From MeMeMe Generation to Mii Generation
Nintendo has always understood that behind every introvert is the hero of their own story.
From Red to Link and so many more, the value of overcoming anonymity, difficulty and even weakness has not been lost on the designers. For instance, notice how little of the characters they give us to play with speak. With Miitomo, it seems Nintendo wants to make it possible for you to overcome and have your voice.
With the movement of their games and universe to smartphones, Nintendo took a risk some thought was not worthwhile. Sure, they would make tons of money, but wouldn’t that come at the cost of churning out pay-to-win versions of their beloved games, making any real and oh so satisfying progress from small bunch of pixels to small but uber powerful bunch of pixels totally worthless? Think again.
First with the announcement of Pokémon Go, they seemed to have grasped the essence of their link with the public: it is in the capacity to grow and feel larger than yourself that the true pleasure of their video games lies. But that satisfying fulfillment of your lifelong dream to own a real life Charizard in a full sized world is only the beginning.
Here’s the thing with Miitomo. Whereas people born in the social age have little inhibitions, most of us still struggle with our own self-consciousness. Now, between total exposure and total anonymity, another way of sharing and existing online is possible.
The mii, at the center of Miitomo, is you. He’s not entirely you though: he protects your image by being a larger than life version of yourself. And what does larger than life you do? Larger than life you shares, jokes around and maybe even posts articles online under your own name. But larger than life you still has to remain accountable for your actions. In this relationship with its “creator” the Mii offers balance and liberty to social media. It makes anyone capable of sharing content and appreciation freely while still making sure they are known.
So, all in all, I think Nintendo might just be making social media a more balanced place for me, you… and mii.