Nintendo tries to trademark the phrase 'It's on like Donkey Kong'

By David Kiefaber on Mon Nov 15 2010

Donkey-kong-country-returns

Looks like Nintendo finally heard someone say "It's on like Donkey Kong," because the video-game company is trying to trademark the phrase before Donkey Kong Country Returns is released later this month. I'm not sure if they're doing this in good faith, or if it's just a weird, roundabout way to promote the game, but it's a shallow cash grab that makes them look as clueless and greedy as the music industry. They don't need to own that saying. Nothing's being taken from them in strict monetary terms, and pop-culture aphorisms like that one keep their intellectual property alive in ways that wouldn't happen when there's a price tag dangling from it. Now, granted, a lot of game companies try to swallow up phrases like this before a new game drops, but this is a fan-generated saying that's been around since 1992 at least, so I'm hoping it's just a publicity stunt. In case it isn't, I'll forgive Nintendo if they settle infringement lawsuits by throwing barrels at the accused.

What good is a doll that can't hook into a video-game console?

Posted on Thu Nov 19 2009

Wiibaby

Nintendo is taking the concept of doll play to a whole new level with the upcoming release of Baby and Me, a video game where you hook a doll up to the Wii console. The blogosphere has been buzzing about the game, which will reportedly launch in Australia this December. Baby and Me is meant to measure how good of a parent the player would be, and judging from the packaging, it's targeted at young girls. By strapping a Wii remote to an existing doll, or purchasing an already enabled Wii doll, players can use the "baby mode" to take care of the doll (rocking it to sleep with the help of motion sensitive rocking movements, for example), or have a little fun using the "play mode." The remote allows the doll to respond by giggling, crying and making other typical baby sounds. I think the classic baby doll (the one without the remote) does a fine job of satisfying the needs of little girls, who don't necessarily need to learn about parenthood at age 5. I can, however, see these dolls being used in high schools to teach teenagers the importance of safe sex.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Nintendo Wii great for playing games and also mowing the lawn

Posted on Mon Apr 13 2009

The year 2001 didn't pan out the way that Stanley Kubrick had envisioned, but the age of the Jetsons may be upon us. In this video, a scientist at the Southern University of Denmark shows off a previously unknown use for Nintendo's Wii: as the brains for a lawn mower. As rigged up here, mowing the lawn is as easy as playing a game of Wii Tennis, only possibly more fun. For those who think rigging up a Wii lawnmower is too much work, there's AutoLawnMow, which appears to be sort of an outdoor Roomba. Unfortunately, you have a live in Ireland to get the AutoLawnMow.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Beyonce is totally in love with the Nintendo DSi, and vice versa

Posted on Mon Apr 6 2009

It must be nice to be a big star like Beyonce. All she has to do is spend a few minutes enjoying a game on a Nintendo DSi, and the next thing you know, people are watching the clip all over the Internet. This ad, which shows the superstar singer sitting on a couch and playing a new game called Rhythm Heaven, has gotten more than 65,000 views so far on YouTube, and it looks like Beyonce didn't even have to break a sweat—a fact that's underscored by a seven-minute "making-of" video (which has also gotten more than 50,000 views) showing Mrs. Hova getting made up and coached a bit on the game and playing with her nephew. Both are great advertisements for Beyonce herself, who comes across as pleasant and un-diva-ish. Good thing the roboglove-clad Sasha Fierce wasn't around to ruin things.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Get out the Wii Fit and have an extremely overpriced good time

Posted on Thu Jan 8 2009

Now that Christmas and New Year's are over, lots of people are digging out their Nintendo Wii Fits in an attempt to work off those holiday pounds. But others don't see the value of the $129.99 device. This parody commercial has gotten almost 3 million views thanks to its sarcastic pitch for the "little white thing you stand on" that lets you "explore exciting new exercises like leaning side to side. ... And don't miss sticking out your leg." Then, the announcer suggests, "when you're tired of that, try sticking out your other leg." In case you miss the point, the mock ad asks, "Don't want to invest $3.19 on a hula hoop? Why not pick up a Wii for $300 and enjoy the same fun but in the comfort of your living room and without that annoying plastic hoop."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman


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