Monday, April 4, 2011

#nintendoenthused

I just can't NOT talk about it. Last week I flew to Seattle—well, near Seattle—with a bajillion other bloggers and we went to Nintendo America's headquarters to celebrate the launch of the Nintendo 3DS. It was AWESOME.

I am going to spend a few days playing with the Nintendo 3DS before I write my official review of it, but I can tell you that it is a cool little machine. You can use it in 3D or 2D mode and it works without 3D glasses. It's kind of amazing. (And by "kind of amazing," I mean, "super incredible amazing.")

We got to spend the day playing all kinds of different games, from nintendogs + cats to Super Street Fighter IV to the game I bought for "my kids," Asphalt 3D (plus a bunch more cool games).

Me, playing something awesome.

They set us loose in the Nintendo store with a gift certificate, an employee discount, and more merchandise than we could possibly stuff in our suitcases, even if we could afford it all. I bought some well-received little plushies, some birthday gifts, and that one game. Much of that came from my own wallet, but how could I NOT buy something that would make my kiddos so happy?



See? Well received.

We had been divided into groups to move around all of the different stations they had set up for us over the course of the day. I tend to be a Yoshi or Bowser girl myself, but I ended up in the Diddy Kong group, led by the lovely Lili.

Team Diddy Kong!

One of the coolest things about our day at Nintendo is that we got to talk to a lot of the company's employees. I can't tell you how many people referred to their work there as their "dream job." That's pretty cool. They all seemed so excited about the company and their part in working for it. I don't think that's something you see at a lot of humongous corporations.

I was hoping to stake out a little cubicle or two for my kiddos to move into when they mature into working age. Quinn even had a whole list of things he wanted me to tell the Nintendo people about games he was going to design for them.

And it wasn't even just that the employees were so happy there, but also that the building itself was one of the most amazing and whimsical places I have been in my life. Sadly, we were under strict orders to NOT PHOTOGRAPH ANYTHING outside of the main conference room or THE ENTIRE DAY WILL BE CANCELED FOR EVERYBODY!

My camera hand was twitchy the whole day, but in order to NOT be THE PERSON WHO RUINED IT FOR EVERYONE, I restrained myself. This is what I have instead of photos:


Lest you think I exaggerate, let me give you some highlights. Instead of silhouettes of men and women on the signs for the bathrooms, they had silhouettes of Mario and Princess Peach. (And, yes, they had employees escort us to the bathroom.) Their conference rooms were all named after Nintendo characters or locations: Toad Conference Room, Bowser Conference Room, Star Road Conference Room.

The building is divided into four quadrants based on Nintendo characters. Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and other characters were all over the walls in a very tasteful but delightful way. The building sports a huge living roof. Even blank walls were painted ridiculously bright and happy colors. The seating in the hallways is shaped like the D-Pad control pad.

I could go on, but I can't remember everything I saw because I wasn't allowed to take photos. Did I mention that?

Everything about this building was phenomenal. I badly wanted to stow away there. I could have very happily existed there for many years, as long as they allowed my kids and Alex to visit. Especially if all I had to do was play Nintendo games.

Let's see, what else? Oh, yeah, every time I turned around, they were giving us more food and drinks and I got to meet or hang out with fantastic bloggers. Maggie and Kimberly and Amie and Shash and Kimberly and Marisa and Ilina and Jen and Maria and Julie and VDog and all kinds of Katies and everyone else.

Dinner at Black Bottle in Seattle on Friday night is one of the most fun meals I have had in months. It was extra cool because Jen and Marisa, who are food bloggers, told Maggie, Ilina and I all about our food. I laughed more that I have in a long time. Also, I got really drunk and then was driven back to a comfy hotel where I had a room all by myself, which is not a situation I have been in for probably ten years. Awesomesauce.

Now I just have to catch up on all the dull, non-brightly colored things I missed while I was out of town. As soon as I do that, I am giving myself permission to play Nintendo 3DS for hours and hours in the name of research so I can write my review.

Honesty Clause: I am a Nintendo Brand Ambassador and received much for free last weekend, including airfare, hotel, food, a Nintendo 3DS, and margaritas. Why, yes, I have sold my soul to Nintendo, but I would have given it to them for free. All opinions expressed are mine and no one told me I had to write about this trip. Thank you to Nintendo, Brand About Town, and Justine Meek. Y'all are awesome.