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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Nintendo Direct Natural Disaster Hypocrisy

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The company postponed the Nintendo Direct due to a natural disaster, and has now rescheduled it to be during an even bigger natural disaster.

Due to the powerful hurricane on the East Coast of the United States of America, we have decided to delay this week’s planned Nintendo Direct. We will provide a new time and date in the near future. Thank you for understanding. 

Just kidding. 

You might remember last week where we were supposed to have a Nintendo Direct on September 6, 2018. It got delayed due to a powerful earthquake affecting the Japanese island of Hokkaido, a large but low-population area of about 5 million people. It's a remote island, far away from Nintendo's offices, subsidiaries, and business partners, with the exception of 64% of NDcube, developer of Super Mario Party. (Yet Nintendo still chooses to list them as a Tokyo company.) For American geographical context, the distance between the Hokkaido earthquake and Nintendo's headquarters in Kyoto is around the distance between Nintendo of America's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and the many earthquakes that occur in California.

If you've talked with me in public over the past week, I've been passive-aggressive towards Nintendo regarding the delay of the Nintendo Direct. If you've talked with me in private, I've been actively aggressive against Nintendo. Not because I really, really wanted to see the Direct (in fact, I have no expectations for it and I wasn't asking for a new one), but because I disliked the precedent it set.

But if Nintendo was going to set a new precedent from now on for when it cancels Nintendo Directs and other events, then okay. As long as they're consistent about it.

And, of course, at Nintendo's first opportunity, they're not consistent.

The Nintendo Direct has now been rescheduled for tomorrow at 6 PM Eastern, September 13 2018. (You might recall that there was already a Nintendo Direct at 6 PM on September 13... but 2017.) 

If you've been watching the news, however, it's not about Nintendo, but it's wall-to-wall coverage about Hurricane Florence, a category 3 or 4 Hurricane that is going to obliterate the mid-eastern coast of the United States later this week. You can't go on the Internet or turn on the television without hearing about Florence's upcoming path of destruction, and it's making international coverage as well. In other words, there is no way that anyone, including Nintendo, wouldn't know about it.

Nintendo postponed the Nintendo Direct from September 6 due to an earthquake in Japan, to September 13 during a hurricane in the United States.

Nintendo Direct September 6 13 2018 natural disaster delay Hokkaido Earthquake Hurricane Florence hypocrisy
Nintendo's Nintendo Direct-Natural Disaster policy is best.

Let me get this straight. People were applauding Nintendo on social media and whatever for them putting people's lives before gaming information. Nevermind the fact that publicly showing a Nintendo Direct after an earthquake happened doesn't impact anyone's safety. Nevermind the fact that Nintendo didn't provide resources for people to help assist the affected Hokkaido residents as they were indirectly raising awareness that this earthquake even happened, such as links to charities.

What do those moral high-grounders say now? Nintendo is doing the exact opposite of what President Donald John Trump is warning people about not playing games with Hurricane Florence:

(To be fair, President Donald John Trump said “don't play games with it”, not, “don't watch a games infomercial with it.”)

The governors of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the mayor of Washington D.C. with the last name Bowser, all have declared state of emergencies. Combined, the populations of those states (and district) are many times the population of the island of Hokkaido, and likely provide Nintendo many times more revenue in games spending. (All of those locations besides Maryland also feature in KoopaTV's 2015 videogame, Capture the Confederate Flag, so they're important to KoopaTV lore.)

Are those American lives not equally as important as the lives of the Japanese in Hokkaido? We already called Nintendo out for being against #AllFansMatter from who they choose to make tributes to. This is a continuation of that. If all fans, and all lives, matter... and believe me, there are many Nintendo fans in those Eastern United States areas, then what gives?

Nintendo has specifically stated in their Corporate Social Responsibility Report for 2018,
“We respect the different cultures and practices of the countries in which we operate, and we do not act in any discriminatory or inappropriate manner in those contexts.”
Nintendo operates in both Japan and the United States of America. Isn't postponing the Direct because of one natural disaster but showcasing it during another acting in a discriminatory manner?

Not only is the Nintendo Direct coming out tomorrow while people should be evacuating their homes and other personal Direct-viewing venues, but Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country will be available via the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Expansion Pass for download on September 14. The tens of millions people that can be affected by Hurricane Florence shouldn't be staying up downloading it. They should be getting to safety.

Explain the consistency in the logic between “we don't want the Japanese in Hokkaido to miss out on an on-demand webcast they can watch anytime after it airs, and we want to respect the lives in danger from it and the severe power outages” with “Americans in the affected Hurricane Florence states should just wait to watch the on-demand webcast and wait to download game content, especially since their lives are in danger and they will have severe power outages for weeks to come.”

Perhaps Nintendo values the lives of the Japanese vs. the many more lives of the Americans. They're a company based in Japan, after all. Nevermind that Hokkaido doesn't have a close relationship to Nintendo outside of being in the same country (but not the same land mass). Perhaps Nintendo values nationalism over revenue impact. Perhaps Nintendo's leadership is made up of isolationists... or xenophobes. Perhaps we need to look at what the difference is between who lives in Hokkaido and who lives in these affected parts of the United States.

I'm just pointing out statistics here, but 20 to 50 percent of the state-wide populations of the areas that will be impacted by Hurricane Florence are made up of black people. When you look at the numbers, more black people will be affected by Hurricane Florence than people of all ethnic backgrounds were affected by the Hokkaido earthquake. If President George Walker Bush is racist and “doesn't care about black people” because of how the federal government responded to Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, then why not draw the same conclusion about Nintendo's response to Hurricane Florence in 2018...?

It's only consistent, after all.

Regardless of Ludwig's moral outrage and equivalencies, KoopaTV will have a live reaction log to the Nintendo Direct tomorrow. It is important to note that there is a difference between what Nintendo said their motives were for the Direct delay (which were never actually provided), and what Nintendo fans have said Nintendo's motives were for the Direct delay. Much of this article is addressed to the latter, and KoopaTV invites those people to defend Nintendo's discrimination in the comments section. As a reminder, KoopaTV publishes articles regardless of what natural disasters happen, unless those disasters incapacitates the staffers. Just to finish the comparison made at the end of the article, more people will read this article than there are black people living on Hokkaido.

We got the moral outrage out of the way. Now, how was the actual September 13, 2018 Nintendo Direct? Click here for live reactions.
While pre-recorded Directs are a no-no to hold during a disaster, Nintendo believes live tournaments are a yes-yes.


  1. Last year when I evacuated during Hurricane Harvey, I would be disappointed if I had missed a Direct but it would not bother me too much. Since there was no wifi in the house where we stayed, the only other place I could go to that had reliable Internet in town was the public library. I would have rather just waited until we got back home even if it meant watching it a few days late.

    1. I think it's perfectly reasonable to maintain a "lives over games" mentality and then say, "For those in danger, we fortunately have the Nintendo Direct on-demand! Look! It already has 1.7 million views on YouTube! You're not alone!"

  2. Lol, I said. Lmao.


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