Is anybody talking with a friend over IM right now? Have you ever? Congrats, because you’re using a form of the much maligned Nintendo Friend Code system. And I bet you’ve never complained about IM screen names, have you? And when you get an unsolicited IM from some stranger, it’s a bit of a shock?
Thus, IMO the Nintendo Friend Code system begins to lose it’s black mark as a tedious system, and it’s real focus emerges: to bring in people who would have never, ever gone gaming online as it exists in its present form.
Friend codes only serve as a means to control who you interact with in a personal way online, and I think they are a good thing. They are the means by which I can shield myself online from the stereotypical online gamer who will spray racial epithets at me while squatting over my fragged corpse. And that is the very thing that’s kept me from wanting to play games online with strangers this long.
And how about that game-by-game Friend Code annoyance? Aeropause has that covered too:
I should have put this in the post, but it didn’t really occur to me until I was thinking about what I had written. But yes, it does make sense to go game-by-game. If you trade friend codes with someone you want to race in Mario Kart DS, and then you go and play Animal Crossing, they could show up in your town and start cutting down trees. You understand? Someone you’d race is not necessarily someone you’d want to visit your town.
It’s annoying, but it’s how Nintendo is going to roll. It’s like taxes, I suppose. It’s something everybody is going to have to do, whether they complain or not. However, once in a while, you get a nice, fat refund. That refund, to me, is not having to deal with all the crap that currently pollutes the wide open gates of online gaming today. Instead, I get a more manageable, if slightly annoying to configure, “buddy list” that I know is going to be gangbusters ever time I go online.