Is The Nintendo Generation a Dying Breed?
There have been so many theories flying around the internet recently pertaining to why Nintendo are struggling, with some of them being incredibly bizarre. Theories aside, there is one element to Nintendo’s situation which makes me a little sad, mainly for a generation of youngsters who are growing up with the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, and various other ‘big hitters’ that all tend to blur together. Simply put, the Nintendo generation may be dying out.
Like many others, I grew up surrounded by Nintendo systems and videogames. Inheriting a NES which progressed to a SNES and then naturally to a N64, I grew up playing the fruits of each system, most of which were products of sheer creativity. For the most part, things were innocent and joyful with the likes of Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, and Metroid. These franchises were unencumbered videogame joys. Their simplicity with ingenious design, their aesthetic, their sound–it was all fantastic and left a lasting impression on me and everyone else who played them.
There’s a sense of brilliance that comes with each Nintendo system; any child of the ’80s and ’90s can testify to this. Each Nintendo system always arrived with various titles that projected the brilliance of videogames, especially titles such as Super Metroid (which continues to influence game design to this day), Ocarina of Time, and Super Mario 64. Nintendo has always managed to inject a touch of the brilliant into most of their titles, which in turn, impacts their systems and the experience of the person playing. Simply put: Nintendo systems have a tradition of showcasing the best of what videogames has to offer in terms of fun, creativity, and design.
As we all know, things change and the videogame industry (and its culture) changes quicker than most. The youth today are shifting more towards the likes of Call of Duty as their game of choice. Violent, flashy, linear, and rather unimaginative games that breed a toxic online community. The days of growing up with Nintendo seem to be coming to an end, and the stumbling ways of the Wii U aren’t helping.
As harsh as it sounds, I pity the youth of today who won’t experience the sheer wonder that Nintendo offer in their games. Modern games are all about spectacle; ‘the bigger the better’ seems to be the ethos they operate around. It’s a great shame that a lot of young people won’t experience the wonders of true creativity and spark, because instead, they will be exposed to kill streaks and unlocking that snazzy new assault rifle.
Perhaps I’m simply locked in my ways, trapped in my experiences with Nintendo and how heavily they supplemented my childhood. It’s hard to depart from such an influence; after all, who can forget the first time they found a chest in The Legend of Zelda, or found a secret area in Super Metroid? The Nintendo generation is slowly dwindling, and that’s a shame. Next time your kid brother or young relative visits you, introduce them to what videogames used to be about. Who knows, they may even ditch the run-and-gun games in favour for something far sweeter.