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

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.

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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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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