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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I LIKE Nintendo's Heavy-Handed Moderation

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I still miss NSider. Which is why I'm glad Miiverse is picking up NSider's traits.

You may recall my article comparing 4chan and NeoGAF. That was basically an article comparing two moderation styles, and how they affected a forum's culture.

There is another moderation style I excluded: The one you might see on an official (corporate-sponsored) forum, such as the Nintendo NSider Forum. Or its successor, Miiverse. Both operated by Nintendo of America as venues for discussion of all things Nintendo!

Today marks the seven-year anniversary of NSider's closing. Seven years is a long time. Ganondorf managed to take over the land in that time period, and it's also the time period between any given current case in Ace Attorney and its back-story happening. In this case, not much has actually changed between the heavy-handed, strict moderation of NSider, and the heavy-handed, strict moderation of Miiverse!

In true Nintendo of America moderation fashion, everyone suffers due to the actions of the few. Whether it's "Goomba Prison" (new users were confined to newcomer boards for several days) on NSider or the three-minute (now two-minute) comment rule on Miiverse, only a few people tried to exploit the features. And we all paid the price.

On both forums, friend code sharing is not allowed. Of course, on Miiverse, you only have one friend code to share: Your 3DS system friend code. On NSider, you wanted to share your DS and Wii friend codes... Except every game back then had its own individual friend code! You had to do a lot of sneaking!

On NSider, you had to have over a thousand posts (Koopa-ranked. This is because Koopas are a symbol of power, as you should know from KoopaTV) to be able to post images. This is so you could be trusted. On Miiverse, you're not allowed to post screenshots on several communities, including Pokémon X/Y and now...

Screenshots are disabled on the Miiverse Kid Icarus: Uprising and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team communities.
Kid Icarus: Uprising and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.

Why? There have been exploits in those communities (thanks to glitches in the games) allowing users to post any screenshot they want, whether it be pornographic (which happened) or Fatal Frame V begging (which happened). That's not allowed. SO IT'S GONE.

You might be asking me, "Ludwig, why are you portraying all of this totalitarianism as a GOOD thing?" After all, KoopaTV clearly has an anti-authoritarian bent to it, right?

It's hard to explain, but it clearly has something to do with Nintendo being a corporation, and that they are doing it "for the children." That's respectable. Compare to NeoGAF, which is totalitarian out of left-wing ideology. As in, they are censoring you to form a reputation. When Nintendo does it, it's to protect a reputation. Nintendo censors just to censor. It's all impersonal. You could disagree with Nintendo: Character-bashing was allowed! (Or else the Enlightenment Movement never would've happened.) NeoGAF censors to protect the hivemind environment, thus specific users must be targeted. There weren't any favourites from the staff at Nintendo of America. They weren't allowed by corporate policy to have favourites! Sure, there were Sages, but they could still get in trouble and had to follow the rules too. It's certainly true of Miiverse, as I'll discuss in a later article. (Coming soon to KoopaTV: Nintendo bans their own employees?! The story of Amy!)

That said, there is a key difference between NSider and Miiverse in terms of moderation: NSider did not employ robots to assist with the moderating. They had users from the community as Knights of Hyrule, who could not ban people but could still do moderating action. The Knights of Hyrule were not allowed to use common sense and best judgment, though. Just like the current Miiverse admins. And for another similarity, there was no set amount of times you could be banned/suspended before a permanent ban. And there was no set amount of warnings you could get before a ban. This made every rule violation exciting, because you'd never know what'd happen as a result! In this instance, there IS admin discretion. In other words, there isn't discretion on whether or not you get warned, but there is on whether or not you get banned.

Meanwhile, these "enlightened" places have a one-and-done system or a series of "points" you could accumulate until a ban. These systems tend to suck.

With the Nintendo way, it created a sense of community. With the exception of so-called "mini-mods" who thought that reporting people all the time would cause Nintendo to reward them, everyone was in it together to protect one another from the administration. So at Nintendo's expense (not that this affected much), we all had a commonality: No one wanted to get in trouble! This carries over to Miiverse, although they express it really poorly.

I'll always miss NSider. It's how all the KoopaTV staff met, don't forget that.

Ludwig's NNID on Miiverse is PrinceOfKoopas. Follow him before he gets more violations! His screen name on NSider was ANTIROCKETCLOUDY.


  1. People invaded the Kid Icarus and Dream Team communities with Fatal Frame pictures?

    1. No, people (actually, just one dude, named Viridifan) invaded Kid Icarus with his dick.

      Dream Team was invaded with many things, including Fatal Frame.


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