originals\ Nov 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

Nintendo’s restrictive online community may have paid off

Nintendo’s Restrictive Online Community May Have Paid Off

When they entered the online gaming market, Nintendo’s policies weren’t exactly the most popular thing in the world. The lack of voice chat, the frustrating process of adding friends, and the complete non-semblance of a community was extremely off-putting. Yet here I am, in 2013, ready to praise the online community for Nintendo, specifically the one in Pokémon X and Y.

One of the problems created with Nintendo’s online efforts is actually a solution to issues that plague Xbox Live. There’s no real effective way to communicate with others. This means that not only does it cut down on the stereotypical pre-pubescent slander that fills your headphones, but it also creates an environment of people that actually want to work together. After all, they had to jump through hoops to converse and congregate over internet, so why wouldn’t they want to cooperate?

The results are pretty impressive.

Two of the most popular end-game features of Pokemon X and Y are the Friend Safari and Wonder Trade. The former is the game’s version of the popular Safari Zone attraction, only there’s no limit on time spent, no Safari Zone balls, and no pre-set Pokémon that appear. Instead, your Nintendo 3DS friends each have their own triumvirate of Pokémon that can be seen in their zone. For example, a friend of mine has three Dark-types appear, another friend has three Water-types, and a third friend has three Flying-types.

At a glance, the process can seem not only confusing, but also selfish. Why should I become friends with someone whose types I’m not looking for? How do we even find people to check our safari type? What if someone doesn’t have any friends registered on their 3DS?

Enter the wonderful people at r/friendsafari, the subreddit entirely dedicated to the Friend Safari in Pokemon X and Y. Here are some of the features and people you’ll find and meet:

  • People who will check safari types and not expect any type of compensation.
  • People who will regularly clean out their friends list and add more people so others can get a desired Pokémon; I’m looking at you, Ditto.
  • People who police the subreddit in order to alert others about liars and scammers.
  • People who just want to add anyone and everyone.

Could all of this have happened if the restrictions on Nintendo’s internet presence weren’t in place? It’s possible. For all we know, Nintendo could have easily set up their own gathering for Friend Safari. It could have been inhabited with the same type of people. But you know who would also inhabit it? Those Xbox Live people we all know and hate, and since it would have been a Nintendo thing, it wouldn’t have necessarily been self-policed.

So while others may dream of Nintendo offering an open internet eco-system, they’re doing just fine as it is. They’re keeping it a safe and friendly place. The gamers are making the open gathering points a welcoming place. It’s a win-win. 

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