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Friday, July 24, 2015

Nintendo Teaming With Facebook...Super Mario Maker?!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You may be surprised at my reaction. Or you might not be now that I said to expect a surprise.

Even though no one turned out to actually want to play Super Mario Maker when Nintendo made it available across America during E3 at hundreds of select Best Buys, Nintendo has not given up on promoting the game. And they shouldn't.

You could see them at San Diego Comic-Con, The Food Network, and now at the office of... Facebook?

Nintendo press release
"Nintendo is hosting a special "hackathon" event at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park on July 28 and July 29. [...] The Super Mario Maker hackathon is exclusively for Facebook employees to design a special level in the game. [...] The event will culminate with designers presenting their creations to a panel of judges from Nintendo and Facebook. The winning individual or team has the opportunity to make the level available for Super Mario Maker owners to play after the game’s launch."
Of course, with the power of Super Mario Maker, Facebook's employees could also just buy the game after release and create as many levels as they want available for Super Mario Maker owners to play. But the press release continues saying that Nintendo will selectively release filmed parts of the "hackathon" on their social media levels, so this Facebook-branded level may get as much notoriety as the Super Mario Maker levels from the Nintendo World Championships! So notorious that they also are going to be in the final release. Who will design the better level: Facebook or Nintendo Treehouse?

But... let's talk about the implications of this event. And what it really is.

We can start off by being horrified that this is official.

This is a two-day event from July 28 to July 29. That's two days that Facebook will not be mass-banning so-called "fake name" accounts, like what happened to myself last year. As long as Facebook's folks are being kept busy, then survivors and new accounts can keep on keeping on without being ordered to scan their Social Security cards to Facebook's records. In this respect, we hope Nintendo schedules events for Facebook employees every day! But yeah, many of these at-risk accounts are big Nintendo fans, so for the Nintendo fans who still stick to Facebook (not recommended), Nintendo is keepin' 'em safe. ...For two days, anyway. Good job, Nintendo! Keep 'em busy!

Hey, let's discuss hackathons. Back a month ago (literally 30 days before Nintendo's hackathon) Rand Paul was courting tech companies in Silicon Valley by visiting them (and promoting the event with the #HackForRand hashtag). Well, a certain KoopaTV staff member was... scared. ...It was Vortexica.
Vortexica (3:51:56 PM):    What's the meaning behind this "#HackforRand" hashtag?
Vortexica (3:52:02 PM):    Lol, it can't be as insidious as it sounds.
Nintendork 13 13 (3:52:08 PM):    Our liberty minded programmers, designers, and software engineers are ready to #HackforRand
Nintendork 13 13 (3:52:13 PM):    I think it refers to a
Nintendork 13 13 (3:52:15 PM):    Hackathon
Nintendork 13 13 (3:52:24 PM):    Which is a common term used in computer science.
Vortexica (3:52:28 PM):    Hacking WHO?
Vortexica (3:52:33 PM):    >.>
Nintendork 13 13 (3:52:34 PM):    uh
Nintendork 13 13 (3:52:36 PM):    Not a person
Nintendork 13 13 (3:52:40 PM):
Nintendork 13 13 (3:52:55 PM):    where "hack" is used in the sense of exploratory programming, not its alternate meaning as a reference to computer crime.
Vortexica (3:54:14 PM):    Oh, I see.
Vortexica (3:55:03 PM):    Never heard of that meaning before, but phew. I was worried there for a second.
Vortexica (3:55:36 PM):    Thought he was gonna hack into the NSA in protest of liberty and privacy or something.
As I mentioned, it's very common among the high-tech industries. It's also a thing done within the videogame industry to decompress your programmers and have them come up with some creative ideas in-between major projects. The game industry likes to call these "game jams", and that's basically what this Super Mario Maker event is. The "Global Game Jam" is said to be the largest of these in the world, with multiple countries joining, showing that these can range from a department-wide scale to a worldwide-scale.

We probably should've covered this while it was happening.

Except this event is being called a "hackathon" since Facebook isn't a full-on game company, and Nintendo is obviously aware of this. Or perhaps insistent on it.

As KoopaTV reported earlier, Facebook turned into a publisher. That was almost two years ago. Nowadays, their mobile publishing business probably didn't turn out as they hoped:
"Mobile Games Publishing
In addition, our Mobile Games Publishing pilot program helps small and medium-sized developers take their mobile games global. Through the program, we are working with select game developers to provide promotional support for their games in placements across our mobile apps. Learn more."
That "Learn more" is a broken link now, and this is from their go-to page on game development on Facebook. Guess it's over. I guess Nintendo is making fun of them by calling it a "hackathon" and not acknowledging Facebook's attempt at being relevant in the gaming industry. Do people still play Facebook's awful "social gaming" stuff? I'm proud to have never done so.

There is one other gaming industry aspect that Facebook involves itself in: They DID infamously purchase Oculus VR and the Oculus Rift, after all. For two billion dollars. We're always hearing that the Oculus Rift is going to be this big thing (if it ever actually comes out), so Facebook is going to be a big part of that. Then perhaps Facebook can laugh at Nintendo for snuffing them. Hey, maybe some of the Oculus team will be at the Super Mario Maker hackathon? They'd probably be the most competent design team. Nintendo said it's "exclusively for Facebook employees", so does the Oculus team count as Facebook employees? Or maybe they're the judges from Facebook.

Good questions...

One more thing I want to note. I first came across this story because Rawk gave it to me via a Game Informer article. Obviously I didn't cite that article for this one (I cited Nintendo's PR), and there's a good reason: Game Informer published an absolutely idiotic take on this.

GameInformer Alissa McAloon anti Nintendo bias Super Mario Maker
"While the tweets don't implicitly say it, this could mean that we’ll be seeing paid launch-day DLC in Super Mario Maker, or at least a pay-per-level system in some capacity."

Nintendo fans know Game Informer as the moronic magazine that gave Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door a 6.5/10 (because it's "kiddie"... and that's the whole reason), which has rightfully made them a garbage-tier laughable source for the past decade. Apparently they're somehow still around but still up to no-good. And Rawk is an imbecile for using it as a legitimate source of information.

Anyway, this "Alissa McAloon" (Mc-A-Loon?) character's logic is this: Nintendo specified that the best Super Mario Maker level from the Facebook event will be distributed to the game's owners for free after the game's release. Because they said the word "free", that's really a code for "the game will charge you for levels made by other people". That's typical mainstream media: People say one thing and the media hangs it over that person's head because they interpret it as the opposite. Like how "cut taxes" is apparently a racially-coded term, so now everyone (including me) who wants the government taking less of your money is a racist.

Seriously. Nintendo says the level will be free, like every other level gamers can download made by other people in Super Mario Maker. And Game Informer's "take" is that, while Nintendo explicitly said "free", they really meant there will be paid launch-day DLC, which they know is an unpopular "feature" in the eyes of many gamers.

What a bunch of idiots. They're blatantly just trying to sabotage the game by spreading rumours!

Anyway, we hope that Facebook's folks say great things about Super Mario Maker. Even villains like Facebook's staff deserve some fun.

Ludwig likes to take opportunities to keep the mainstream gaming media accountable for their idiotic analysis and anti-Nintendo biases. He would probably buy Super Mario Maker, but he really dislikes the physics of the Super Mario Bros. games so that would be a hard sell. Ludwig, of course, appears in several of the game skins featured in Super Mario Maker but he himself does not appear in Super Mario Maker. What a load of crock.

Game Informer was so irrelevant that Ludwig forgot to add them to KoopaTV's "Stay Away From These" sources. That's going to change now.
Ludwig similarly blew the lid off the mainstream media's concerted effort to scare people off from the 3DS.
You know who is joining Nintendo in heroically saving Facebook's users from Facebook? FOX NEWS!
What was the winning level? Check out the results of the Hackathon here!
Ludwig is MUCH nicer to Alissa McAloon years later when she becomes the editor-in-chief to Gamasutra...erm... Game Developer.


  1. (By the way, I may or may not start shit with this "Mc-A-Loon" person.)

  2. The whole point of the "Our Take" section is for the writer to give a personal opinion and keep it separate from the news article.

    1. It was literally half of the article.

      Given that they used the word "Our", that implies more than just the author, such as the whole GameInformer staff.

      Which means the GameInformer staff is made up of people with maliciously idiotic opinions.

    2. I'm pretty sure the "our take" is for that specific writer, even though it's plural. Can you imagine the chaos if they had to get every person on the staff to weigh in on every single piece of news before it could be published? That would be absurd. :P

    3. Why not, you know, just call it "My take"?

      Media from across the damn spectrum give a disclaimer that "The opinions expressed in this piece represent the author's and may not necessarily represent the views of the organisation" or something. The fact that GameInformer is apparently doing the OPPOSITE of that should tell you where they stand.

    4. I'm a GameInformer fan, so maybe I'm biased. :P But since the majority of gaming sites use "our" and "we" when it's only a single writer talking, even within the article, I just don't see any reason to believe this is a consensus opinion from GI rather than the view of that particular intern.

      Again, I'm a GI fan. I'm familiar enough with them to assure you that they aren't a hive mind.

    5. Mc-A-Loon is apparently a cookie-cutter feminist according to her Twitter bio, so I'm not too impressed with that particular intern.

      But yes you're certainly biased, though I'm questioning your taste now. <_<;
      KoopaTV only uses "we" if the particular writer really IS speaking for the organisation. Otherwise, we don't. :o

      Sheesh, you're acting just like McAloon herself right now. Nintendo says the level will be distributed for free, and GameInformer says it's a code for paid DLC. GameInformer says "Our take", and you say it's code for "this is one particular author".

    6. Sorry, I just love GI's videos. :P
      I didn't say ALL gaming sites used "we," just that I've seen most do it that way.

      XDDD I'm just using logic. There is no way every GI staff member has to agree (or even vote) on an opinion for every "Our Take" at the end of articles. That would waste too much time, and in the end it would be pointless. If everyone has to agree on something, it's no longer subjective enough to be set off from the rest of the article.

      If the logical argument isn't good enough, here is evidence. Even though this one still says "Our Take," the writer clearly says "I."
      That "Our Take" was obviously written by one person to reflect his opinion.

    7. You know whose videos you should like? KoopaTV's. Have you watched our music video yet? Here's a link so you have no excuse.

      Well, here's logic for you: Any organisation out there has a culture and a set of values that can be separate from all of its individual employees. So you don't need to ask for a vuote or agreement on the organisation's opinion on something... You just consult its internal... wotever. Vibe. Explicitly-written guide. Wotever it is. KoopaTV has a clear set of values that it's pretty easy to know what the SITE'S standpoint on an issue is, even if individual authors disagree.

      Why the hell does this week's list of games that came out on the Virtual Console need an "Our Take"? These dudes are trying way too hard. They want their cake and they wanna eat it too, which is a stupid analogy and I'm bringing it up just to insult the analogy. SOMEONE'S gotta eat the cake, might as well be the folks who actually have the cake.
      It's also abysmal that this is considered "news". You speak of "pointless", but this "Our Take" thing itself is pointless.

    8. All right, it's clear we're never going to agree on the matter of GameInformer, so why don't we just agree to disagree?

    9. Okay.

      In other news, KoopaTV asked Alissa McAloon for a statement about our thoughts on her article in this article. She responded by making all of her tweets private.

  3. Wow, that GameInformer take was just horrendous.
    And I can bet that the Facebook partnership is just a cash and/or attention-grab to play a game they're well-aware nobody wants to own, let alone play.

    Fun little idea I had: The reason why Nintendo's E3 presentation was so shitty this year was engineered by Nintendo as a whole being in mourning of the knowledge that Mr. Iwata was not doing well. The overwhelming shock and awe of their dying superior landed the employees in a depressing mood, their ideas becoming uninspired and dull, effecting their masterpieces, and creating the infamous Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Super Mario Maker. However, paying tribute to their dying elder, Nintendo's loyal workers pulled together to create two projects, which will simultaneously cater to fans of a lesser-appreciated series, and introduce more Nintendo fans to such: the downloadable character Lucas, hailing from 2006's MOTHER 3, and the Western release of 1989's MOTHER as EarthBound Beginnings. With the knowledge of the late Mr. Iwata's involvement in the [development of the] MOTHER series in mind, Nintendo whole-heartedly released the content to the public eye.

    1. Well Nintendo sure won't be getting any cash. They're probably paying Facebook for diverting the attention of their employees from "productive" efforts like harvesting SSN of roleplayers and selling them.

      Now, let's be clear: SMM was announced in 2014. ...And Iwata was still dying then. So I guess it works.
      Good theory.

    2. I've had this theory for a good week or so and was just dying to share it.

    3. KoopaTV is the best place to share all your crazy unfounded theories!

      Get a wider audience than the comments section by submitting a guest article!

    4. By following the directions here, and asking me any questions~

    5. You're so sweet, Ludwig!
      Recommending writing a guest article for lil' ol' me! ^ω^

    6. ...Yeah. ^_^

      (I do that with everyone but...)


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