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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Nintendo Switch Sports—Now With Golf! (And Sanitary Celebration)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Golfer Gramps raisin' the rascals right.

As Nintendo promised in the most recent Nintendo Direct, they have added Golf to Nintendo Switch Sports, bringing the sport count to seven. Here's an important trailer/commercial:

There are online and offline modes, including the online-only Survival Golf (where up to eight golfers play at once and those with the most strokes are eliminated). 21 holes from Wii Sports are included, and the press release seems to portray those 21 holes as all of the holes, meaning there are no new holes after 16 years. That seems disappointing. So let's get off-topic from the actual golf and go into the advertisement. Behold the reason I'm writing about this at all:

Nintendo Switch Sports Golfing With Gramps Junior arm bash celebration
Gramps and Junior aren't high-fiving but are instead bashing their arms together to celebrate!

You may remember my article from two years ago, during a height of the Chinese Communist Party Virus pandemic, decrying the barbaric and unsanitary practice of handshakes. According to “the science”, handshakes are efficient vectors for spreading disease-carrying pathogens, and they'd rather you fist-bump others. (High-fives are better than handshakes but not ideal.) OR don't use your hands at all—use parts of your body covered by articles of clothing that wouldn't normally touch things. I advocated for shoulders, but other underused areas of your arm would work too. And that's exactly what Gramps and Junior are portrayed as doing in the advertisement. Yes, my messaging has penetrated the minds of the masses! (Now if only my anti-Mario views were mainstream, too.)

Gramps and Junior don't just avoid high-fives as a one-off, by the way:

Nintendo Switch Sports Golfing with Gramps Junior Dad Grandpa black African-American family
The guy to the left of the photo is Dad, presumably Junior's father and Gramps's son.
He's feeling rather ignored, but it's at least nice that this family's fathers are all still together.
By the way, this parallels the prominence levels between Cranky Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Donkey Kong. (Where DK Jr., Donkey Kong's father and Cranky Kong's son, is mostly ignored.)
Shigeru Miyamoto wants you to forget that.

It's... unclear what motion Gramps and Junior are actually making in the screengrab above, because the advertisement cuts out of that to videogame footage before it's really clear what happens. That screenshot is the last frame before that transition. However, it's clear they aren't high-fiving.

You could argue that the only reason Gramps and Junior are consistently not high-fiving is because they're holding a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controller in their hand (attached via a wrist strap). However, they're holding the Joy-Cons in their right hands, and they're doing the arm bash with their left arms. They could easily high-five with their free and open left hands... but they choose not to. Why? 'cause this is a smart family.

I like this trend of smart wholesome families in Nintendo commercials. Makes me think about the Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain trailer where the American black family did pretty well. (I'm really upset Nintendo has since put those videos on Private for no given reason, since that article relied on those videos being available!)

Should this article actually be classified as Gaming Commentary when it's not really about Nintendo Switch Sports at all? But, hey, if you want to discuss golf or Nintendo Switch Sports in the comments section, more power to you. Ludwig instantly knew upon watching this commercial that he had to write about it. If you can find other examples of character interactions that Ludwig would appreciate in other Nintendo commercials, please share those too.

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