Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Concerning Marriage

Marriage is a comfort. A familiar scent that gets into your nose and the spaces between your ears that you halfheartedly wash during whudu.

But marriage is not easy. It demands a balance. Between rationality and emotion. It demands patience. And apologies for things that you did not do, for errors you did not make. Because apologies in marriage is not about who is right or wrong. Apologies are about moving past the sticky molasses that drags you down, beats you and cuts you up. Apologies are about realising that marriage is bigger than a moment of anger.
My wife used to be a little insecure. About my loves. Insecure about things that I could not change. People I could not erase and words that were marks on a whiteboard. Streaks wiped over with blotted paper and selective editing. I don't hold onto these words. But I appreciate them for what they are. Distant memories of a time before her.

Marriage is exciting.

It is a rollercoaster thrill. Without the tedious wait or the smell of evaporated vomit.

Marriage is sobering.

Its the moments between dishes, and the contentment of letting your guard down.

Marriage is true.

Devoid of pretension and falseness.

Marriage is great.


Monday, April 23, 2012

7 ideas for Nintendo South Africa

The Nintendo Wii has plateaued, with sales now dropping at an alarming base. Here are seven ideas for Nintendo to use to help them bolster their position and regain any lost ground (and if Nintendo is reading this and they like any ideas – a free 3DS with Super Mario 3D would be great)

1. Make Mario the face of Movember.

The Movember campaign has gained considerable speed, and who better to be the face (or moustache) of the campaign than Nintendo’s flagship character. Older gamers who grew up on Mario’s adventures will be targeted through magazines like FHM and Mens Health. This does not have to be a exclusively symbolic campaign but can feed into Nintendo’s CSI initiatives – I have identified a few local cancer organisations that Nintendo could partner with (like Cansa) to roll out this campaign. A small percentage from sales of a particular title could be given to Cansa.

2. Update the facebook page

The bane of social media is that information needs to be updated on a regular basis. The official Nintendo SA facebook page (please remove distributor from your name) has not been updated in a while – the info page still says ‘3DS. Coming soon!’ Also, I’m wary of getting followers by giving away prizes. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for prizes, but some of them need to be earned. Which brings me to

3. Link with Draw Something

Draw Something has exploded onto the market with 50 million downloads in 5 weeks. One of the possible drawings that you could get is Mario. Why not combine these two gaming juggernauts – you can have a Mario Draw Something competition – get folks to pose with their Mario pics (so that we can verify that it is their work and not ripped from the net) and award prizes like that, as opposed to the current lucky packet method.

4. Dust off that Wii

I don’t think that Nintendo should chase after new markets (or the hardcore Modern warfare fan). Rather, they should concentrate on people who have bought the Wii, played bowling for a couple of months and then put it away. I would rather plan a campaign to get people back to playing wii as opposed to chasing those who don’t have one yet. Software makes money, not hardware.

5. Create a Mario Kart league for schools

One of my fondest memories growing up was playing Mario kart 64 with my little sister. The game was made for multiplayer – why should we approach the new one any differently. I suggest that Nintendo get in touch with select schools across the country – I would target schools that belong to the company I work for, Advtech (they own Crawford etc) and have a huge Mario kart tournament. All you need is a couple of Nintendo 3DS’s, a digital scoreboard and a few prizes – I did something similar with Standard Bank’s achiever account last year to great success. The Nintendo 3DS has to be seen to be experienced – TV spots don’t do the 3D effect justice. The more impressionable hands we get it into, the better.

6. More exposure in local media (including websites and print)

I had a cursory glance at some of the bigger gaming websites in the country (Mygaming, lazygamer, mydigitallife etc) and unlike the PS3 and Xbox reviews which are up every week, Nintendo hardly features. I review PS3 games for Mydigitallife and occasionally write a gaming related column for the Sunday Tribune, and I don’t get that much exposure to Nintendo either – This is problematic because the moment Nintendo leaves the gamers consciousness, it stops becoming relevant.

7. New Super Mario Bros 2

Nintendo need to get behind this title in a big way. It comes out in August, so the hype machine should start now. The 3DS wasn’t great at all until Super Mario 3D was released last year, and proved to be a system seller. Nintendo need to ride the momentum by hyping this title.

Do you have any ideas?