Let’s vibe to vibe a second…
Will Smith’s song “Switch” was the first rap song that I really enjoyed listening to and then I went down a rabbit hole of listening to nothing but rap music for the next few years… thanks to Will Smith and “Lost and Found.” I used to freestyle rap a lot and write “raps.” Yeah.. I was a lost cause.”Switch” is still a good song, it turns out… even though it is over 10 years old now. Yes… 10 years old.
HEYYYYY! Turn it over and switch!
But I’m not going to be talking about Will Smith or rap music tonight… so sorry about getting your hopes up about “white boy writing about rap music.” I’m going to be talking about a different kind of switch… of the Nintendo variety.
Nintendo switching their approach
Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard something about this console whether is be positive or negative. Let me give you my take on this console and what I think of video games as an art form. Yes… I believe video games are an art form and the second-best form of storytelling next to reading a book.
The Nintendo Switch is the latest console to come from Nintendo and comes after the very unsuccessful WiiU. You don’t know what WiiU is or never heard of it? Don’t worry… you aren’t alone in that category. Nintendo has an interesting hook with this new console and it is the reason why it has the “Switch” branding: it functions both and a home console you hook up to your TV and as a handheld that you can play on the go (much like an Gameboy or Nintendo 3DS.) People should be head over heels over this thing, right? A Nintendo console where you can play Mario and Zelda games on the good with much better graphics?? Sign me up! Well… not so fast.. people are not so head over heels on this console… at least not yet.
The Switch retails for $299.99. Not a bad price for a console if we get down to brass tax. The problem that many people have is that… well… there isn’t much to play on this console on Day 1. You have the new Zelda game, which looks pretty damn impressive, a gimmicky motion-control party game thing called 1,2, Switch! where one of the games has you milking a cow. I kid you not… one of the games actually has you milking a cow.
Needless to say… that game doesn’t look all that great.. but that Zelda game! Holy crap! Look at this trailer!
Yes… you can play that game on WiiU.. but who has one of those or wants to play it on something like that? LEMME PLAY MY ZELDA ON THE GO!
Other than that… there’s no big releases on day 1 of the Switch.. which people are upset about… and it’s a good reason why. There are many other reasons why people are upset.. but I won’t bore you with all of those details. There are other games coming out throughout the year that are pretty damn promising. Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey will be big hits for the Switch.
Yes… Mario is in New Donk City. NEW DONK CITY! I feel like Jay-Z and Alicia Keys should rewrite Emprie State of Mind for New Donk City. Now you’re in NEW DOOOONNNKKK.
Anyway.. if you were thinking about getting a Switch on day 1, you are pretty much out of luck. Preorders are reportedly sold out everywhere which is not shocking with a company like Nintendo… remember the fiasco with the NES Classic?
People love playing Nintendo consoles because it reminds them of their childhoods. If adults have children, it’s a way to connect with their children and give them a glimpse at what their childhood was like while giving their child a great experience. That’s a main reason why people love buying Nintendo products.
Me? I love playing Nintendo games. Zelda has been on my radar for years, Splatoon 2 will be something I sink many hours into.. and having something where I can play those games on the go… sign me up!
So I preordered one and have it paid off.
I got a pretty good deal on it. Gamestop had a deal where I could get $75 extra dollars of trade-in credit when I traded in my WiiU… so I got $195 in credit for my WiiU… add the games I had with that and I bought a Switch for around $20. I’ll take that deal any day of the week.
Art is dead
Since I’m on the topic of video games, I thought this would be the perfect time to rant about something that I am pretty passionate about: games as an art form. This is a more contentious debate than you may think. A simple Google search will render thousands of arguments for and against games as an art form and most of them are pretty fascinating reads.
Video games are something that I believe can be a very powerful art form… when done correctly. For example, my all-time favorite game is called “Bioshock.” It takes place in a dystopian underwater world called Rapture. Many of the themes are taken from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Through the game, you experience what lead to the downfall of this once great utopia and witness the degradation of the human condition and the corruption of power. It’s a game is only as powerful as it is because you are there through the eyes of the protagonist. You are partaking in the events that are affecting the future (or lack thereof) of Rapture. It’s something that you can only experience through a video game. Art always conveys some kind of story.. so video games have to fit into this category.
Of course, not all games are great at the art. In fact.. some are terrible and shouldn’t be considered games at all. I feel that way about a lot of paintings too…
The United States Supreme Court is also in my corner on this one. Back in 2011, the Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association and ruled that video games are protected speech and should be treated as other forms of media. California was trying to pass a law to prohibit the sale of mature video games to anyone under the age of 18. This, as history shows, faced many legal challenges which led to this decision by the Supreme Court. I could continue on this subject because the history around this case is fascinating.
Video games are pretty cool. I enjoy coming home from work and unwinding with an hour of a good game followed by a good book. Not only is a good art form.. but it can bring a group of friends together and relax and shoot each other in the face… and what is more relaxing than that? That’s right… not much.
I’m kind of all over the place on this topic… but I felt like it was a different thing to talk about other than the political crap I’ve been talking about recently. There will be much more to talk about in relation to that… Inauguration Day is on Friday. I REPEAT: Inauguration Day is on Friday.
I want to try and do more in-depth pieces (like digging into the Supreme Court case I mentioned) but time seems to never be on my side. So I’m going to see what happens. Ive been writing a lot more and I love it… but it takes up a ton of time when I already didn’t have a lot of free time to begin with. So I’ll be back Wednesday talking about who knows what… so until then, give me a follow on Twitter @RyanFinfrock. Let me know if you liked this change of pace and different topic. I know it was nice, for me, to talk about something different for a change.
TURN AROUND NOW! Switch!