"So what's Nintendo," you ask, "and why should I care?"
May 29, 2015 11:53 PM   Subscribe

John Stossel on 20/20 in 1988: Nuts For Nintendo
posted by Pope Guilty (37 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Fun video, a lot of 'we don't understand, how do we analyze this'. I like how they worry about the kids being memorized then at the end John mentions that he and his wife stayed up late playing 'it'.

Also, homework sucks.
posted by Hicksu at 1:07 AM on May 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Nintendo is a contraction of two Spanish words "No Entiendo". Meaning "I don't understand".
posted by telstar at 2:20 AM on May 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


They pop the "cartridge" into this "deck" which attaches to any television set

This could only be better if the Nintendo punched Stossel in the face
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:25 AM on May 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


In fairness there are a lot of things which could be improved by John Stossel getting punched in the face.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:33 AM on May 30, 2015 [60 favorites]


Wow. It's like Atari never existed.
posted by TedW at 3:13 AM on May 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


America was still recovering from the long national nightmare that was the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial video game.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:59 AM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, yeah, Nintendo. They used to print Hanafuda cards. Whatever happened to them?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:17 AM on May 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


In fairness there are a lot of things which could be improved by John Stossel getting punched in the face.

Life itself, actually.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:46 AM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, yeah, Nintendo. They used to print Hanafuda cards. Whatever happened to them?

They're now making a killing in the collectible figurine business.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:22 AM on May 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


Interesting not just for the Nintendo part but also because it falls almost exactly in the middle of Stossel's transition from consumer reporter to libertarian talking point.
posted by box at 5:33 AM on May 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ein stoss fur Stossel.
posted by Segundus at 6:01 AM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Love the kid speaking truth at 4:41. "Yeah, because you don't know, you're a grownup, you ... you hardly do this!"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:01 AM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


John Stossel, when he worked for ABC, used to do his reporting on set with a shirt, tie, jacket and bicycle shorts on, the shorts being hidden behind the desk. And he has chicken legs that the PAs would all laugh at.

(actually true)
posted by nevercalm at 7:22 AM on May 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Interesting not just for the Nintendo part but also because it falls almost exactly in the middle of Stossel's transition from consumer reporter to libertarian talking point.

It also answers for me the question of "how did a man with such an insufferable tone and manner of delivery get a national TV reporting gig in the first place". The Stossel in that video is a very different man from the faux-outraged angry flailer we have today. But I guess in that industry you go with whatever gets you most noticed.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:36 AM on May 30, 2015


You're right, kid in 1988. Birdo IS the best.
posted by almostmanda at 9:01 AM on May 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


"I've done 7 stores a day for 3 weeks now..."

And I thought my getting up at like 8 am for the Wii was hardcore.
posted by symbioid at 9:30 AM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nintendo isn't what made us brain dead. Facebook and Twitter are what make us braindead.
posted by symbioid at 9:38 AM on May 30, 2015


OH NO WHAT WAS THE MUCH MORE SERIOUS REPORT BARBARA WAS JUST ABOUT TO DELIVER
posted by chococat at 10:00 AM on May 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I played lots of nintendo when I was younger, but Age of Empires was my particular poison. I played it for hours, and hours, and hours. I obsessed, I fantasized. I did the same thing with fantasy novels in the context of what I would later come to understand as a bondage fetish. Tunnel vision diversion was a modus operandi amidst a whirlwind of extracurriculars and the usual growing pains.

Nowadays I am on facebook several times a day along with Instagram, some reddit and a little snapchat here and there.

Somehow against all "odds" I have managed to develop healthy relationships with other people, I am a practicing artist achieving some degree of success for my age, I have several jobs where I feel respected and useful, I am in tune with most western cultural paradigms and I am constantly trying to figure out how to create nuance in a world full of trite oversimplifications.

I mean I could do with a lot less metafilter -- jesus christ what a time sink -- but this is where I learned how to care about shit so it's a tough doll to toss.
posted by an animate objects at 10:12 AM on May 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I still get a warm, childlike fearglow in my tummy when I think about playing Metroid for the first time on NES. I was 6, it scared the hell out of me and I wanted MORE.

Now...on this "x makes us braindead" tangent for a minute...

Nintendo made me interested in music. I'm now a semi-professional musician and composer. Computer games made me interested in how computers work. I'm now a very well-compensated IT professional.

And MetaFilter, what has this trivial little place done for me? Let's count them ways:
1. Made me a better listener
2. Helped me fully embrace my latent feminism
3. Made me more compassionate
4. Helped me decouple myself from ugly traditions
5. Helped me find more compassion for more people in my real actual life
6. Because of what I learn/discover on MeFi, I'm waaaaay more interesting at parties
7. Helped me realize and correct some bullying behaviors in my own actions

I could go on for days. Above all, however, MetaFilter has profoundly improved my writing skills. My writing ability has always been pretty good, but participating in the discourse around here has sharpened that so much that I regularly receive overwhelming praise, adulation, and requests for advice from my peers and colleagues because of my writing.

People in my real actual life are always going on and on saying "Oh! You could be a writer, you're so good with the words!" I tell them: I AM a writer. I write for pleasure every day.

All this is a bit of long-winded way to say that honestly, none of this is deadening our brains. Twitter, Facebook, MeFi, Nintendo, whatever. It does not matter. There are no trivial or unimportant experiences. It's just life!

Somehow, if you really want it to, the silliest of things can contribute to a better version of you. It's a choice we each make. Certainly we can dismiss it all as noise and dreck and a waste of time, but it only takes a little more effort to see the value that even the most asinine exchanges can have on a person.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:12 AM on May 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


This was surprisingly even-handed. The "but Americans invented this stuff, why is a Japanese company dominating" answered with the fact that Nintendo is a 100 year old company and saw the opportunity when the US game industry imploded (complete with newspaper clipping of Atari dumping games in a landfill). "Isn't it violent" met with "it's just animated characters." "Doesn't it rot your kid's brain" met with "my wife and I played it until 1 am." Ok, maybe that last one doesn't hold quite so much water.
posted by zsazsa at 11:15 AM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


symbioid, I went to best buy every morning for a week when a friend of mine wanted to get her cousin a Wii. It was actually very little trouble since it was close to where I lived and it took all of 5 minutes to see if they had gotten a shipment. Ironically, not an hour after I got home with it Amazon got some in stock and I scored a second one for myself. I should have sold it on eBay, TBH. I much preferred my PS3.
posted by wierdo at 11:45 AM on May 30, 2015


Though I'm patently anti-violence, I'd give a fair hearing to the argument that the world was improved, if ever so slightly, that time that pro wrestler actually did punch Mr. Stossel in the head back in the 80s for saying that wrestling was fake. I'd also entertain, however, that the temporary deafness Mr. Stossel suffered in one ear as a result was the genesis of the over-whelming case of tone-deafness he's become known for in the years since.
posted by riverlife at 12:00 PM on May 30, 2015


Weird that this is from 1988, though. I would have thought the scare stories would have started closer to its release. I forget when exactly I got mine, but it was definitely before Christmas '88, and many of my friends already had one at that point. Wasn't the US release in 1986?

I did get in on the SNES pretty early, though. It was my Christmas present the year it came out. It retroactively explained the unusually weak birthday presents I got that year. (My birthday is very close to Christmas, so expensive birthday meant cheap Christmas, I later realized) I learned about new release systems having hardly any games that year. I remember there being maybe 8 or 10 games on sale for it at the time, possibly less. Luckily Super Mario World was freaking awesome and Pilot Wings was pretty good, too.

And no, despite all the hours spent in front of the TV playing video games I still had plenty of time for Mr. Wizard and playing outside.
posted by wierdo at 12:05 PM on May 30, 2015


Stossel: What's good about it?
Kid: Birdo.


CORRECT ANSWER +1 GOOD JOB!
posted by byanyothername at 12:31 PM on May 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Help me out here: the game they showed that looked similar to Zelda II but had a dragon potentially being slayed, what was that???

What a fun clip from classic 20/20, I think they hit a good selection of games
posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:31 PM on May 30, 2015


the game they showed that looked similar to Zelda II but had a dragon potentially being slayed

That was Ironsword: Wizards and Warriors II, which was an early Rare title from back when they were primarily making media tie-in games and arcade ports for third-party publishers with the occasional original game thrown into the mix. It is infamous for being the only NES game to have Fabio on the box.
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:26 PM on May 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks!
posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:35 PM on May 30, 2015


I liked the part in the beginning when John Stossel interviewed an exact clone of himself in line outside the store.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:09 PM on May 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I remember watching this when it aired. I was 6 and way immersed in The Nintendo Life at that point, and I thought it was hilarious that adults were talking about this stuff so cluelessly. LOL adults. The kids in this clip know exactly what's up. #TeamBirdo
posted by naju at 5:49 PM on May 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm trying to figure out how they got the B-roll clip of Zelda 2 at the very end of the game in a pre-YouTube era.
posted by zixyer at 7:27 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nintendo has always been the champion at creating demand with shortages.
The latest one is Amiibo.
posted by eye of newt at 10:48 PM on May 30, 2015


I honestly don't think that Nintendo intends to have shortages. They just have very randomly successful products. No one predicted the level of success of the NES, Wii, or Amiibo, and it takes a long time to ramp up production.
posted by zixyer at 11:42 PM on May 30, 2015


There are no trivial or unimportant experiences. It's just life!

I'm mailing you a copy of Brandish for the SNES. Let me know how it goes.

j/k, I'm not that awful.
posted by ersatz at 5:29 AM on May 31, 2015


OH NO WHAT WAS THE MUCH MORE SERIOUS REPORT BARBARA WAS JUST ABOUT TO DELIVER

Jimmy Swaggart?
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:08 AM on May 31, 2015


Yeah, considering what a market failure the Wii U has been, I think Nintendo just decided to be conservative with Amiibo.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:19 AM on May 31, 2015


Considering that Nintendo is putting out limited edition Amiibos and quickly discontinuing some lines after coming out with them, I think they know exactly what they are doing.

(I forgot to mention that the video I posted gets a little bloody at the end).
posted by eye of newt at 11:21 AM on May 31, 2015


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