Familiarity is a term that often comes to mind when we think of Nintendo. Mario, Luigi, Bowser, and Peach are faces anybody, gamer or not, will recognize. From kart racing, to board games, to tennis and baseball and more, Nintendo’s brand can be seen doing almost anything, a modern-day virtual answer to Barbie dolls and their vast array of professions. The Super Mario Bros franchise isn’t the only lineup Nintendo fans far and wide know, as The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and various others hold a top spot with fans and are just as easily recognized. One thing is certain, when you are immersed in a world crafted by Nintendo, you know it.
Shigeru Miyamoto, longtime game creator for Nintendo, has come out saying Nintendo stands out from the crowd because rather than considering Nintendo a company, he considers it a genre all its own. Odd, silly, and all-around fun make up the Nintendo genre, and the company has no plans to stop this branding any time soon.
While other companies have shifted focus to realistic graphics and big-budget action film plots, Nintendo chooses to see the kid in all of us and to create based on that. While I occasionally enjoy a darker story and out of this world graphics as much as the next gamer, when I pick up my controller, more often than not I want to see a smiling, cartoon-like face at the other end that will sweep me away to a land of castles, question mark blocks, and flying turtles I need to bop. Even those who prefer grittier games are almost guaranteed to enjoy the goofiness Nintendo provides. The genre of Nintendo brings joy to kids and adults alike, and it will continue to live on for years to come.