Friday, April 28, 2006

Peer Pressure!

The Revolution's cool new name also offers a cool new study in peer pressure.

When it was announced, there was a pretty much instantaneous shout of hatred. I am part of that shout.

However, a mere day later, a few diehard voices have posted how it's a decent name because - get this - it's nonconformist.

Now I'm watching other people hesitate in their scorn and say, "maaaaaybe..."

As fascinating a study in peer pressure as it is, there is no "maybe". Just because a name is nonconformist does not redeem it. Nuking Seattle is nonconformist. Drinking gasoline is nonconformist. These are not things that are redeemed because they "sock it to the man". They are, regardless of what the public thinks, still stupid.

I admit, I don't know the Japanese market. Maybe it's cool in Japan.

But it isn't cool here, and we're one hell of a major market to piss off. "It wasn't built for you, the hardcore gamer: it was built for the 'mainstream'!" they say.

What mainstream will like this name? Give me one market segment. Just one. And don't try to say "6-8 years old". I know children in that age bracket. They won't like this name.

This is not a cool name. It is not an acceptable name. It is like selling a car named "Nova" in Mexico. But this is the first time I've seen a linguistic idiocy hit us instead of the other way around.

So, to everyone who thinks the name will work out okay: if you're right, it's solely because Nintendo spends lots and lots of money on advertising the name. It will not "work out okay" on its own.


Textual Harassment said...

I think they should just drop the W and call it the ii. That would be plenty nonconformist but without any urological implications.

Visually, dropping the W would even be better at evoking the image of the controller. There could possibly be confusion with the Roman numeral 2, but that's something that can be solved through clever advertising.

Craig Perko said...

Actually, that's a pretty good solution.

Patrick Dugan said...

Another solution is to add a lower case "n" to the "Wii" and get "nWii" which implies more good things like "Nintendo is for all of us" and less bad things, like, you know, urine and stuff.

But I'm sure they'll market the hell out of it and people will be collectively peer pressured by the power of media to accept it. Its happened before and it can certainly happen again.

They've certainly picked a steep hill, however.

Corvus said...

I don't know, everyone I talked to about it in the store today seemed to think it was an all right name.

They were far more interested in hearing about the controller than the name anyway.

Craig Perko said...

Corvus: I don't have the context. What store? Were they employees?

And Blogger, give me a fucking break. With that I type "bqbqcqnw" as my "word" verification. At least, for once, I can read the damn thing.

Corvus said...

It's a retail outlet and they were customers from the ages of 10 to... probably 40.

My point was, whether or not the name is silly, they were far more interested in the possibilities of the controller than the name itself.

Craig Perko said...


Mory said...

I hate it too. It's like I've always said: Nintendo's marketing guys are a bunch of morons. I can't picture getting a non-gamer to play on something called a Wii.

On the other hand, I told my friend. He immediately liked it. I don't get it. He is unbelievably weird, though, so maybe it makes some sense.