I’ll admit it, I’ve only been covering gaming for the better part of a year now for multiple outlets, and as much as I enjoy it, there are some things that pop up every so often that really start to grind my gears. I think that the biggest thing that I’ve noticed that seems almost illogical is that you are not allowed to criticize Nintendo without having the throngs of Nintendo supporters flood through the gates and declare you biased, evil and a vast array of other terrible things. You can say that Microsoft is a big, evil corporation and that their exclusive titles only appeal to “dudebro” gamers, you can say that Sony is inept at building exclusives that appeal to the masses and that Sony is in a terrible financial situation, but if you say anything similar about Nintendo (even if warranted) you will face the goon squad.
I was reading this article on Kotaku earlier about one of the writers for Kotaku hearing about an interview that he conducted that had yet to be posted and that some Nintendo fan/writers were indirectly dragging them through the mud for being Nintendo haters. The writer was — understandably — confused and frustrated with how it went down and that the seemingly infantile jealousy from a non-Kotaku writer over not being on a major site and for not praising Nintendo to the heavens made him a target for this level of scorn. A part of me sees this, and as a veteran scribe on the interwebz, knows that people in general are truly awful and will tear you down for seemingly minute things. A while back on a site that I run some guy decided to find one poorly-edited sentence and really stick to it to criticize my writing, education history and me as a person. I got an apology after a while, that particular commentator was going through a tough time and looking for an outlet.
So I get it, I’ve seen it.
I guess the bigger question that reading this Kotaku situation was why is Nintendo infallible in the eyes of its fans? Certainly Nintendo is fallible and has made just as many poor decisions as other game companies have, right? So why are their mistakes off the table when it comes to criticism?
My argument is that it is rooted in the fact that Nintendo is what helped raise a generation as well as bring home console gaming to the table in a big way over the span of the 80s and 90s, before there were real competitors like the Sony PlayStation (sorry, Sega Genesis, you just didn’t compete like you thought you would). Many gamers have lots of nostalgia-ridden memories of the Nintendo brand and first party titles, which subconsciously drives them to defend it like it is something near and dear to them.
I’m really not sure that there is a way to fix this other than to point out that while some people might hate Nintendo, but that most people — including writers on the internet — do not hate Nintendo at all. It is just our job to sometimes look at both the good and the bad, as well as prognosticate on features. We all grew up playing Mario and Zelda as well, so chill out before getting too defensive.