Playing Call of Duty today, I had the honor of facing off against someone with the ID “JuanGassyMexican” (or something really close to that). By “honor”, I mean, extreme annoyance, of course. At this point, over a year into Wii U’s lifecycle, Nintendo Network remains a grab bag of racial slurs and insults with no defense for the player. I know that Nintendo is still coming to terms with having as intricate an online network as it now does on Wii U, but we’re way past the point where growing pains can be used as an excuse.
Being innovators and following a different drummer than everyone else is great, but there are times when certain standards just need to be adhered to. There’s a reason no one makes square wheels; it just doesn’t make sense. Being different just because isn’t always useful, and in some cases, is more distracting than anything else. Not being able to report racist morons easily on Nintendo Network like I can on XBox Live is a case of square wheels.
It’s a matter of a few simple button presses to turn someone in on Microsoft’s over eight year old system. How anyone at Nintendo of Japan could have not thought that such a feature would be absolutely necessary for Wii U is mind boggling to me. It’s basic customer service, yet the same company behind the overly redundant and cumbersome Friend Code system hasn’t even given a tiny indication that they’re concerned about it.
The whole situation irks me, because it’s insulting as a consumer. I don’t feel like tolerating some cave man’s blithering attempts at humor/hatred, particularly when I have no way of striking back. Sure, I can write down every inappropriate Nintendo Network ID I see and email Nintendo about them individually, but when the situation was resolved by a rival company almost a decade ago, I can’t help but be irritated. I love playing my Wii U, and I love the games that Nintendo makes for it, but it’s all the little details that seem to trip NIntendo up lately and I can’t figure out why. This isn’t rocket science, Nintendo. Being in your own bubble is fine, but if you’re going to invite people into it, make sure the environment is livable. Right now, it’s not.