition while refraining from cringy attempts at being hip with the youth. Nope Francis seems pathologically unwilling to do things the conventional way though…

At least one highly scathing 1-star review has already appeared for the app:

I wanted to burn heretics, but it wasn’t possible.

Though possibly this feedback is being a tad facetious.

More PSN Name Change Dramas

The ability for Playstation owners to change their PSN names has been a long time in coming, and now we are beginning to see why. TDT has previously discussed Sony’s name change teething problems on The Starlight Megaphone, but the situation seems much more severe than initially thought. Before taking Sony up on this offer, readers would do well to ask themselves what they are willing to sacrifice for the ability to change their name on PSN.

Fuck no!
Do you really want to risk your entire digital library on a name change?

We previously had some indication that certain games may not function as intended if a user changes their PSN ID. Sony has issued an updated warning regarding the risks of an ID change though, and this list is sure to be eye opening. Changing one’s PSN ID risks losing access to any bought content. This bought content includes expansion DLC, add-ons, and virtual currency. If readers wish to change their IDs then any such content is potentially forfeit. Individuals will also risk losing game saves, game progress, leaderboard progress, trophies, parts of games may not function as intended, and online aspects of games may not function as intended. Also, problems caused through PSN ID changes may not be resolved upon reverting to your previous ID, so changing PSN IDs risks permanent issues with one’s accumulated PSN game library.

It is pretty stunning that Sony could have designed PSN with so little forethought that simply changing one’s associated username could cause all these problems. This probably means that we can expect for Nintendo to grapple with all the same problems in ten years time. If one were to view this situation optimistically, then perhaps making these disclaimers is simply Sony attempting to minimise their liabilities on the off chance that any of this stuff happened to occur. That said, who really wants to place a wager using their entire digital library as collateral?


  1. My primary institution has a STEAM programme that I suspect might have benefitted from Nintendo. I’ll check into it and report back.

  2. I don’t particularly like my PSN ID at this point (I use it here simply because I always have), but there is no way in hell that I’m willing to risk my library and trophies for an opportunity to change it. Thanks for the warning!

  3. When Sony first announced the name change people caught on that everything is tied to one’s user ID. Seems bonkers that they couldn’t simply have a separate account and name.

  4. I wonder, if you change your username and it does delete your purchases, would they be restored if you changed it back?

  5. As mentioned in the story, Sony has specifically stated that they cannot promise that licenses will be restored upon reverting the username.

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