6 mins read

It’s been about two months since the Wii U launched. We’ve had some time to get ingrained in the Miiverse community. How has it stacked up as a social network, or a resource for gamers? Well, not especially well on either count.

Nintendo has succeed in creating a wonderful interface for Miiverse – it can’t be stated enough how much of a pleasure it is to use. It’s also has some great integration with Wii U games – I love being able to post screenshots directly from inside the game, and ZombiU’s use of it proves that creative developers will be able to get some great use out of that tight integration.

But Miiverse is a social network – a platform designed to enable people to interact around their favourite hobby. And it’s now obvious that Miiverse is in this regard a poor man’s alternative to Twitter.

For a start the community, though small (with some games I can come back to the community a day later to find my comment still near the top), is absolutely filled with trolls. For the mainstream games like Super Mario Bros U, people are generally positive, but head into a community such as the Funky Barn one and it’s filled with people with nothing better to do that post about how bad the game is, and make other comments about the game I can only assume are meant to be funny.

This would be fair enough if the people criticising the game had actually played the game. Most of them haven’t. Nintendo wisely included a way for people to tell if a person posting has played the game they’re posting about. A little box appears on their posts with a tick. As a consequence finding good quality discussions to participate in in Miiverse is, at times, about as much fun as pulling teeth – especially if you happen to be a fan of a game that is more niche in terms of appeal.

In the worst-case scenarios, such as the recent Rise of the Guardians game, the accusations of shovelware were flowing thick and fast… before the game was even released. It turned out to be a decent game, but I have to wonder whether this had an adverse effect on initial sales, and the community itself is often a very unpleasant place to be for fans of the game. I am sure that Nintendo’ s intention was to make these communities fun places for the fans of the game to meet and discuss their favourite games, but unfortunately the community is proving itself to be very juvenile right now.

Of course, these kinds of people exist on the other social networks too, and yet I can avoid them there. The problem is also the chief difference between Miiverse and every other popular social network out there. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and even Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live – these networks are “opt in” in the sense that the user has to search out the people they want to follow and the conversations they want to participate in. Miiverse operates on an “opt out” model. Users have to actively block the people they don’t want to see, and this is a far less efficient model for the end user.

There are also far too many inappropriate comments going unmoderated for far too long for a social network that is meant to be family-friendly and I’ve already had numerous “wanna cam” friend requests.

Until Nintendo can get these issues sorted, Miiverse will be a social network largely without a point. Aside from the rather wonderful illustrations that some people have produced for their favourite games the Miiverse community is not an especially helpful place to ask for advice/ in-game help (the ability to hold conversations is severely limited by the 100-character limit), and nor is a particularly friendly community to kick back and discuss games. The ability to link to websites and the like is severely limited, for instance, and linking to interesting articles and the like is the single most important function that saw Twitter take off.

I really hope this isn’t another one of Nintendo’s “nice idea, failed execution” games – like AR and PlayCoins have proven to be with the 3DS. The idea behind MiiVerse is great, it’s a pity that the community has to try and ruin it.

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  • so users shouldn't be able to voice their opinion on matters or games. the idea of censoring people on miiverse is ridiculous which is telling that the whole idea is juvenile and meant only for kids so the author shouldn't be there. lol, just deal with the archaic system or just get off of it. i used it a few times out of curiosity but it bolstered my attitude about how the wii u is lacking in every single area from the lineup of games, games soon to be released, bad wii u pad design, weak console, silly online infrastructure, lack of third party support and others. its nintendo so you shouldn't expect much. psn and xbl are way better and nintendo should have copied the important bits about the other networks and improve upon them but since its nintendo people excuse the lackluster effort by nintendo and spin everything .

    the wii u is garbage

  • I haven't experienced the issues you have, literally not one single friend request outside of people doing it after requesting them in ZombiU, and/or seeing my posts and liking them and stating such in the "request".

    Also, I haven't seen "inappropriate comments going unmoderated for far too long" at all. Maybe it's the game sections you're going in? Like I messaged you, if your posts contain urls, the admins usually delete them…and quickly. There is also the "report" button for inappropriate posts, but I haven't even had to use it, and I would because I think people need to learn to communicate a little better.

    I think Miiverse is functioning as designed so far though, and I'm really enjoying it. Is it perfect? No. The 100 limit text is odd, but perhaps they were thinking "Less, is more". Seeing some of the drawings/artists on Miiverse has been incredible, and I enjoy seeing the good ones.

    As for, "In the worst-case scenarios, such as the recent Rise of the Guardians game, the accusations of shovelware were flowing thick and fast… before the game was even released. It turned out to be a decent game, but I have to wonder whether this had an adverse effect on initial sales, and the community itself is often a very unpleasant place to be for fans of the game."

    I would say perhaps making Miiverse not "open" on a game until it is released may help in some cases, not sure what the rule is for Miiverse and when it actually launches on games. Does Miiverse have an adverse effect on sales? Perhaps. The same can be said for positive effect on sales though.

    I would say Miiverse has had less effect on sales, than sites publishing reviews of games when they weren't played/completed. That's a much larger issue in the industry affecting sales.

    Speaking of Rise of the Guardians community though, go check it out now…and scroll down a bit, there's a great rendering in it of the character (I guess lead character?) from the game.

    The fact Nintendo has people "monitoring" and deleting posts, I think shows they are taking Miiverse somewhat seriously, which I think is a positive. Also, they are SUPPOSED to release a Miiverse app for PCs/iPhones/smartphones, so I think that means (hopefully) they are open to ideas with it. Also, not sure if you saw, but I think developers have start options now to post videos in Miiverse communities at the top portion of it.

    Speaking of the ZombiU community though, I randomly go there and post things trying to encourage people to post pictures of their game file when they complete it…we're waiting to see your total!

  • MiiVerse is way better than PSN and XBL as far as social networking. I rather enjoy it, but also wonder why there is no WiiChat community. Its because of MiiVerse that I picked up BLOP2 over NBA2k as a matter of fact and am already finding others to Play Aliens with at launch. I also may pick up Zombie U as a result of the Verse, despite reviews basically calling it crap. NintendoKd by the way look me up on the Verse.

  • I can't say I share your opinion on Miiverse. The first point I'd like to address is your "Opt in" one, if you want that experience it's readily available in your activity feed which collates posts from your friends and those that follow, meaning you don't have to see all the troll posts. The community model arguably makes it more suited for discussion of niche games , especially if your friends don't share your interests, because it directs those with similar interests to the same place. In fact I would flip what you said and argue that it's a strength of Miiverse, I don't have to seek out people to communicate with them; we're drawn together by our shared interests.

    I'd also disagree with you assesment that it isn't good for asking for assistance. Whilst I do concede that the character limit can be a hindrance at times, the ability to upload screenshots directly(for the majority of games anyway) makes it ideal for this purpose. The fact that you can ask the whole community also really helps in that regard.

    As for the unpleasantness of the community: You're going to get trolls wherever there is an open forum and that's another area where Miiverse has an advantage. You can instantly tell if someone has played a game or not and that adds weight to what people are saying. It's not fair to censor people's opinions either; I haven't played Funky Barn but looking at the screenshots it looks like it has very low production values and I don't like the graphics. I may not have played the game, but I have experienced it in a purely visual environment and I can easily form an opinion on that aspect. To address your Rise of the Guardians point more specifically, the game was released on other systems before the Wii U release and the reception has been negative. It's also not the customers responsibility to make sure a game sells well, if the developer and publisher had made an appealing product for the market it wouldn't be getting a negative reception.

    I also haven't been propositioned… yet.

  • Perhaps it's just that we hang around different communities. The popular games do seem to have more positive communities than the niche interest games.

    Regardless though, if this was Nintendo's intention (and I wouldn't want to guess at what Nintendo was trying to do with MiiVerse), then I really don't understand it. If Nintendo was trying to build a social network, then it failed to understand what a social network is about. Social networks are there to share information and stay in contact with people from across the world. Not being able to share links makes it a poor resource for information or research, and because I can't control what I see on the network, it's inferior as a communication platform too.

    I've spent over ten hours on MiiVerse according to my activity log, and in that time I have had one interesting conversation, and found three new people to follow. I've reported more users than that.

    I wasn't expecting MiiVerse to beat the likes of Twitter as a social network, but it's not even in the same ballpark. I just can't see long term value in the platform. It just doesn't seem to offer me anything that isn't done better somewhere else.

    I like the interface and I like the potential of it, and it's a reasonable dumping ground for amusing screenshots, so I'll continue to use it in the hope it blossoms into more than it is right now, but for now I'm registering disappointment.

    Especially at the community. It's bad when a critic doesn't properly play a game before he/ she reviews it, I agree. It is just as bad when a normal person runs around a community telling people (who are likely to be there because they are interested in the game) that the game sucks, when they haven't even touched the game. Both are trolls.

    Regarding ZombiU: I've been meaning to get back into it and post up a screenshot to your thread, but other things keep coming up. It hasn't been a compelling enough game for me to really want to replay – not when I have 100 or so Warriors to level up to 99, and not when there are a host of better multiplayer games on the console and my spare time (I.e not playing games for review) tends to be occupied in multi with my wife at the moment.

    I will get around to it eventually, I promise!

  • The problem with the activity feed remains its limited capacity as a catalyst for information sharing. Without the ability to link etc it remains difficult to engage with people at depth. I've had some dynamite conversations on Twitter. I've barely been able to do more than exchange single-sentence pleasantries with the same people on MiiVerse.

    The idea behind it seems to be 'find game community you're interested in, participate in community' – the emphasis of the experience is very much around communities. But thanks to obscene levels of spam (often very pretty spam, there are a lot of artists out there!), I really must emphasise this – I have only had one decent conversation on MiiVerse. It is not for lack of trying.

    Regarding the trolling – I am not talking about the people going 'looks kinda lame, is it any good?' – these people are asking reasonable questions and I try and answer as many of those as possible. I am talking about the 'this game sucks' and 'worst game of the year' – no tick boxes. Just trolling. Both Rise of the Guardians and (especially) Funky Barn were swamped with them, although it has settled down a little now that both games are older.

    If it was Twitter it would be no problem – I just wouldn't have followed them in then first place. On MiiVerse though it is impossible to be part of a community without being exposed to people you don't want to be.

    Feel free to prove me wrong and make me enjoy MiiVerse though – please add me: WaltzIT

  • "For a start the community, though small (with some games I can come
    back to the community a day later to find my comment still near the
    top), is absolutely filled with trolls."

    "filled with
    people with nothing better to do that post about how bad the game is,
    and make other comments about the game I can only assume are meant to be

    "This would be fair enough if the people criticising the game had actually played the game. Most of them haven't."

    "In the worst-case scenarios, such as the recent Rise of the Guardians
    game, the accusations of shovelware were flowing thick and fast…
    before the game was even released."

    Sounds pretty much like every gaming forum in the internet.

  • I'm not sure I quite understand the thing about the ability to link. If anything my criticism of Miiverse is the fact that you can only direct message or post on a community. The ability to send a general message to just friends would be a big improvement and help facilitate conversation. I think a General discussion community would cut a lot of spam from other communities as well.

    I think it might be a difference of perspective as well though. Miiverse isn't just a gaming twitter, it's kind of a mix between a traditional social network and an online message board. Unfortunately that comes with both advantages and disadvantages.

    I've sent you a friend request as well.

  • Miiverse is another of Nintendo's things that I think is quite cool, but it just isn't something that appeals to me in the slightest.

    It isn't just Miiverse – I've always been this way with Nintendo: Power Glove, Link Cables, peripherals galore, Street Pass, AR, Flipnote, etc etc. They're always neat for a few minutes and I'm done with them… permanently.

    Granted this comes with a HUGE exception to the DK Bongos. I actually played one until it died and I had to buy a replacement.

  • I'm not sure what you were expecting with it, at least based from what they showed of it. The only thing I remember is a guy sitting at a coffee shop (#winning!) checking Miiverse on his phone. He saw his friend couldn't beat a "boss", and he CALLED his friend. He didn't use Miiverse to explain anything. He dialed his friend on his phone and called him up.

    I mean, I don't see how you can complain about "inappropriate posts" staying around for a while, but think they should allow LINKS!? You kidding right? Gotta be a lack of coffee?

    Miiverse SHOULD be a place developers have an employee (or two) hanging out answering questions to new people, and that would also help keep the "trolls" away. Like I said, I think Miiverse could open up new job opportunities (which, apparently at Nintendo it has with the admins).

    I don't know if you visited the Rabbids LAND community, but it was TAKEN OVER with posts not related to the game. Now, personally, I found it pretty funny, but where did that idea jump from? A large videogame site I believe…the "trolls" were fed an idea from a site, and ran with it.

    As for your time in Miiverse, it's about 1/6th the time I have spent there; and again, I haven't seen inappropriate posts staying around for long periods, and found it to be a very fun experience (other than the admins deleting my url posts :(, but I understand why).

    Again, I'm not sure Miiverse was designed to be a place of in-depth discussion, but more of a place to connect and share "I like this" "I don't like this" type posts, and "Help! Can't beat this level! What do I do?"

    So, in short, I don't even really see what you were expecting, based on what they showed for it…it seems your biggest gripe is having to block certain users? Again, they give you option to do that, and even report posts, so they have a solution provided at the start.

  • Flip it around: what is Miiverse meant to be? Nintendo hasn't really clarified it, so this is your opinion, but is it a social network? If so, it's a poor one. If it isn't a social network, what is it, and what value does it actually serve? Not much, from the time I've spent in it.

    It might be a bit of fun, but it doesn't really enhance the games community or the experience of playing the games in any meaningful way that existing networks haven't done better.

  • One of the reasons Twitter is so useful (the main reason Twitter is so useful) is that the community that you build up – by deciding to follow them – provides you with content that is both useful and interesting to you. Via links.

    Twitter without links would be almost useless, as it would be inane chatter. Which is essentially what MiiVerse is at right now.

    I wanted Miiverse to be useful. Not just mildly entertaining. It really isn't right now, and therein lies the core of my criticism of it.

  • Twice I reported comments that had been left up for two days, and were subsequently removed.

    One was a picture of pedebear and the other, Hitler.

  • "Miiverse is a brand-new online community that is built directly into the Wii U console. It lets you share experiences, discuss games, and discover new content with gamers from around the world. Using your Mii character within Miiverse, you will see games, applications or entertainment content that either you have used recently, expressed interest in learning more about, or that your friends are using or discussing."

    Again, I used the example from Nintendo's video back pre-E3, I think they have clarified it just fine. I think of Miiverse more as a "forum" or "message board" service, than a social network.

    It has helped "enhance" some experiences for me, as I have gotten help from the communities in some games. So again, what were you expecting? Another Twitter, MySpace, Facebook? Again, I'm just not seeing anything of substance in the post to really back up what you're saying or complaining about, being that I have spent way more time with the service. How about providing an example of an "inappropriate post" staying around for "far too long"?

    Now, sign off here, and go post that ZombiU photo, and come back with a proper example! 😉

  • Yes, I was expecting a gaming-focused social network. That I how I understood Nintendo's statement there. Cutting through the marketing in those words Nintendo could very easily be describing Twitter or Facebook there, with added Miis.

    It fails as a message board or forum too, for the record. Again, a complete lack of interesting conversations to have on Miiverse is either a poor reflection on the community, or a poor reflection on the service, it doesn't really matter which.

    Regarding the inappropriate content- as I mentioned to another person I reported a drawing of pedobear and one of Hitler. Both explicitly against the MiiVerse terms of service, nd yet both drawings were left untouched for two days.

    And since you keep insisting that you're more qualified to comment on MiiVerse than I am because you've spent sso long on it compared to me, I think it is only fair that other people reading this discussion get the whole story. In 1/6th of the time you've used it, I have made twice as many posts, and those posts have over twice as many 'yeah's from the community. I can only assume that you have more private conversations than I do, because you have more friends but in terms of the public forums, you might have used it longer, but I use it heavier in some critical ways to you in order to form an opinion about it.

    Not that I am dismissing your opinion, just pointing out that you really need to stop dismissing everyone who doesn't share yours. I use Miiverse and I see an attempt to build a social network by Nintendo that borrows liberally from Twitter, but fails to offer an equiviently decent service. You don't need to agree with me, but I do not appreciate this effort to discredit me.

  • "And since you keep insisting that you're more qualified to comment on MiiVerse…"

    I insisted that? My time in Miiverse was as an example (you said your time first, right?) with what I have experienced, and how I hadn't experienced some of your issues, but I had put in more time into the "community".

    Also, "comments" don't count as "posts" on Miiverse. Meaning, I may not "post" about a bikini Santa, but I may be commenting on other posts by Miiverse users in other threads that aren't counted, right? So, again, that would be a difference in use.

    Again, it was the requesting of Video Chats, and the "far too many inappropriate posts staying around for far too long" after reporting them. Saying I haven't experienced those things you have, has nothing to do with being "more qualified".

    I used the pre-E3 video where the guy picked up his phone and called his friend with advice, but didn't post to Miiverse his advice was one example of how I thought Nintendo was showing it to be a bit different. That was an example Nintendo provided, I though to help set expectations. Microsoft showing off Milo, then not delivering, would be a perfect example IMO of how a company over promised something, but failed to deliver. To me, that would be setting the expectations high, and not meeting them. I don't see where Nintendo set high expectations. I think Miiverse has met/exceeded my expectations, and probably for many others.

    This has nothing to do with "dismissing" or trying to "discredit" you. If you don't like my points, state why and try to provide something to back up your opinion/side with some examples. I just haven't experienced the things you have.

    If you don't want discussions and conversations on topics, perhaps locking the comments section on the next piece is a better route to go…but then it's like Miiverse almost, with no depth? 0_0

  • Haven't finished reading but hey: when you see that box not ticked on a hater on Miiverse you know he's just a jackass. And if you want to know what's real, just ask out and you'll get your answer in instant.

  • And you can choose the people you want to follow and who you want to block… I mean, what negativity are you talking about??? You can do crappy drawings learning how to draw and people would STILL encourage you with Yeahs… I mean, for real, can you just not see how GOOD Miiverse is or are you just not playing Nintendo Land, NSMBU, ZombiU… Please.

  • OK, now that is just too much: considering PlayCoins and AR as failed just told me that I could not apprehend your article…

  • PlayCoins is rarely used by recent 3DS games. It was only a minor 3DS feature, of course, but my PlayCoin total has sat at 300 for months now.

    AR is a failed idea across all platforms – it hasn't done much for iOS or Vita either. It's simply an example of a technology that is a nice idea, but in execution is too primitive right now to add much to a game's experience.

    I certainly can't think of a single AR game that has more than a hour's depth… It's a nice gimmick as a tech demo right now, and not a lot more.

  • Certainly I like the art community – it'd be nice if some art application (Art Academy?) could be integrated with MiiVerse, because there's some great work being done there, and that side of the community is great, I agree.

    But no, I'm just not a fan of the way MiiVerse is set up… Especially in regards to the more niche interest games. It just doesn't work as well as a communications platform as the social networks I'm on.

    I'm going to be following it very closely going forwards, of course. There's a lot of potential there for it to really boost the game experience in a lot of games. It just needs a couple of updates.

    Thanks for the input, BTW!

  • I dunno, there are so many action RPGs now, and the nature of that genre means some of the tactical depth of a turn-based RPG is removed. What I've always liked about Pokemon is just how deep the leveling/ skills system is.

    What I would have loved to see was the announcement of a Pokemon MMO. The 3DS would be able to handle it thanks to the Nintendo Network, and it has always been such a logical progression for the series to make… Pokemon has always been about social interaction after all.

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