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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain Trailer—Structural Racism SOLVED!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - KoopaTV would like to help, too.

Today, Nintendo announced Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain for the Nintendo Switch. This is like Big Brain Academy for the DS (and later part of the Wii U Virtual Console, which I actually endorsed)—meaning it predates the “big brain” memes you see today. Anyway, the gimmick here is that not only is there single-player like the original, but there is also local multiplayer and Nintendo Switch Online-enabled ghost data fights. ...I'm not really sure if adding multiplayer is as... compelling as Nintendo thinks it is, but at the very least, it's demonstrating an extremely important fact about society.

There's two parts to that. Number one, watch this trailer from Nintendo of America:

It presents a Sister, Brother, Dad, and Mom. They all appear to be a happy American black (well, not sure about Dad, actually) family playing multiplayer on the touchscreen and on the couch with one Joy-Con each. The Brother (also known as the son) appears to have the biggest brain of the family. He beats his sister at the beginning, beats his entire family in local multiplayer, and then beats a Japanese kid in Ghost Clash at the end. Sister also loses to a Japanese girl.

Now let's look at the trailer from Nintendo's Japan office and see how it differs and converges:

There is also a Sister, Brother, Dad, and Mom family... except they're a happy Japanese family playing on the couch. The smartest among them is, like the American family, also Brother. The Japanese are playing against the Americans’ (from the American trailer) ghost data in Ghost Clash. It appears the American Sister beats Japanese Sister, but Japanese Sister beats the American Dad. ...And instead of American Brother facing off against Japanese Brother at the end like in the American trailer, American Brother is facing a random Brazilian middle-aged office worker guy. He does win, however.

I'd say this is a decent tier list for the relative brain sizes of the characters in the trailers:
  1. American Brother
  2. Japanese Brother
  3. Japanese Sister
  4. American Sister
  5. Brazil dude
  6. American Dad
  7. Japan Mom
  8. Japan Dad
  9. American Mom

(I'm not really sure where to place Brazil dude.)

Big Brain Academy Brain vs. Brain Ghost Clash worldwide multiplayer Japanese boy American black brother
American Brother ultimately triumphing over Japanese Brother. This is very important.

You look at all of the stats out there, and they're often perceived by stat-lookers as proof of a structural racism in American society, along with woes being passed down from generation to generation. But according to these two sets of Big Brain Academy: Brian vs. Brain trailers, that's apparently no longer an issue. Not only are the kids far outperforming their parents in terms of brain size (and presumably smarts and likelihood to get ahead in life and have a better future), but the American black son is outperforming his Japanese counterparts. (And the American black daughter really isn't that behind.) That shouldn't be happening according to average statistics and equity pushers. Both the Americans and the Japanese have the same tools—they are using the same Joy-Cons and Nintendo Switch consoles with the same processors. You just gotta instill the right cultural norms and then even someone born from the likes of American Mom up above can beat the best that the Japanese have to offer.

Though you might argue that this American family is “privileged” for having a Nintendo Switch, extra Joy-Cons, a videogame that isn't even released yet, and Nintendo Switch Online to begin with. (Though there's no evidence to support that this family is any “better” than any other average American family.) To help combat notions of “privilege”, KoopaTV is offering a free one-year membership of Nintendo Switch Online (by becoming a member of our Family Group) so you can play against pre-created and non-live ghost data of other people (as well as many other, superior uses of the service that aren't related to Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain). You don't need special “privilege” powers to win it. Just hard work and effort. The American Dream, really. Just win Round 40 of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program!

At the very least, Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain will only be sold for $30. While Ludwig did like the original one, he's... not convinced about the multiplayer gimmick, especially because it's ghost data, so you can't gloat to a live person. That ruins the majority of the fun. He isn't actually sure why Japanese Brother was so upset at the end of the trailer, seeing as how he was not actually in a live multiplayer game with American Brother, unless both the kids were playing one another's ghost data at the same time and had the same result. Feel free to offer your own tier list interpretation in the comments section.

KoopaTV often trusts what's presented in Nintendo's trailers, such as when humans were being cloned from the Double Cherry power-up.
Before its release, Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain got a brief demo.
Squids disagree that Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain solves structural racism. If anything, it perpetuates it.
The Big Brain Academy trailers have become private, but black American families still feature positively in later commercials.


  1. I mean. It's questionable that they used real world data for the purposes of a commercial. I'd love to think they did! But really, to me it's much more likely that minorities have had similar amounts of brainpower to those who persecute them all along.

    To me the takeaway here is that racist notions of minorities being naturally "inferior" in some way, whether through socio-economic disparity or the decidedly more pseudoscientific metrics used to justify such arguments in the past, is weakening in the public consciousness. And that is absolutely a good thing.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to call it a Very Good Thing.


    1. And... AND WHAT? Finish your thought!

    2. There, uh...wasn't anything. The thought was finished. Frankly, I have no idea how that And got there. X_X I wish I could edit the comment. D:

    3. ...oh. You had me in great anticipation that entire evening.

  2. No wonder it took them so long to release the next installment. Solving structural racism is no easy task. Nintendo once again proves to be innovators in the industry, Microsoft and Sony to soon follow, like always.

    I’m very thrilled they are reviving long dormant IPs, between this and (advance wars remakes-kinda) famicom detective club, it gives me hope for some other long neglected franchises. But also kinda makes me angry because it means while we could get another game in any series, it could take as long as 20 years! As far as detective club is concerned.

    I’m also happy that BBA switch brings back the main character/representative from the other games. You’d be surprised how many games forgo their characters, even if they only have one!

    1. Not mentioned in this article is that Big Brain Academy had a Wii game. This also appears to have a ghost data-based multiplayer, and Doctor Lobe reappears there too:

    2. I knew about that, so BBA isn’t as dormant as some other franchises. But that game is 2007, so that’s still 14-almost 15 years! The wii game came out only two years after the original Ds version. So I guess Nintendo thinks they’ve regained the “casual” audience that the Wii and (Somtimes) Ds catered to?

    3. Well, by sheer numbers, some of those people must have come back.


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