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A View from John Maeda

Me on the Wii

Nintendo’s design philosophy exceeds that of Apple. Modern design melds with modern fun. “Cool” is augmented with “human comfort”–a rare quality in the digital world.

  • May 4, 2008

As I age every year, I find myself increasingly tired of being an early adopter. My grad students constantly embarrass me with their always exuberant energy and willingness to adopt the new. While the Nintendo Wii craze was sweeping the world, I was busy with facilitating operations at the Media Lab, and then the announcement hit that I would become the next leader of RISD (“Riz-dee”). Amidst the chaos of my life, I knew that I had to resolve two important things: 1) finally figure out Ruby on Rails, and 2) buy a Wii.

The former goal was accomplished last week (thanks to one of my brilliant grad students), and I thought getting a Wii would be easy but realized that even the late adopter can be early. I wasn’t aware of the shortage of these devices. Finally getting my hands on one last night, I now understand the hype. Size, form, and feeling all meld into an experience that uses “just enough” technology to realize pure fun. Nintendo’s ethos of design is set to trump Apple’s, in my book.

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