I still think it’s black magic. – Grass Pants Muses on Miiverse

So I’ve been spending some quality time with the Wii U as of late (thanks, Monster Hunter!) and one of the things that’s really, really interesting is the Miiverse feature. If you’re not familiar, Miiverse is essentially Nintendo’s answer to XBOX Live or the Playstation Network or Facebook or whatever social platform people enjoy this week. You can go on, click on a game you like, and see a bunch of screenshots and comments or questions about it.

All things considered, it your average social platform. Except for one little detail: Miiverse is the friendliest community I have ever seen. In my hours on that service, I’ve never seen an argument, flame war, or even a minor insult directed at another person. I’ve also got a few theories regarding this, so let’s get started.

Theory zero – Black magic. We all know that there’s no chance in hell you can get a group of five strangers to be perfectly civil with one another, let alone several thousand or million or however many accounts are on Miiverse, particularly when you take the GIFT into account. Nothing short of deals with the devil or miracles could make such a thing possible, which is why black magic is my preferred theory! … But you guys probably want some real ideas, yeah?

Theory one – Heavy moderation or some sort or filter. This one’s probably the actual most likely reason why Miiverse is just downright pleasant to visit. I wouldn’t be surprised if they used both, honestly. A filter for general ‘bad stuff’ (piss, damn, hell, so on so forth) and regularly checked the communities for inflammatory messages or vulgar sketches. On a completely unrelated topic, if you guys haven’t seen some of the Miiverse art, go check it out, it’s pretty damn impressive.

Theory two – Atmosphere. This is the big one that prompted me to write this post. When most people think Nintendo, they think very family-friendly games and an overall atmosphere of ‘good stuff,’ for lack of a better word. I mean, look at the big names of Nintendo. Miyamoto is always smiling and sometimes carry little plush Pikmin in his pockets, Iwata does silly stuff on camera. Look at the games, even. Mario is a bright, colorful series of varying types of platformers and spin-offs, Kirby is downright adorable (disregarding the resident Lovecraftian horrors at the end of most games) and wouldn’t look out of place in a coloring book. Nintendo just has this… feeling about it, and the design of Miiverse itself carries this feeling with it.

While I doubt people are nice just because it’s Nintendo and it brings back along a bunch of good, happy feelings, but I can’t help but wonder if that actually plays a role in the grand scheme of things. Anyway, my take on it is a combination of all the theories (primarily black magic though), so that’s all I’ve got for now. If you guys happen to have your own ideas, let me know, I’d be glad to discuss this kind of thing! Anyway, I’m out for now. As always, thanks for reading and have a good’un.

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7 Responses to I still think it’s black magic. – Grass Pants Muses on Miiverse

  1. wooterz says:

    I can’t see it being anything other than theory 1. Everyone on the internet is an asshole, remember?

  2. wr41th says:

    It’s also not entirely true, there are a few stray jerks on Miiverse and things occasionally get a little hairy when some dude claims the PS4 has won this generation and within ten minutes a hundred others try to prove him wrong… I also encountered a guy on the Zelda forum claiming his Deku Nuts were the biggest and asking in pseudo-Shakespearean English whether anyone’d like to enjoy a ride on his Deku Stick which went straight over the heads of the mods. But then again, these are shrimps in a sea of goodwill, great art and friendly conversations (and a bunch of kids asking pointless questions and begging for Yeahs). So, yeah. It is that awesome. I guess exceptions prove the rule ;) And I think a lot of the more grown up users just are aware of what Nintendo offers here, so they moderate themselves unlike they’d do on other outlets, which helps the mods out a lot.

    • … I’m actually a bit sad that I didn’t see the Deku Stick bit. That sounds so absurdly hilarious. I definitely fall into the last bit, though. Normal conversations have me swearing like a sailor, but those are around people I know who are roughly the same age as me (mid-20s) and who tend to use similar language. Miiverse, on the other hand, probably has tons of kids who don’t want to or terribly need to see that kind of thing, so I tend to self-moderate there.

      Also the only problem in my book with Miiverse is the under-Twitter message length. I want to explain how good Mirror ability is in one post, damnit!

      • wr4ith says:

        I wouldn’t count myself as prone to swearing as you are, me and my folks usually play nice, but I tend to behave on the internet even more than I do in real life – which is a weird paradox given that a big part of the people who present themselves as sheep when around actual people go apeshit once they have the option to type in some misspelled text and have the internet read it. As someone in his mid-20s myself I understand where you’re coming from though, although I recently dropped a lot of the swearwords that’d usually pass my lips in event of my daughter being born a couple of months ago. Which sort of locks me in a constant Miiverse-situation for the next 13 years I guess^^

        To get back on topic though, I’d like to think that the people who misbehave on the internet just demonstrate how much of a jerk they really are while those who moderate themselves are for the most part the only webbrowsing people worth dealing with.

        On a sidenote: time to go praising Mirror ability, Miiverse post-lenghts are up to 200 inputs! …although that doesn’t count for private messages which should be much longer to begin with. Oh, Nintendo…
        But boy, do I love Mirror myself! Apart from the enemy/helper looking like a tiny mage, which is neat, running looks badass and offers nice offensive abilities, shielding becomes inpenetrable and attacks reflect projectiles. How awesome is that?

  3. GoodbyeNavi says:

    Black magic and heavy moderation. But I will stick to black magic because Nintendo games are generally magical so their magic is seeping over into the Miiverse.

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