Nintendo cardboard (Nintendo Labo)


Time to be a kid again.


This seems like a great way to market “learning” toys to parents while selling things that will break in a week and look like crap because the tabs broke off and you had to glue it and now the glue is melting the cardboard and fuck why did I do this why did I have kids oh God my life is flashing before my eyes


You’ve got to admit: Nintendo know their market. A $70 piece of cardboard papercraft being released on 4/20 to hollering from the fans.

It’s Lego Mindstorms without having to actually spend money making a lasting product that can survive being used by the (supposed) target audience.


part of me is like, “oh it’s not great this is being made out of cardboard. that stuff isn’t durable at all”, but the part of me that works with kids, knows how fleeting their interest in toys is, and remembers how quick I went through things as a child is like “holy shit thank god this isn’t made of plastic”


Wouldn’t it be cool if it was priced accordingly or part of an open ecosystem (when we teach kids robotics, open platforms are incredibly important for the longevity of our tools and so the value of our labour in building workshops and additional stuff on top of a platform) rather than a walled garden?


I think you’re gonna need to explain me this a bit more, because I understand what you said but I didn’t understand all of it, if you get me.


General console gripe: anything like this is based on closed standards, signed code, etc.

If we were to spend thousands of dollars on getting a set of Labo kits and Switches to work with and teach stuff about engineering/robotics with then we’d also be putting a lot of work into building the tools around teaching with it. But it’s not open, so this isn’t a platform that the community can endlessly expand - it’s not more than the exact stuff Nintendo authorise. I think that’s where other “insert portable device and play with robots while doing some light construction work to build it” stuff can work out better - if everything is an open standard then you can get entirely new ways of working on things, new programming languages that build on top of the sold product.

That’s why this seems like it’s probably a lesser thing and so should be priced accordingly as buying some cardboard and a light game/robot driver.


What I really am not into:
Paying $70 dollars for a bunch of cardboard.

What I am really into:
This setting a precedent for unique constructable controllers for games.


Given that there is already a cardboard box cereal box Amiibo I wonder if they have any robot designs that allow you to use that box in such a way that the Amiibo is scanned when the controllers are attached.


This is some cool history (h/t to Samantha Kalman):


No one’s going to buy this for their kids after the second time they destroy it because it’s cardboard but it’s going to have a long prosperous life in computer labs.


What kind of computer lab doesn’t already have access to an exacto knife and copious amounts of spare cardboard boxes?


im going to justify buying these as something i can do with the kids when i babysit, but really im buying it for me babey


If there’s one thing I’ve learned about academia it’s never have folks DIY something you can spend money on to visibly have the newest thing (especially at $70).


I’m glad we have Nintendo and they keep doing stuff like this. It’s not the darkest reality.
In that one, there was a huge gambling scandal with the Hanafuda cards and the yakuza, everyone went to jail, and the moment passed. Sometimes we saw ghosts of Donkey Kong in broken arcade machine windows.


Oh, okay yeah I get you there. Thanks for elaborating.


I mean, we have this general sense that extremely profitable/high margin mega-corporations (eg Apple, Nintendo) who repackage things where others have innovated (but not been pushed by extensive marketing into mainstream success) are actually extremely personable and on our side and the drivers of seemingly real innovation (which never actually goes anywhere or rewards those who actually came up with the ideas outside of the megacorps).

It sounds pretty dark to me.


I just think it’s pretty cool that Nintendo is slipping a graphical programming language (for their controllers!) onto their console.

It’s still unclear how powerful this will be as a programming environment, but at the very least it seems to allow you to hook up inputs on the Switch screen to drive vibrations on the Joy-Cons (as seen here: it’s a bit hard to see but they’re drawing a line between boxes that say “Touch” and “Vibrate” and touching the Touch box causes the cardboard man to fall over in the video).

If this programming environment allows access to all the Joy-Con sensors and outputs besides vibration (e.g. playing musical notes or showing any sort of visual feedback on the Switch screen), it could be legitimately powerful as a cheap prototyping platform.


I’m not going to defend mega corporations or the marketing machines that make them palatable,
but would the world be lighter without nintendo? would you deny me my donkey kong?


Does Donkey Kong exist because there are mega-corps to claim ownership of creativity as it arises or is DK less than what it could be today, a less vibrant bubble of ideas, because companies like Nintendo demand and abuse IP laws to restrain and claim ownership of the creativity of the people? The way Nintendo is framed not as like Microsoft (one of the all time most recognisable evil tech brands - sitting in the history books between IBM and Google as something people know is actually evil) or Sony (again, people generally understand what Sony is, Sony is not your friend even if your goals temporarily align in small ways) is part of how dystopian it all feels. Add in the focus on branding to kids to indoctrinate a new generation of people towards The Company and it really feels like something we’re drowning in.

I would say not only would it be a brighter world but that you wouldn’t be denied your DK in it.

Edit: but back to Labo, the memes around it are already amazing. @2Mello take a bow (video):