1.21.2007

Environmental Science

"Nintendo 'Wii' Assaults Mother"

Okay, this may not have been an actual recent headline, but it might as well have been. I think we're seeing one obvious (and well-publicized) example of designer/gamer disconnect in the recent Wiimote catastrophes that have struck plasma TVs and apartment windows alike. Wasn't it Nintendo's responsibility to anticipate players letting the Wiimote slip out of their hands and into an unsuspecting person/laptop/piece of pottery? Let's take a second example - one of my biggest beefs: designers, when you're building the menus and setup screens for a 4-player split-screen experience, please allow players to select what quarter of the screen they will occupy. I can't tell you how many Halo games I've had to restart thanks to an over-hasty controller distribution.

It's the little things that can slip by designers. Varying environmental conditions create a slew of problems to which they should try to give more attention, especially as companies like Nintendo try to draw in new demographics who may not have the patience to deal with annoyances like these that gamers take in stride.

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