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You Will Be Missed – Miiverse February 7, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, You Will Be Missed.

When the Nintendo Wii U launched back in November 2012, it featured a novel social media component which took full advantage of the Wii U’s unique touch screen controller. The service was called Miiverse and it was a completely free social network for Nintendo players to share their thoughts about the latest games. It was a great service which even got ported to Nintendo 3DS systems and PC.

When Miiverse launched it was everything I could ever have wanted in a social network. Like any forum, users could post their thoughts in text form, but thanks to the Wii U gamepad’s touch screen, users could also publish original art just as easily. Since this was a service for all-ages, Nintendo did a decent job moderating the service from publishing anything obscene. Miiverse felt to me like an incredible social network that was the exact opposite of Facebook. Players could get together to share their thoughts, art and screenshots on every Wii U game (and some 3DS games) as they played. It was glorious.

Before we get things started I just need to make one thing clear, I hate Facebook. That website is an utter privacy nightmare that runs like it is held together with chewing gum. To me, it spat in the face of the original rules of the internet, and only serves as a method for the il-informed to spread nonsense to their friends and family. Miiverse on the other hand embraced what it was, a place for gamers to share their love of Nintendo and gaming.

But there was more to Miiverse than just its social media component, the ‘verse was a haven for creative fan art. Sometimes, Nintendo would do things with that art, like how they managed the community features of Splatoon’s occasional Splatfest!

So with such a successful service that seemed to do everything right at launch, why would Nintendo choose to shut it down? Was it too successful or were cracks starting to appear in Miiverse’s foundation? The answer is complicated.

I think the first cracks started to appear in Miiverse’s foundation when Nintendo changed their moderation policies for absolutely no reason. A year after the service launched, all users received a restriction on how many times they were allowed to post per day. For those of you who don’t use social networks, limiting posting is usually a penalty moderators will impose on new users, or users who had violated a community rule. Nintendo never provided the community they created a decent reason why they chose to treat all the users keeping their community alive like they were on probation, but it certainly rubbed me the wrong way. Thankfully other Nintendo fan communities started to rise up around the same time Nintendo imposed these rules, and I moved on from Miiverse.

Eventually, Miiverse’s time appeared to run out. Miiverse support was not included with the Nintendo Switch, and the Wii U was getting harder to find on shelves. When I say Miiverse will be missed, I say I will miss it the way it was originally designed. Until then I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next great Nintendo fan community.


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