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Bowser and Bowser Jr Outline the Switch's Parental Controls in a Warm Family Drama

You find the "Nintendo Difference" in the oddest places, but we're not complaining.

News by Nadia Oxford, .

However you feel about last night's Switch presentation, there's one takeaway we can all agree on: Nintendo is always going to do things with its own flavor and flourish. That can either be a bad thing or a good thing, depending on the situation.

Nintendo's personal touch is noticeably welcome in one area: A video it put together about an app that controls the Switch's parental controls. Rather than cobbling together a dry "How To" video, Nintendo animated a small war of wills between the game-loving Bowser Jr and his concerned father. It's kind of adorable, especially when Bowser jumps in to "block" a fleet of marauding Internet creepers (represented by a pack of Boos) from his naive boy.

The family drama does more than remind parents that video games can be a major source of friction between kids and their guardians, though. It includes scenes of Bowser and Bowser Jr bonding over games (especially the ones that make Mario suffer to some degree), and it actively encourages parents to love games right alongside their charges.

If things do get out of hand, the Switch's parental controls app includes a feature that puts the Switch into sleep mode mid-game if need be. The video's narrator suggests this is a "last resort" with gentle humor, as Nintendo likely understands having a game cut out from under you can be kind of devastating. Not every game has an auto-save feature, so suddenly losing control of what you're playing can erase hours of work. Those of us who grew up with console games in the '80s and '90s still have flashbacks of impatient parents hitting the power switch and disregarding our pleas to "just let me saaaave!"

The Switch's meager launch lineup (which admittedly only looks meager at the time of this writing, and still has time to beef up with some good reveals) may be cause for concern, but Nintendo's clearly prepared to go the distance with parental controls. It's as committed as ever to its family image, but it's not afraid to have a little fun with it.

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Comments 4

  • Avatar for MattG #1 MattG 11 months ago
    Who'd have thought of all of the Mario characters that it would be Bowser who is the most responsible?
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  • Avatar for mattcom26 #2 mattcom26 11 months ago
    @MattG I suppose he's finally grown up even if his preternatural children haven't...
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  • Avatar for UnskippableCutscene #3 UnskippableCutscene 11 months ago
    Bowser seems pretty consistently to be about 7-10 years older than I am.

    When I was a kid playing SMB1, he was a weird looking gangly dude not unlike a teenager
    When I was about 8 and got a SNES, he started to sort of look like what he'd look like as an adult, and got a car.
    By the time I was a teenager with an N64, he was an arrogant 20-something who thought the world revolved around him. And finally by the time I'm 20 and Mario Sunshine comes out, Bowser becomes a Dad.

    And now many of my friends have children, and Bowser is more relatable than Mario is at this stage. Weird.Edited January 2017 by UnskippableCutscene
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #4 LBD_Nytetrayn 11 months ago
    Out of everything Nintendo has shown this week, this video is by far and away the best.
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