‹ rotational

Nintendo the iOS game maker: part II

August 30, 2013 ・ Blog

There’s something something I failed to explain properly in my post about Nintendo as an iOS game developer – about the relationship between business and craft. But this story kind of gets to it, told by Robert Krulwich, the more down-to-earth and substance-concerned part of Radiolab.

He’s describing seeing a former colleague at CBS and traditional newspaperman, Charles Kuralt, being upset upon learning that CBS had hired a new boss for him, a man who had raised his previous station’s audience share from 6% to 50% by getting new, young and beautiful newscasters to report from the beach wearing beachwear “where they got kind of wet, showing off their extra beautiful parts”.

The natural reaction, as Krulwich observes, is that any business should get a 50 share of a market if it can.

But when Charles Kuralt went to CBS, it wasn’t a business. It was a calling.

For me, that’s Nintendo, too. Today, it’s slowly sinking into deep trouble, with little sign of a clear path out of it. But to lose its hardware side would be to lose something integral – its beautiful grasp of the relationship between game design and hardware design. Game creation is far more important than mere business, just as journalism is (or should be). It’s a calling.

For Nintendo to become just another developer and give up the greater language of interaction that buttons afford over touchscreens would really be a tragedy.