It’s On Like Donkey Kong, And In 3D No Less

Nintendo brand ambassadors gathered in the lobby of Nintendo’s amazing headquarters after a fun day playing the new Nintendo 3DS.

As a big-haired high school senior in 1987 I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor of my then boyfriend’s (now husband) house playing Mario on the TV. Now my girls can play 3D games on a hand-held portable game system smaller than a paperback book.

We’ve come a long way baby! And so has my hair, most days.

Last month I traveled to Seattle for a tour of the fantastic Nintendo World Headquarters located in Redmond, Washington. Not only is this a gorgeous eco-friendly facility, but you can tell from the enthusiasm of Nintendo’s employees that this is not only a place to work, but a fun and vibrant corporate culture. Nintendo employees actually have a soccer field on the grounds that they can enjoy and we all ooohed and aaaahed at this when our bus pulled up to headquarters.  I think every Nintendo employee I met was carrying around their Nintendo 3DS, trying to capture Street Pass points or add a new Mii to their network of friends.

This is all gamer geek speak to you, no?

There were nearly 100 of us from all over the country–bloggers, writers, gamers, techies, and Nintendo enthusiasts–attending this special Nintendo 3DS unveil. We’ve all worked with Nintendo as brand ambassadors over the past few years but this was the first time we’d all gathered under one roof. It was indeed a treat to not only learn more about Nintendo as a company, but to personally get my hands on a Nintendo 3DS. Of course my girls were THRILLED that I brought one of these bad boys home along with super cute Mario wallets from the official Nintendo headquarters gift shop. Oh, and after my unexpected layover in Denver with four of my Nashville blogger friends, I think my girls were glad to see me, too.

Once we arrived at Nintendo we were warmly welcomed by Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO of Nintendo of America, as well as the fabulous company who coordinated the event–Brand About Town. We spent most of the day divided into groups getting familiar with the games, always under the very helpful eye of Nintendo employees which was especially comforting for those of us less “gamer” confident (raises hand). We also were given a tour of this beautifully designed, eco-friendly building. Even the comfortably modern, chic benches in the hallways are designed to look like game control pads and each quadrant of the building is color-coded and named after Mario, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and Wario. The beautiful floors are bamboo and the building features a rainwater filtration system and a “living” rooftop covered with plants that help insulate the building.

Honestly I am not much of a gamer, although I do love our Wii, but I found myself playing Face Invaders on the long flight home and loving it. I felt like the cool kid on the block with the newest high-tech gadget as I whipped out my sleek, black 3DS from my purse. So if that was you sitting next to a 41-year-old soccer mom shooting at Christian Slater’s head (whom I snapped a picture of with the build-in 3D camera while watching inflight TV) during a game of Face Raiders, I apologize, but it sure beat the heck out of browsing the Sky Mall catalog. I also made sure I purchased the Steel Divers game at the Nintendo headquarters store. This was one of my favorite games I tested as you actually must physically turn around completely while holding the game system in order to view and aim at all the enemy ships. It really takes the game to a whole new level of reality.

One of our favorite Nintendo 3DS games comes with each unit and it’s the AR or Augmented Reality cards. These will blow your mind. Although they look like small, ordinary cards, when viewed through the Nintendo 3DS they become animated and you can slay a dragon, shoot at targets, etc. The cards literally come to life and it’s really quite amazing. While at Nintendo I also played PilotWings Resort (on my must buy list as the 3D effect is particularly cool as you maneuver your airplane), Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (definitely not suitable for kids but a blast to play and a good stress reliever), nintendogs (cute, but more my girls’ speed), and speaking of speed, Asphalt 3D, which I played in team mode with everyone gathered around my table. I proceeded to get left in the dust. So I am NOT the next Danica Patrick. It’s confirmed.

Some of favorite Nintendo 3DS features:

  • The level of 3D is adjustable and you can also turn it off completely
  • Parental controls
  • Built in 3D camera (YES WAY)
  • Built in Face Raiders game, which is great fun, especially since you can take pictures of your friends and family and add them to the game
  • Plays regular Nintendo DS games
  • Will have the ability to play Netflix movies next year (yea!)
  • It clearly states that it is NOT intended for children ages 7 and younger
  • The Augmented Reality (AR) cards that come with the system are really in and of themselves completely amazing

The Nintendo 3DS also enables you to customize your own Mii and interact with other players via a feature called Street Pass. We all had a great time testing this out during the evening reception and dinner following our day at Nintendo. Honestly, though, I am not completely sold on this feature for use by my kids, but that’s the beauty of a well-designed parental controls system.

The Nintendo 3DS is a pretty mind-blowing technology and my resident gamer girl gives it a thumbs up, and a big smile.

Disclosure: I am a Nintendo brand ambassador and my trip to Seattle was paid for by Nintendo. All opinions in this post are mine.


  1. lifeinapinkfibro says:

    Oh what fun you have! I went to a friend’s place the other day and his son was playing one of those bright orange Donkey Kong games from the 80s. His Dad, bless him, had saved it all these years and the kid loves it. Is amazing how far it’s all come!

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