Are you Nintendo fanboys?
We specifically called ourselves ‘Nintendo Enthusiast’ for a reason. We believe you can be passionate about a game company while being honest about reality and without being blind to their faults. When you’re excited about a company, it’s hard to remain completely impartial but we try our best. If a game deserves a bad review, we’ll give it a bad review. If we think Nintendo made a bad move, we won’t hesitate to say it. However, we usually do hope Nintendo will succeed alongside the rest of the industry.
Do you consider yourselves journalists? Would you classify the content being published on the site as journalism?
There are many forms of writing you may find on the internet. We happen to be an eclectic amalgamism of many different writing ‘agendas’. The purpose of journalism is to inform the reader. Poetry and art are a tool for expressing oneself while letting others observer your personal ‘self’. Blogging is an informal and personal method of communicating with other readers an writers, allowing them to hear you out and then reciprocate and share their own opinions. Creative writing and creative media is a form of entertainment, meant to entertain the reader. ‘Enthusiast writing’ is meant to inspire and share the passion you have towards a hobby with other like-minded individuals, similar to what happens on forums around the internet.
On Nintendo Enthusiast, we inform, express ourselves, communicate, entertain, and share our passion for Nintendo. So, are we journalists? Not really. We subscribe to journalistic integrity and we constantly try our best to inform our readers, but we do a lot more than that. This is not journalism in its 100% purest form. Every day we succeed and fail at being journalists, bloggers, artists, entertainers, and mature enthusiasts.
So do you think you are better than your readers? Are you gamers or are you journalists?
We’re gamers. And we are our own readers. Nintendo Enthusiast was built around the philosophy that the ideal gaming site should be created by its own community. The Nintendo fanbase fuels this site. It just happens to be that some members contribute to the community’s responsibilities by writing. Others contribute by commenting on articles, by participating on the forums, by making videos, music, art, fan-games, etc. Any manifestation of passion for Nintendo is considered as being part of our community. We don’t think you need a fancy degree in order to write about Nintendo. Talent, intelligence, and a strong understanding of Nintendo can be found in multitudes within the Nintendo fanbase. There are common gamers to be found who have stronger ideas to share than journalists with advanced degrees. We invite anyone who feels they have what to offer to try out for the front page of the site by visiting the Writer’s Kitchen on the forums.
Ok, well then, are you a ‘writing’ site or a community? Is your focus on the front page or on the forums?
We try to be the ultimate Nintendo fan’s hub on the internet. The fulcrum around which the site revolves is not Nintendo, it is the Nintendo fan- the Nintendo Enthusiast. One need of the Nintendo Enthusiast is to be kept up to date with the latest Nintendo news and reviews. Another need is to find other Nintendo fans and create relationships with them online and offline. And lastly, Nintendo fans want to express their passion for Nintendo through creative mediums. So, our goal as a site is to satisfy the needs of the Nintendo Enthusiast as individuals and as a community.
Do you ever participate in activism within the gaming industry?
We try to take action whenever action is possible. It’s interesting to note that most of the original founders of Operation Rainfall are actually part of our staff. We love being a part of the ‘real world’, whether participating in movements, petitions, Kickstarter campaigns, events, connecting indie developers with Nintendo, doing our own in-house game development, or collaborating with other developers. Whenever we can take action which might lead to a good outcome for the Nintendo fanbase, we try to follow up on it.
Are you hipsters or mainstream gamers?
We try to cover all exciting parts of video game development for Nintendo systems, whether that means a first-party Nintendo game, an obscure third-party gem, or an innovative indie title. Our staff is made up of gamers with many diverse tastes. We try to make sure that whether you love indie games or mainstream games, you will be taken care of. We’re also big advocates of the indie scene, spotlighting many promising indie titles that may have been overlooked by mainstream news outlets.
What is your approach to a forum community?
The forums are meant to be a Nintendo haven for intelligent discussion on the internet, and a bastion against trolls and immaturity. Our policy is that policy is in the hands of the community. Rule changes can be proposed by anyone in the appropriate threads and if the majority of the users agree that such a change is needed, we make the change. This allows the entire forum to be molded by the community members themselves. We try to foster real relationships and create a tight-knit community for Nintendo fans. Heated debate and unique personalities are appreciated, as long as they rest on a foundation of respect for one’s peers. A balance between honesty and respect is the tenet on which the community rests upon. Being part of a community is a privilege to all of us and our quality as members and posters on the forum is held to a higher standard because of it. We also promote meeting other forums members in the real world, or at least playing online with one another.
What is your relationship with Nintendo, the company?
We are connected through PR channels and advertising channels but have no affiliation. Nintendo often assists us in being able to review their games with review copies of their games. Of course, Nintendo games are one of our biggest passions. However, we encourage gamers to develop their tastes and add extra dimension to their gaming lives by being well-versed in many different types of games and game companies. While no one is required to buy consoles from other manufacturers if they are perfectly satisified with Nintendo systems alone, we certainly discourage those who can’t tolerate gamers who have broad tastes. No one should be punished for not being ‘exclusively loyal’ to Nintendo.
How do you deal with finances and advertising?
Our sole purpose of running ads on the site is to ensure we can afford to ‘lock-in’ our incredibly talented staff members so that they can devote time to writing on the site rather than taking side-jobs for extra income. There are gaming sites with the mentality that business comes first and values come second. We have the opposite approach. Values always must come first. Business is only the means to keep the site running. It is a necessity of reality. If we had to sacrifice our values to remain viable as a site, we would rather close up shop entirely. We think this is why we’ve had such rapid growth over the past two years. Visitors recognize our values-first approach and find it a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the industry. They then go from being visitors to daily readers. We hope we can one day have a big impact on online gaming journalism.