It’s easy to say that the Nintendo Switch represents the best of gaming. 

It’s portable, there are great games, it has engaging graphics, you don’t have to quit just because you’re moving locations. Yet not all of these points are good.

Nintendo Switch: The Worst of gaming.

Go back to the launch trailer and watch from :30 – :45 again. I’ve quick-linked it here so it will start at 30 seconds.

Notice anything? Let’s take a moment to reflect:

  • Dog walks up to owner asking for attention.
  • Guy dutifully stands, pulls his gaming device from it’s holder, and saunters out into the free air.
  • Dog runs around park. By himself.
  • Guy sits on a bench and willingly chains his mind to his (albeit epic) game.
  • What was missed for fun? The sunset, needy dog, and opportunity for connection with reality. (seriously, you can see the dog running around in the distance by itself)

And this is Nintendo’s selling point. And not just once. Don’t miss such excellent selling points like: “You can game instead of…”

It seems we may have come too far when a gaming company is selling the idea of gaming over other forms of interaction as a good thing.

Serious gaming – Serious questions

The Nintendo Switch is an incredible idea that promises to overcome many of the obstacles of mobile and console gaming:

  • it’s versatile
  • it has an excellent game heritage
  • is graphically advanced enough to appeal to casual and core gamers
  • it isn’t held down by the wires and internet of other systems.

Yet the promises of the Switch also raise serious questions about where our gaming habits seem to be going.

  • Why don’t we want to walking away from our games every now and then?
  • Why do we feel we’d want to drop a few hundred bucks for the opportunity to never be away from our favorite game?
  • Does this system say more about gaming companies, or more about us as gamers?

The Verdict

The Nintendo Switch isn’t a statement just about the best and worst in gaming. It reflects the best and worst in us. We need to make sure that, whatever we do for fun, we remain able to walk away and engage in the relationships and opportunities that can make powerful changes in the real world.