By Joseph Chagan
Yesterday Nintendo of America held a very rare and special event in its newly-opened Nintendo World store in New York City. For the first time in about 3 years, according to the ever helpful Nintendo PR guy JC (or CJ. Or JP ? whatever, he?s very helpful), Shigeru Miyamoto sat down and signed autographs for some very grateful fans. SPOnG was on hand to take some photos and chat with some people who appeared to be homeless as they slept in the streets of Manhattan.
As advertised, the first 200 people in line were allowed to get one item autographed each, as well as their choice of two different DS skins, both exclusive to this event. As you can imagine, this brought out the most rabid of Nintendo collector and fan.
As a special Bonus for the especially-devoted campers, the first ten people were given the opportunity to allow their Nintendogs to download and play with Miyamoto's very own Nintendog Jack. He is a bread not available in any of the currently released versions of the game and sports a Mario cap.
A voice message for the lucky few is also transmitted with Jack and is available for your listening pleasure right here
Though like all great love stories, Jack and SPOnG had to be torn apart. We attempted to hang on to him for as long as possible but the system automatically sent him home after about 12 hours. Suprisingly though, once you have finished playing with Jack you get the message that Miyamoto has been added to your friends list followed by another message that a new litter of jack russell terriers has just arrived at the kennel!
We here at SPOnG are now in the elite group of about 13 (including Miyamoto himself) to have this option, We are now officially better at being Nintendo fans than you, provided of course you own Nintendogs and care.
This fellow crafted his very own revolution shirt which he proudly told everyone he passed about as he walked up and down the length of the line (which wrapped about half way around a city block and then doubled back). In total there where probably around 500 people queued up, more than 200 of which had slept there.
This fellow thanked Mr. Miyamoto for 20 years of fun, in honour of the 20th birthday of the NES next month. These years had clearly been a dedicated couple of decades, with all forms of exercise given over to sitting. On a sofa.
Now this made us laugh for almost a whole second. Look at the man wearing an Xbox Live T-shirt. He?s wearing it to a Nintendo event. How funny is that?
This fellow was decked head to toe in Nintendo merchandise, and was one of two people friendly enough to volunteer the information that they where currently sporting Nintendo underwear.
When questioned as to the frequency of said underwear?s washing, neither wearer offered comment.
After shaking hands with the man himself some attendees were also lucky enough to bump into Nintendo?s own head of jingoisms (not official title, we think) Reginald Fils-Aime. While speaking to Reggie this fellow?s mother, who accompanied him to the event, proclaimed to the crowd that he someday hoped to work for Nintendo.
Little advice, if you manage an interview: ditch the hat. And your mum.
A wide variety of Nintendo memorabilia was carted out to receive the Nintendo Seal of approval from Miyamoto himself. Surprisingly, this was the only power glove in attendance. Sadly, no Virtual Boy units or Super Scopes were to be seen.
This fashion trail blazer was unfortunately not alone in his cord-wrapping endeavours. In his defence, he was the only attendee to chose to go with the headband style, as apposed to the now-very-much-passť' belt buckle, a la captain-N.
Despite rigorous bag checking at the entrance, this devoted fan still managed to sneak his guns in, complete with matching Zelda Logos.
This persistent fan brought his E3 Zelda t-shirt to be signed as well as three DVDs of his demo reel for submission. After nearly 5 minutes of sob story and pleading (or whining, depending on your perspective) the fine folks from Nintendo respectfully declined. Why is Miyamoto so horrible? Why would he refuse to take a few moments to look over the work of someone who has bothered to come and see him? These questions and many more the Mario creator will surely take to his grave.
This gentleman had by far the most unique item to be signed of all we saw. This rather standard looking NES controller was actually hollowed out and converted into a fully-functioning cell phone. He still carries a second phone for placing calls but this one is quite capable of receiving.
Even the genius behind the NES controller cell phone was not immune to Miyamoto's puppet master-like control.
Possibly one of the cleverest queue members to be seen in the seemingly unending line of people was this girl who had the bright idea to use a pool raft as an inflatable mattress. Stories that she spent hours wondering why she had let her boyfriend talk her into sleeping on the ground outside remain unconfirmed.
Here we have Nintendo?s own Luigi and Link throwing up the devil horns for our cameraman. Perhaps this is the edgier Nintendo we?ve been hearing about?
Wario told our reported that, "?everyone should hang loose". Peach said, ?buy my custom-made hats". We say "Since when did Princess Peach wear a plumber?s hat?". But we can kind of be jerks sometimes.
Unlike the well paid and often photographed booth babes at most video game events, Miyamoto genuinely enjoys Nintendo fans, even the sweaty ones. We were told that he would love to do this sort of thing more often but is of course very busy bringing the next-generation of all of Nintendo?s franchise's to the eager masses. Honest!
So that was the night Miyamoto went to New York. We doubt he took as many staying awake drugs as we did and he looked a lot healthier than us too. Let us know what you think of all this in the forum as we go fire up eBay. Erm, we mean? ?something else.