My boys have endured my blogging for as long as they can remember. Even before I was blogging, I was subjecting them to posed photos and recording every waking moment of their life to be displayed with brightly colored paper cut-outs and stickered-letters on 12 x 12 pages in archival quality scrapbooks.
Quite frankly, it has all been quite a bore to them.
And then a few years ago when I started a local website in Dallas, I had the audacity to emblazon our family minivan with advertising for the site.
Quite frankly, that was just plain embarrassing.
They had gotten to the point where they just ignored what I was doing on the computer until…
…I was asked to be a Nintendo Ambassador.
Suddenly blogging made a LOT of sense to them. They love the Wii and each of them have a DS which is the best currency in my house for good behavior. When Nintendo invited the ambassadors to the Nintendo 3 DS launch last month, my blogging went from tolerable to desirable.
I was a mommy rock star in my own home.
Now they weren’t hiding my blogging, they were telling friends at school about how their mommy was going to Seattle to tour Nintendo and find out about the new Nintendo 3 DS.
Yep, they were telling their friends.
They were excited and so was I. I don’t get out much. Despite blogging for years, I haven’t been to BlogHer. I have only been to two blogging conferences and they were both in Texas. The thought of traveling to Seattle to hang out with other bloggers made me giddy.
Finally, the time arrived and I flew to Seattle for the big event.
We had been provided a Twitter list of attendees so every spare moment of the trip was checking Twitter to see who had arrived and where they were. I checked into the hotel and tweeted A few hugs and squeals might have worked up our appetite for snacks.
It was pretty much a giant group hug spread out over several hours.
Oh, and do you know one of the best things about bloggers? They don’t care if you ask them for pictures. In fact, they will even remind you of their twitter name so you can tag them on instagram while they scramble over to leave the first comment there.
The hugging and giggling went late into the night along with photographic evidence of all that transpired.
The next morning we were scheduled on several different buses to head to Nintendo HQ.
The super secret Nintendo HQ.
Right before we left to get on the bus, Lindsay and I ran into each other wearing the same dress.
Without any prior planning, we were trendsetters in What to Wear while at Nintendo. Lindsay had been witness to the fact that the very same thing had happened to me and Cammie at Mom 2.0. After years of emailing/tweeting we had showed up to meet each other wearing identical outfits.
We boarded the bus in the rain…it is Seattle…and headed for super secret Nintendo HQ.
The grounds at Nintendo are gorgeous. The building in large and modern with oodles of patios covered with comfy seating and sun umbrellas that overlook a soccer field for employee use.
Inside it is even better. The open-concept office space is beautiful. There are spontaneous meeting places everywhere you look. The decor is minimal in a bright and cheerful you-want-to-work-here kinda way.
I want to work at Nintendo.
The security there is tight. They checked/issued our credentials and escorted us to a very large conference room that was full of white leather sectional couches curled around coffee tables where the new Nintendo 3 DS game consoles were sitting.
Nintendo President, Reggie Fils-Aime, introduced the first glassless 3D gaming technology and then we all got to play.
And play we did!
The competition got pretty fierce at times. I was a little frightened…
We were able to try out many of the games currently available for the Nintendo 3DS and play them against each other. The most frightening competition was on Asphalt when 8 of us were racing through what seemed to be a very populated city.
The 3D is cool. I don’t know how they do it, but it really looks 3D. When I was in the middle of a game, I would forget it was 3D and how amazing it is that you are really in a game where things are coming at you. My favorite game for the 3D effect was Steel Diver which is a submarine game where you are looking through the periscope. Because the 3DS also has a gyro sensor, you literally turn around and around to shoot at the ships who are attacking you. It is the perfect game for a spinning office chair.
The other new technology they showed us was the AR cards. AR stands for Augmented Reality. What it looks like without the Nintendo 3DS console is a playing card, but when you point the gaming system’s camera at the card whatever character is on the card comes to “life” in 3D. Some of the AR cards are character driven and some contain simple games where you interact with the 3D environment created by the card on the table…it is insane. I don’t understand it, but like it!
One of the things I had read about before attending the event was that 3D gaming could harm children’s eyes. That was obviously a BIG concern for me since I see how my boys gravitate to their current DSes. I appreciated that Reggie Fils-Aime addressed this issue within the first 10 minutes we were there.
He reported that Nintendo did a lot of reviewing of the current 3D research. Obviously, most of this research deals with 3D technology WITH glasses and most of that research was done with 3D movie and TV instead of gaming. Because the technology is new, there isn’t an overwhelming amount of evidence in any direction. To be on the safe side, they have labeled the Nintendo 3DS for ages 7 and up in 3D mode.
Any of the games can be played in 2D and there is a slider on the console which easily switches between the two modes. There are also parental controls that can be set for 2D only play, etc.
Whew! It was a fun day of play.
That evening they split us up into groups and sent us to some of Seattle’s best restaurants. I ate with several bloggers who I had never met before and had a super fun evening. The picture on the right with the white arrow is of the space needle taken at 30 mph in the dark from our bus.
Like all good things, this came to an end.
After some more group hugs.
When I got home, the first thing I got asked was, “Did you get one?”
YES. I got a Nintendo 3DS.
The boys jumped for joy.
And then started playing. They LOVE it and seem to understand the AR cards much better than me.
The whole experience was summed up the next morning by Ryan who was sitting in the living room playing Monkey Ball on the new Nintendo 3DS…
Mommy, this is greatest thing ever.
Disclosure: I assume after reading this story, you understand that my trip to Seattle was sponsored by Nintendo and they gave me a Nintendo 3DS, but I just want to make sure :). All opinions expressed here are my own.
Thanks Nintendo for the amazing experience and for making me cool to my kids.