Play Pause

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Genre Studies: The African - American Situation Comedy, part 2

The Black sitcom 

Blacks have appeared in the situation comedy genre, moreso than any other TV genre. U.S networks & Cable broadcasters have aired approximately 800 sitcoms since 1947 - 184 of them feature African-Americans, either in starring, co-starring, supporting or transient roles (Nelson via Kamalipour, Carilli, 79). 

Angela Mason argues that Black sitcoms are Black, but out of exhibiting a Black philosophy on life. They are called Black sitcoms because a) the actors on it are Black and b), their characters deal with comedy-based situations from a Black perspective (Mason via Kamalipour, Carilli, 80). As well as this, Race-specific issues unique to African-Americans culture, life, history through racism for instance, are also explored.

African- American sitcom's roots trace back to Amos 'N' Andy. However, the negative stereotypes perpetuated were laughed at and thus, the show was cancelled. Premiering in 1968, Julia was the first Black female sitcom & the first Black sitcom star in a show about a professional woman (Fearn-Banks, 401). 

Whilst Huxtable-type families had not reached the TV screen, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons & Julia, were accepted by the mainstream (Hillard, Keith, 232).

Television executives attempted to explore different aspects of African-American Life. Firstly, with working-class families, such as Good Times, That's My Mama and What's Happening!! (Smith-Shomade, 15). 

From 1972 to 1983, Black sitcoms sought to address the social and political experiences of America, thanks in part to Norman Lear. Lear helped dispel the idea that situation comedy couldn't be anything but superficial and silly. From abortion, drugs, homosexuality, racism to discrimination, shows such as The Jeffersons and Good Times all advertedly pointed towards inequality and Black empowerment. It was from then on, that for the first time, Black situation comedy portrayed Blacks being subjectified, - not objectified. That they were not token characters to Whites & the USA saw on TV characters that were contributing, surviving, succeeding in society, without abandoning their culture (Means Coleman, Mcllwain,130). 

Nonetheless, with Good Times and The Jeffersons, Lear presented 2 contrasting ends of the spectrum with regards to Black representation: at one end was the Evans family in Good Times, who were perceived as being of lower-class, poor, whose kids had ambitions that were far beyond any one's expectations. Michael wanted to be a Lawyer, J.J an artist and Thelma a dancer. Meanwhile, The Jeffersons Black representation came in the form of George Jefferson, who successfully owns a chain of dry cleaning businesses in New York, whereas wife Louise worked at the local help centre in town.

By the late 1970s to 1980s, despite the social issues addressed in shows such as Good Times, The Jeffersons, there was a concern that Blackness and African-Americans were to be nothing more than token victims rescued by White characters. Coleman and Mcllwain argued that in Diff'rent Strokes and Webster, through Black child characters Webster and Arnold, the context of being Black whilst living in a Black environment was seen as a negative, but with Black child characters living in a White environment and raised by a White family, it was seen as being positive (Means Coleman, Mcllwain, 132). 

I disagree with this argument; shows such as Webster and Diff'rent Strokes illustrate and highlight issues surrounding child adoption and that with families, in particular, adopting children outside of their race, many parent/s adopt Black kids, Asian kids, Hispanic kids. Not because so that they feel pity towards them and their unfortunate circumstances that may have resulted in their upbringing and being abandoned by their natural parents. I would argue it is not because that they see the Black kids as being inferior, whilst the white adult is seen as superior. But because in most cases, many White families choose to adapt children outside of their race, because, a) they love them, b) they really want to help and c) they want to give them a better head start in life.

They don't see children for their colour. Their ethnicity, if anything to them is irrelevant. They love them, as much as they do of their own children. Therefore, the assertion by Means and Coleman that White parents who adopt Black kids out of kindness, sincerity & love, are doing a disservice to the Black children's well-being and identity & thus, making them abandon their cultural roots, is for me, disagreeable . 

Critics have pointed out that many African-American sitcoms have continuously portrayed African-Americans and Black culture in a problematic light. Yet for Black sitcoms that have found their own audiences & established their own fan bases, these audiences have identified themselves with those characters & their cultural expressions (Carney Smith, 1377). Sitcoms have provided people hours of entertainment and laughter, but also, more importantly, shared and relevant cultural experiences, which are discussed amongst themselves and with others.

The 80s

From the 1980s to late 1990s, many Black TV shows resisted the traditional sitcom format of having 1 joke, per page by crafting and devising dramatic episodes.

The arrivals of The Cosby Show and A Different World both heralded a new chapter for the African- American sitcom genre during the 1980s. The shows set a standard in eliminating barriers for 'coloured' people, especially actors on screen and negative stereotypes of Blacks on U.S mainstream television. They presented Black people as intellectuals, occupying higher positions of power, of young Black people going to college and doing well in their studies. In spite of these shows set, in what many would perceive to be based in a White context and environment, they were, nonetheless, still Black shows & alas, Black sitcoms.

Resultingly, The Cosby Show's accomplishments helped elevate NBC to first place, ahead of its rivals in the network ratings for 6 straight years (391, Edgerton). TV industry insiders credit the programme for resurrecting the sitcom genre, for which at the time, many people thought was dead. The Cosby Show also topped the ratings charts throughout the world, in places such as Canada, Australia & the UK.

The Cosby Show and A Different World accomplishments in America, set standards for other African-American sitcom predecessors to emulate and follow suit, though with relatively little success.

Smith- Shomade proposes that The Cosby Show is similar to Fox's Living Single (1993), with creator Yvette Lee Bowser's characters having what she calls 'Afrocentric markers' (Smith-Shomade, 57). The female characters Synclaire, Khadijah, Maxine and Regine live in a New York apartment block with Black-specific artwork, whereas the guys, Kyle and Overton share another apartment. More importantly, Shomade also cites that in Living Single, because the idea of seeing successful working-class, mid-early 30s women, had not been fully realised before, especially on television, the audience sees the importance, first-hand, of a good first impression for each of these characters. For Living Single, material success, through earning a good living and working, was central to the plot of, as well as the success of the show.

The 1990s 

For what it's worth, although The Jeffersons and The Cosby Show were 2 of the biggest Black sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s, African-American sitcoms didn't really hit its peak, until a decade after The Cosby Show had ended. The most successful period and decade for African-American situation comedies (and White sitcoms, not forgetting), as well as the most busiest, was the 1990s. Black sitcoms appeared in great numbers both on Cable and nationally as well, but more-so nationally. The big four of NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC established a foothold in the sitcom market, with shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, A Different World, Martin and Living Single drawing in millions each week (Poussaint). With the latter 2 shows on Fox, doing incredibly well.

The wave of Black sitcoms during 1990-1999 celebrated post-racial America, defined by personal responsibility, progress and choice (115, J Leonard). J Leonard argues that although many of these other 90s sitcoms were by no means as successful as The Cosby Show, A Different World and The Jeffersons, by taking race and ethnicity out of the equation, these shows would have denied the existence of racism endured by the Black middle-classes.

With A Different World's success, this was unrealised until Debbie Allen got involved and turned around the fortunes of the series by revamping the show's format. By the time it addressed serious social and political issues, the sitcom began to evolve and improve; explosive story lines involving HIV/Aids, racism, inter-racial relationships, prejudice. Subject matters that today's African-American sitcoms and shows seem to ignore, in favour of buffoonery, indecent images of Black cultural appropriation, and sex.

(continued in part 3....)


  • The Sitcom Reader: America Viewed and Skewed, Mary M Dalton ed., State University of New York Press, 2005 
  • The A to Z of African-American Television, Kathleen Fearn Banks, Scarecrow Press, 2009
  • The Broadcast Century and Beyond, Robert L Hillard, Michael C. Keith, Focal Press, 2010
  • Cultural Diversity and the U.S Media, ed. Yahya R. Kamalipour, Theresa Carilli ed.,1998
  • Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Jessie Carney Smith, State University of New York Press, 1998
  • Why is TV So Segregated?, Alvin Poussaint, 2010. 
  • The Columbia History of American Television, Gary Edgerton, Columbia University Press, 2009
  • Shaded Lives: African-American Women and Television, Beretta E.Smith- Shomade, Rutgers University Press, 2002
  • African-Americans on Television: Race-ing For Ratings, ed. by David J Leonard, Lisa Guerrero, Praeger, 2013
  • Color by Fox: The Fox Network & The Revolution in Black Television, Kristel Brent Zook, Oxford University Press, 1999 

Monday, 30 December 2013

Genre Studies: The African - American Situation Comedy, part 1

Genre plays a crucial role in examining audience and consumers tastes and interests in a range of media products; thus determining how they behave, as well as the media and entertainment industries recognizing what their needs and wants are & to serve those interests. As consumers ourselves, we can easily search for and establish our favourite genres. Online sites such as Amazon, have specialist categories where we can find different products and items. 

In a way, having genres makes life easier for us because instead of us physically assigning texts, such as TV shows, movies, music into categories, genres do that for us. And because we recognize and learn about the conventions of that genre, it means that in turn, we appreciate and understand it more (Barker, Wall, 75). 

What is 'Genre?'

A genre simply means 'order', a type, class or category of presentation that shares distinctive and recognizable features. Examples of genres include comedy, drama, cartoons, science fiction and news. 

Genre is a concept used to classify or group media texts into different categories. Media texts belong to a genre, adapting codes and conventions and appealing to a variety of different audiences, hailing from every part of the world & consisting of different nationalities, Black, White, Asian, Latino, young and old, gay and straight. 

Because many media programmes belong to a particular genre, this genre acts as a portal through which the audience receives media messages. Each genre presents a view-world that shapes the ways we think about the world, the characters within that particular world (Silverbatt, 3). The themes and subject matters & issues may remain the same, but it is the way these are told and presented on-screen that makes it a 'genre' or type of programme. 

The concept of function in the study of genres refers to the purpose for creating & receiving media texts, addressing the following issues: 

- Why do media communicators, such as producers, TV networks, writers, directors, create and produce certain genres?

- In watching a reality show or sitcom, what purpose is being served?

- Why are we, as an audience, attracted to various and particular genres? Is it through taste and preference? the iconography such as costumes, props and objects that are used by actors? Or is it because it is the way they tell stories that makes us compelled to become a fan of that genre? 

- And lastly, by identifying its functions, i.e. what is the purpose of this genre and its existence in media and entertainment? Take Science Fiction; one could say the purpose of Science Fiction is to demonstrate what life is like, or could be like 200 years from now in the future. (5, Silverbatt) 

The Impact of Genre in TV

Feuer stated that institutional uses of genre has resulted in the advent of the remote control and multi-channel TV, leading to programmes being 'customized' and designed to attract an increasingly fragmented audience (1992, 57). At the same time, genre, has become important as an institutional indicator of the target audience and demographic.

Channels such as Comedy Central, BET, QVC and TV One showcase particular programming based on TV genres, whilst the proliferation of other Cable & Pay TV networks are structured around branding & marketing to niche audiences interested in genres such as sports, documentaries, home and lifestyle.

Neale says generic forms of the genre must develop and evolve to keep pace with audience interest, citing ER, Chicago Hope as examples (Devereux, 288). And thus, we should add Grey's Anatomy to this list as well.

Genre is important in terms of a) establishing an audience, b) certain people can develop their skills by working within that genre, i.e; choreography for a dance performance on television, c), stars associate themselves with that genre, i.e. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis are known for action movies and c) fans of that genre can easily identify the codes.

In the world of television, film and music, genre characteristics are used to create style and appeal, in order to attract particular audiences. One example of genre characteristic is that by taking a movie and breaking it down according to the genre styles it incorporates. In say Snow White and the 7 Dwarves, you have comedy (the dwarves being funny, silly), musical elements (Hi Ho, Hi Ho it's off to work we go), a bit of a thriller (Snow White eating the poisoned apple) & romance (Snow White and Prince Charming get together and fall in love) (14).

The African-American Sitcom

Robin Means Coleman cites that it remains a weekly series of self-contained episodes with its story-lines revolving around an umbrella plot, and centering upon a cast of characters (Coleman, 6). 

Black situation comedy is programming that employs a core cast of African- American or Black characters & focuses on their socio-cultural, political and economic experiences (Coleman and Mcllwain, 125). Black sitcoms follow the same formula, same construct, same genre conventions as White sitcoms on television; the only differences being the African-American characters and the use of Ebonics. Ebonics is a variety of English spoken by many African- Americans.

African - American situation comedies such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Good Times & The Cosby Show, focus upon a main set of Black characters & their artistic, cultural, personal, social & economic experiences (Means Coleman, 8). Many of the earlier African-American sitcoms, as well as some of the 1990s Black sitcoms, were lambasted and criticized for using negative and stereotypical depictions of Blackness to promote humour. 

Cosby's representation of ethnicity and gender in shows A Different World and The Cosby Show, occurs in a challenging context. Black scholars draw on semiotic and mythic analysis to describe and prescribe the Black presence in the industries of White media (Bill Cosby and Recoding Ethnicity, Michael Real, 225 et al Joanne Morreale).

Real says the representation of Black ethnicity in The Cosby Show contrasts with traditional stereotypes; thus highlighting, coding and re-coding the concept of Blackness and what it represents, in a predominately White industry of the media today.

It is argued The Cosby Show's depiction of the Huxtable family is a continuation of the development of Blacks during the 1970s, 80s. However, whereas The Jeffersons, Benson, Diff'rent Strokes were set in a predominantly White world, the Huxtables were Black. The family were of Black, upper-middle class, living in Brooklyn, New York, & the show had no main or supporting White characters (The 80s: Black Like Whom? The Cosby Show and Frank's Place, 228, et al Boyd).

Ironically, the Cosby Show's series finale in 1992 ended at the same time when racial tensions in Los Angeles engulfed the Californian city (229, Boyd). The show presented an idealized notion of the Black upper-class experience of the American dream.

The success of the Cosby Show paved the way for a large number of nationally network & syndicated network- run Black sitcoms during the 1990s, which had more diverse (and positive) depictions of the African- American family. These shows led to more African-American personalities, making a name for themselves within the industry. The likes of Debbie Allen were a catalyst for the successful interpolation of Black programming into mainstream US television (Means Coleman, D. Mcllwan, 126) .

According to Taflinger, there are 3 distinct types of sitcom: actcom, domcom and dramedy: the actcom can be based on numerous themes, family, religion, occupations. The emphasis is on action, verbal and physical. Domcom has a wider variety of themes, events and is serious. It involves more people, such as the family. Examples include Roseanne and The Cosby Show and Good Times; sitcoms that predominately take place at home. Dramedy is not devoted to evoking laughter, emphasis is on presenting themes that are not humourous. Examples of dramedies include Ugly Betty and Everybody Hates Chris (Taflinger, 1996). 

In genre study and theory, the 3 main key concepts are Iconography, Codes and Conventions & audience. 


Iconography or reoccurring images, such as props within film, is a key means of giving its genre its identity. Iconography is similar to Mise-en-Scene. Mise-en-Scene is a French film studies term meaning to 'put in the scene'. For example, the Iconography of a Western is cowboys, cowboy hats, saloons, horses, guns, sheriffs. It gives the genre its own identity and flavour. 

Codes and conventions 

When audiences familiarize themselves with the concepts of codes and conventions of that genre, it becomes easier for them to read the text, and seek ideas and points of view that other people unfamiliar with genre study, are unable to detect (Barker, Wall, 75). Like all media theories, at first it's difficult to understand, especially if you haven't studied media or film studies before, but once you read more into it, and think of ideas and examples and link them to that theory, it becomes easier. 

Codes - Signs are people, characters, places, colours, objects, words. A code is a system of signs. There are 2 types of codes: technical & symbolic. Technical refers to the equipment used during production of a show. A camera used during a shooting of a scene in a sitcom is a sign. Camera, director, actors, costumes, props, music. Symbolic codes refers to signs within the narrative or story considered as important or significant. I.e. tears streaming down a person's face may indicate sadness or sorrow. 

Conventions - Conventions are ways of doing something; set of rules that are more genre- specific. The conventions of the traditional sitcom are 30 mins long, it has a studio audience or canned laughter, has main and supporting characters, running jokes, a beginning, middle and end & irony/sarcasm (Codes & Conventions- Teaching Media Studies). 

A running joke or gag is an amusing situation, funny one-liner, character trait that appears throughout the series of the show. One of the best examples of a running joke, is during the Fresh Prince of Bel Air  where Will's friend Jazz, gets thrown out of the house by Uncle Phil. 

Audience - Audiences read and enjoy their media products differently, depending on their lifestyles, preferences, tastes and likes. They are organised into different groups, based on their finances & social circumstances and such by producers, advertisers and broadcasters and TV networks. These people then target their consumers, who have spending power, and bombard them with offers, product placements, TV and print ads (Teaching Media Studies). 

The Aim Of The Essay 

By using a range of examples from classic African-American sitcom shows, I will seek to highlight and address the social, political, cultural and ideological themes and concepts within African-American communities. Thus, probing these meanings associated with African-Americans & their experiences, through the medium of television and the sitcom genre. Additionally, this will prompt numerous questions; such as how they are portrayed in sitcoms, whether or not these character representations reflect or challenge the general consensus of African-Americans & their own cultural & racial identities. Finally, I will explain why nationally networked Black sitcoms are of cultural importance and significance to the Black viewer, in the face of growing reality TV & drama shows on the 4 main US networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox. & why we need them to return to U.S national television. As well as examining what these sitcom representations say, notwithstanding American and Western society's ideas as to what Black and African-American cultures entails and pertains to. 

(to be continued in part 2....)


  • On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy from Slavery to Chris Rock, Mel Watkins
  • Media Studies: The Essential Resource
  • Media Studies: Key Issues and Debates, Eoin Devereux
  • Critiquing the Sitcom: A Reader, ed. Joanne Morreale
  • African Americans  & Popular Culture, ed. Todd Boyd
  • African American Viewers & The Black Situation Comedy: Situating Racial Humour, Robin R. Means Coleman, 1998
  • The Sitcom Reader: America Viewed and Skewed, Robin R. Means Coleman & Charlton D. Mcllwain, 2012
  • Media Knowall: Genre Explained, Karina Wilson, 2013
  • GCSE Media Studies for AQA, ed. Mandy Essen, Martin Phillips, Anne Riley
  • Transparency Now: Situation Comedies and the Liberating Power of Sadism, Ken Sanes
  • Sitcom: What It Is, How It Works, Richard F. Taflinger, 1996 
  • Genre Studies in Mass Media: A Handbook, Art Silverbatt 
  • Teaching Media studies: Codes and Conventions, TKI Media Studies 
  • Teaching Media studies: Audiences, TKI Media Studies 
  • As Media Studies: The Essential Revision Guide for AQA, Jo Barker, Peter Wall

Thursday, 26 December 2013

My Favourite Arts #2 : The Art of Stanley Lau

Stanley Lau is one heck of an artist. Originally from Hong Kong but based in Singapore, he is an illustrator, digital artist, designer, concept artist, who has worked with the likes of DC Comics, Capcom, and other video game and comic book companies. He is also the co-founder of website Imaginary Friends studios, who supply artwork for those companies. 

His style successfully blends Western comic book art styles, as used in DC Comics, with an East Asian flavour, whilst emphasizing strong vibrant colours and demonstrating excellent line work. 

Lau's works have garnered so much attention, especially online where he has a DeviantArt account, and uses it to post his works on a regular basis. 

Pepper  Delivery 

Super Girl

Bat Girl

   Captain America 

Wonder Woman

Sue Richards/ The Invisible Woman

The Powerpuff Girls

Sakura of Streetfighter video game series

Cheetara of Thundercats

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Every One Should Celebrate Christmas - Christian Or Otherwise

It's that time once again (my favourite time in the calendar as well) where Christmas is here.


But the traditions of Christmas and arguments over whether it is a religious tradition, over Jesus's birth date -- which according to skeptics does not fall on December 25th-, arise every year when it nears Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. People are saying ''no, if you're not Christian or Catholic, you shouldn't celebrate Christmas''. Hindus have Diwali, Muslims with Eid, us Chinese have Chinese New Year and Christians have Easter and Christmas to contend with. Meanwhile, if you're an atheist, you can still celebrate just by eating, drinking, having fun.

Fact of the matter is: people should celebrate Christmas however, whenever they like and to their own accord. Regardless of your religious affiliation, or lack of one. 

Being Chinese, many of us aren't religious, or those who are, fall into one of the categories: Buddism, Taoism or Roman catholic. There are lots of people of Chinese descent who are Christians; in particular, those born in the United States of America. 

Christmas is a spiritual and religious holiday for many people, but for the rest of us, we use this occasion to meet up with family and friends. December 25th is a special day in our family; whereas everyone else has Christmas dinner and other stuff, this day belongs to my younger sister who was born on Christmas Day back in 1983. So yeah, it's a double celebration for her! Christmas and birthday.

But anyhow, I get it. Christmas is a Christian holiday - or so says Christians themselves. I don't want to take it away from them; but Christmas time for me and my family is special in many ways, and I consider it to be important that every Christmas is as good as last Christmas, every year.  Just because I am not a Christian myself, should I choose to deprive myself the opportunity to spend time with my family during the holidays. I don't celebrate it religiously, but I celebrate it as a family get together.

Whoever says that this is wrong and that being a non-Christian, you shouldn't (be allowed to) celebrate Christmas, are obviously depriving others out of their happiness and freedom of choice.  

Besides, it wouldn't be in the true spirit of Christmas just to tell non-Christians and Catholics to f*** off and stop butting into their traditions. All because their beliefs (and in the case of Atheists, non-beliefs) are not in line with theirs. People are people, no matter their religion, race, age, sexual orientation, nationality, gender but they are also human beings. And as human beings, we should all be respected, as well as be entitled to our own choices, decisions in life.

Christmas is supposed to be a happy time for everyone, and when I mean everyone, that includes every single person.

What Christmas means to them, will be completely different to every other family's idea of Christmas and what it is to them. 

Okay, we can agree that Christmas today has become too commercialized, too money-orientated and more about spending lots and lots of money than as a religious and family gathering. But aside from that, if you try not to get too apprehended by that, it is still a happy time.

Christmas, as I see it personally, is something that should be embraced and celebrated everywhere, around the world, in your own particular style and it doesn't have to be this way, that way. Or as the Christians celebrate it.

Like I said, if you deprive people from doing things and prevent them from taking part, when it's not doing any one any actual harm, then frankly you are doing a disservice to yourself, your traditions and your religion/non- religion & God. 

Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Atheist..... whatever religion you are, or are not, happy holidays. 

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Cultural Appropriation, or Just Showing Their Love For That Culture?

One could say Cultural appropriation is one of the buzz words of 2013. It has appeared on many blogs, articles, websites, & it has been uttered and mentioned a few times by Cultural Studies scolars. Not to mention it was instigated through the infamous Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke MTV Video Music Awards incident that ruffled a few feathers, as well as upset many African-Americans, who took to Twitter and Facebook afterwards to express their disgust at the mocking display. 

So what is Cultural appropriation? One definition is:

Cultural appropriation is when a person or persons from another ethnic or social background takes something from another culture and mocks it. 

Not all of it is race-related; it can even stem from ridiculing gay people and mimicking the way they talk, dress, mannerisms. 

What is not perceived as cultural appropriation are things like dressing up as a Japanese Manga character or video game character. This is not racist or offensive. As well as liking or disliking foreign food, taking a fictional character and making them Black, White or Asian and buying or listening to R&B, country, J-Pop (Japanese pop music). 

Through cultural appropriation, it is insinuated that, as people, no matter what colour our skin is, we can do whatever we want, whatever we like, without thinking about the consequences afterwards. Consequences of which, can have an immediate effect on that particular social or ethnic group. In most cases, it does play on stereotypes of people. A lot of it is done out of ignorance and not with the intent to offend; and yet to that group, they may feel otherwise. 

Negative examples of cultural appropriation is wearing dark face, looking like a minstrel and Asians having eye plastic surgery to look more 'Westernised' or White. 

One of the problems cultural appropriation causes is through the actions of that particular person, to the audience and viewer in general, who see it on TV for example, they will watch it and assume afterwards that Black people, Asian people, the gay community, do behave and act like that in real life when they all do not. 

Another problem is that in today's popular culture and entertainment, what we have seen during the last 3 or 4 years, especially within the United States of America, is a) the dumbing down of Black culture, b) more mainstream television networks shunning Black sitcoms, and cable TV stations creating and televising Black sitcoms and programmes aimed at African -Americans and c) the infiltration of pop and dance music into R&B and Hip Hop; thus, the music industry who have pretty much ruined urban music through money, the overuse of technology and turning commerical R&B into a vapid style of euro- dance pop . 

One may argue that not all cultural appropriation is considered in bad taste (hence the examples stated in one of the paragraphs in this piece); likewise, it is always a good thing to see someone - outside of your culture or race- have an appreciation (if not a full understanding) for your, or a different culture, & embody it in a good way, without taking the mick. I've seen photos of celebrities, watched movies of women wearing traditional Chinese garments, and I think it's really cool. I don't find it offensive, - unless they opened their mouths and imitate Chinese people by mockingly speaking in a Chinese accent & making slitty eyes. That would offend me. 

Still, if Black people can enjoy fine arts and opera, if Whites can listen to reggae and R&B music, wear African garments and Asians are into punk rock, then who's to say they are demeaning their culture through it? They are not. 

Sticking to your own culture, customs and traditions is a good thing, because it keeps you firmly rooted, culturally. But that does not mean you should deny your own freedom, of your own choice to like different things outside of your culture as well. Why choose when you can have both, without the detriment of insulting people? Unlike cultural appropriation, this is what some would perceive as cultural 'appreciation'. 

It is important to know that just because you wear clothing from a different country, you are not ridiculing the people of that country. You're just showing respect and appreciation. 

There is a fine line between staying true to yourself as a person and a human being, either as a Black, White, Asian, Hispanic man/woman, and being appreciative of other cultures you choose to either adapt and take on or showing particular interest in, all because it fascinates you. 

& not out of attention and to upset the very people of that particular social group. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Retro Review: Fame TV Series

(*Originally posted on IMDB 2010) 

Debbie Allen - Choreographer, dance consultant, constant staging, director
Duration: 1982 - 1987 (NBC)
No of seasons: 6
Release date: Jan 7 1982 (US), June 17 1982 (UK) 
Produced by MGM
Cast: Debbie Allen, Carlo Imperato, Gene Anthony Ray, Albert Hague, Carol Mayo Jenkins, Bill Hufsey, Valerie Landsberg, Jesse Borrego, Erica Gimpel, Lee Curreri, Nia Peebles, Cynthia Gibb, Lori Singer, Janet Jackson

'In Hindsight, The TV Show Was Superior To The Movie'

Just like with the movie, I myself was too young to ever remember the TV series of Fame. I was 1 years old at the time (was born in 1981 and an 80s baby)- I never saw a single episode on TV in the UK when it was aired. But as I grew up, especially in the 00s, I read lots of things on the internet about 80s pop culture and the impact it had everywhere. Fame, as well as Flashdance and Footloose were the embodiment of the 1980s dance revolution. Culturally, it spawned things like Lycra and knee length socks. 

The Fame TV series was launched in 1982 amidst the back of the global success of the film itself- yet whilst the movie was gritty, raw and powerful in places, fans especially felt as if they knew very little about the characters themselves and how they had ended up at the performing arts school in New York. Thankfully, throughout the 6 seasons, the show was able to address that issue and focus more on the characters and their individual and collective situations. 

The movie was good, but looking back on it, it did lack that element of 'character' development. Yes we got to see Coco, Montgomery, Doris, Danny and Leroy but their parts were relatively speaking very small. There was also criticism from some fans that the themes in the movie rendition were too adult-orientated and R-rated, for a film supposedly depicting life at and behind a performing arts school. As well as the film played on 'stereotypes'- i.e. the black kid who is angry, aggressive in the shape of Leroy; Montgomery the closeted homosexual. 

Fame's appeal was now broad and mainstream- the movie's swearing, nudity, R-rated hardcore stuff had to be 'cleaned up'. Again, die- hard fans of the movie weren't too happy with this, but for everybody else it was just what this series needed to further extend its mass appeal to the audience. 

Many teenagers and young people who inspire and aspire to become a dancer, actor/actress or undertake other forms of performing and fine arts, would want to enroll at a performing arts/creative arts college or institution to help fulfill their ambition. Fame was that one series that showcased the lives of students at the NY performing arts school, as well as that of the tutors themselves. 

As well as it was the first real television series that gave viewers a glimpse of life in a performing arts school and for us to see what it was like as a student and a working member of staff, both within the school of the arts and outside of it. We got to see their professional lives, in addition to their personal lives and their personal relationships with other people. 

Dance student Coco Hernandez was now played by Erica Gimpel- she replaced Irene Cara, the original actress of that role in the movie, after she had disagreements, issues with the people behind Fame and her record company with regards to royalty payments for her hit, 'Fame'. In addition, the roles of Montgomery and wisecracks Doris Schwaltz and Danny Armatullo were performed by P.R Paul, Valarie Lansberg and Carlo Imperato respectively. 

The only main cast survivors from the original movie to make their transition to the small screen, were Gene Anthony Ray as would- be dancer, Leroy Jonston and Lee Cureri as music student Bruno Martelli. and then- newcomer, Julie aka Lori Singer joined the ranks. 

Carol Mayo Jenkins played English Lit teacher, Miss Sherwood, Professor Shorofsky was undertaken by the late Albert Hague and last but not least, Lydia Grant- who having lusted after Leroy in the movie, became a hard- as- nails, tough talking drill sergeant/ dance tutor. She was played by the ever talented and sublime, Debbie Allen. 

Debbie Allen's role in the movie was once again very minor, but in the show itself, she became a regular cast member and as Lydia waved her magic wand, slipped on her dancing shoes and danced and sang like never before. For all her production, directorial efforts on other shows, her association with Fame will live on in memory for generations to come. She was in many respects, the heartbeat of and driving force behind 'Fame's success and phenomenon. Almost everything she touched turned to gold. Debbie choreographed most of the dance routines, directed and produced the show, as well as act, dance AND she sang on the show too. Just wow! 

When I purchased the first season on DVD and throughout each episode, I was engrossed in and drawn by the quality of the story lines, as well as the dialogue. The writing in Fame is superb. The characterisations were much better suited for the small screen, as opposed to the big screen and it showed throughout with each episode. The original music numbers are great too, I felt like dancing myself! And the performances from all the cast members were fantastic. 

Overall, the TV series of Fame is better than the original movie. It is very much an extended version of the movie but has none of the expletives and adult themes. Of course, there was also the remake of the movie that came out in 2009 and whilst that is also more family orientated, that version of Fame is aimed more at the kiddie market, as opposed to (elder generations of) fans of the original film and TV show. 

If you are a fan of the 80s, and want to feel artistically and creatively inspired, then be sure to get hold of and watch Fame the TV series. 

'Fame', we'll always remember your name! ;)

Overall: 9 out of 10 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Semiotics of Nintendo's Advertising, Part 3: Nintendo's Ad Analysis

In the third and final part of this essay, I will seek to address the usefulness of Semiotics in analysing advertisements and the ways in which Nintendo have chosen these elements and ideas for their ads to a) create meaning and b) to persuade consumers to purchase their products. Through this, I will utilize and apply Semiotic terminology to my advertising examples and state the wider implications and cultural understandings of what Nintendo are trying to imply and decode their ideas and the hidden messages they are sending out to their readers and audience. 

Therefore, I have chosen 5 different adverts: 4 print ads and 1 TV ad. 

Triple Play

The first ad shows the NES, Super Nintendo and Gameboy systems on what looks like an outer space-like background. There appears to be light rays underneath the boxes. This denotes that it is giving the appearance that they are colliding towards each other, like 3 space ships. The caption, 'Triple Play' signifies that there are not only 3 ways of playing Nintendo games but that you have the choice to pick from the NES, Gameboy and Super Nintendo. The Triple Play logo is red in a Futura condensed extra bold normal -type font, which could denote Nintendo's trademark colour of Red, but also to highlight the Red on a Black background. 

The presentation of the poster is futuristic space -like. With space comes technology, computers and video games; therefore it has that feel to it.  

The official Nintendo seal of quality sign is made bigger than the consoles, thus connoting and emphasising how much more important it is to know that 'quality' is better than quantity. It could serve as anchorage in place of the normal Nintendo logo. 

The White anchorage says 'Nintendo gives you the power to choose. Classic power, Portable Power, Super Power.' Classic referring to and signifying the NES, Super Power refers to Super Nintendo and Portable Power denotes the Gameboy, being a portable system. The use of 'power' suggests that in the context of Nintendo and gaming, gaming is power. With power, you can use it to your advantage and to take control of the characters of the games you play. 


The second ad is an advert for Starfox for the Super Nintendo. Has a dark background with Red and Yellow text juxtaposed onto it. The font for the text looks like it is Arial Black. The caption is like a play on words.Chips as in computer chips that are found in computers, and Chips as in US terms potato chips or UK terms Chips as in chunky fries denoting food. 

Given the text is in Red, the red must be used to emphasise the significance of the Super FX chip, which is a first for a video game. The red text says 'One of these chips gives Starwing (Starwing being the other name for Starfox) the most exciting FX you've ever seen'. FX is an abbreviation of 'Effects', as in special effects. Now think about this; imagine replacing FX with 'taste' and seen with had. It would then read 'One of these chips gives Starwing the most exciting taste you've ever had'. If that was the case, then Starwing would be a brand name for fries, instead of a video game. It gives off the impression that it is selling fries or chips, a type of food product. 

The yellow text, 'the other one gives you spots' underneath a picture of a french fry, which is indexical, could denote that with fries and spots, if you eat too much fried food, you'd end up getting spots, as well as get fat and mouth ulcers. French fries is considered unhealthy and a part of fast food, which is cheap to sell and takes less preparation to cook. 

Underneath it, is a small box art of the game, Starfox with anchorage next to it. The small box art can also be seen as iconic, as it resembles what is being advertised and marketed to the consumer, which is video games. 

The signifier is the FX chip, the signified is the caption 'one of these chips....'

The bottom right-hand corner has the Red Super Nintendo logo denoting that this game can only be played on the Super Nintendo. 

Rhythm Heaven for Nintendo DS

This next advert shows pop star Beyonce playing Rhythm Paradise on the Nintendo DS console. The text looks foreign, though I'm guessing it must be German or some other European language. From her facial expression, she seems to be smiling, thus as a code and indexical code, is denoting that she enjoys playing the game and is having fun at the same time. 

Her dress code is very casual, that of a Grey tee-shirt and blue jeans that connotes her relaxed and calm expression, as she is happily playing on her DS. It also denotes the everyday clothes she wears at home when she is not working and having to look very glamorous on camera for the paparazzi and her fans. Her posture signifies how she might play portable video games at home with her legs folded 

The text at the top of the poster could connote Beyonce's hair colour or the background cover of the game box, which is very brown-ish looking. 

The fact that Beyonce was chosen to advertise this particular video game titled 'Rhythm Paradise', the game itself relies on rhythmic action and having a sense of rhythm and understanding the beat of the music playing. As she is a singer and a dancer and she is advertising a game that involves music and rhythm, using the stylus and tapping buttons in time to the beat of the song, it makes her appearance all the more appropriate really. Rhythm Paradise is a music-based video game. 

Beneath Beyonce are the screenshots of different mini-games included in the game, as well as diagrams of a hand holding a stylus, each one signifying how each game should be played. 

At the bottom of the poster is a picture of the game cover with anchorage next to it. On the bottom right-hand side, is the DS games console with stylus, thus denoting which system this game should be played on. 


This one is more of a holiday promotion held by beverage company Pepsico promoting Pepsi and the Super Nintendo. Mario is dressed as Santa, wearing a Santa hat that has 'M' on it, with Yoshi as a reindeer. Yoshi signifies the reindeer, and his shape and form is reminiscent of a Reindeer.With Mario as Santa, his hat is a dress code and the concepts of Santa and Mario both illicit positive connotations. Santa brings happiness and joy to kids when he delivers presents to them at night when they are asleep, Mario as Santa is an Iconic sign, and like Santa he brings happiness and joy to children, but when they play Mario games. That feeling as a child of opening your presents on Christmas day in the morning and discovering you got a Nintendo Wii, 3DS, Wii U or Nintendo games as gifts, is very much like that. 

Games that are fun for all the family and do not contain violence. It's about fun and enjoyment. The M on his hat denotes 'Mario'. Mario is holding a yellow package, presumably with Super Nintendo written on it, we can presume he is delivering a Super Nintendo console as a present to a child. 

'Win a Super Nintendo Entertainment System' denotes and signifies it is a competition to win a SNES games console. The anchorage, 'Just in Time for the holidays' denotes that the competition takes place a week or so, before the week of Christmas Eve and Day. 

The colour code is mainly Red; Santa wears red, so does Mario along with his Blue overalls. The Red clothing of Mario's connotes Nintendo's trademark colour at the time, which used to be Red, in contrast to Sega's Blue and Sega's mascot, Sonic The Hedgehog, who is also blue. 

Mario and Yoshi's smiles are also a form of non-verbal code. 

Mario and Yoshi are signs emphasizing they are central to this promotion. The small house may connote the house that they left to drop off one of the presents. 


Here is the advert for the Wii home console that was released in 2006 in North America. It shows the Wii Remote in what looks like liquid rising upwards, and you can see the buttons on the controller. It then shows the D-pad, 3 circle buttons moving about. This denotes that Nintendo have taken a different approach to video games than they did before and are trying to do something that caters to everyone. It then switches to a hand and of a guy grabbing the remote. The way it is shot and edited gives off a sense of suspense. He uses it to play video games. The 2 people, the guy and the girl appear to be playing a game of tennis. Even though we don't see footage of a tennis game, we hear tennis sounds in the background. We then get footage of 2 guys - who look like they are chefs holding Wii remotes and using them as if they were knives to chop up food. It is assumed they are playing a cooking game.

An elderly couple is now shown, each one holding Wii remotes. Classical music is playing in the background. They are moving sideways, too -ing and fro-ing and holding the controller as if  it was a baton and they were conductors of an orchestra. Their appearance signifies Nintendo's aim to create and deliver a product that has mass market appeal, so that anyone, regardless of age, can pick up a Wii remote and play. It switches to a man who is sitting on a chair. He is holding 2 remotes, one in each hand, as if they were drumsticks and he was playing the drums with them. He is then wearing a black baseball cap, Blue shirt and uses the remote to swing it as if it was a bat and he was playing baseball.

A young boy and an elderly man, who appears to be his grandfather are playing a fishing game on the Wii. It is assumed that they connote the father and son bond of getting together and spending time over a particular past -time. which in this case is video games. Shot then switches to a bespectacled guy, who seems to be a dentist holding the remote and looking inside someones teeth. A young woman is lying on the couch with sound effects in the background. Sounds like she is playing New Super Mario Bros Wii. She moves the Green Wii remote up and down. Green is also a referent and the colour of  Super Mario Bros' Luigi's clothes. An image of the Wii nunchuk in milky liquid then appears, and is plugged into the back of the remote. A family, who look like they are having a party with birthday decorations on the wall, are playing a game with remotes. What this game is we do not know for certain. However, one may connote that it is polysemic; therefore, it could be Wii Party or some other party-type game. Shot switches to a guy lurking behind a chair, who then pops up and uses it like a gun to shoot enemies. He then sits down. It is assumed that he was playing a first-person shooter type game. A trio of girls, 2 Japanese/Asian, 1 Caucasian with the Caucasian holding the red Wii remote and of whom are trying to trap a fly. Another guy uses the remote as a sword. You can hear slicing sound effects in the background. The phone rings. He then presses the D-Pad to pause the game, so he can answer the phone.

We get a shot of a Wii remote and see that one of the lights is blue, signifying the game that he'd been playing is paused.

The Wii console is on a table alongside the nunchuk and Wii remote. Image fades. Then 'Coming 2006' appears, signifying the worldwide release date of the console. Then the advert fades and ends.


Each of these 5 advertisements all have very different ways of selling the Nintendo brand to the consumer. I'd also like to point out that although Nintendo is a Japanese brand by nature and has Japanese and Asian cultural values, the characters of Nintendo, most of them are not Japanese, solely by origin or ethnicity. Legend of Zelda's Link, Samus from Metroid, Mario, Kirby, though were created by the likes of Shigeru Miyamoto, Masahiro Sakurai, Gunpei Yokoi, they each have personalities and images that are western- related that resonate with Nintendo fans, who aren't Japanese themselves. And that alone, is what makes Nintendo stand out from other so-called Japanese games developers, of whom some or most of their characters cater and appeal towards Japanese audiences, moreso than Western audiences.

Final Thoughts:

Semiotics, and the significance of Semiotics in advertising, is crucial in understanding how messages are read and perceived by us, and as to how the creators creation of that text input that message, in order to sell a particular product or service.

Semiotics operates on a level that is firstly denotative by means of seeing what is already presented in front of us and then explaining it, descriptively, and secondly connotative and implicit and hidden meanings that we ourselves interpret from the given image/text. It is about analysing images, signs, logos, symbols, posters etc for the purpose of understanding its meaning. But semiotics isn't just limited to visual media and things, it includes anything and everything. We can analyse anything, and anyone in Semiotics, just as long as it is visual and can be seen by everyone. 

Images and signs operate on different levels, depending on their context, and we only know it is what it is when the signified (word of the image/object) and signifier (image/object) meet together. It is only from then onwards that the coming together of the denotation and connotation makes sense to us, and alas, from that we draw upon our own conclusions.

Nintendo has a variety of ways in conveying their image to audiences and fans, to encourage them to buy video games consoles and games. And it is through advertising, both on TV and print, that they use numerous selling techniques, visual signs and codes to enable them to spread their message across, as well as to emphasize that Nintendo is about fun, enjoyment, and being happy, through the medium of gaming.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Semiotics of Nintendo's Advertising, Part 2: Nintendo's Global Impact and Mario

Video games has had a long standing relationship with advertising through print and television, in addition to other forms of product placement. It enhances and connects video games to the wider world and brings non-video game players and enthusiasts deeper into the cultural and social sphere of video games (C. Murphy, 17).

In the West, sports, going to the theatre, movies, music, watching TV has always been the most dominant tools of communication. Yet in Japan things are very different, as games and playing video games occupy as the main tool of communication over sports due to the lack of space (169). It was seen as something that was embraced positively in Japan and by the 1980s, the Japanese gaming culture underwent a major shift.....

About Nintendo

Nintendo's origins stem during 1889 when the company produced and marketed Hanafuda cards. Hanafuda cards are playing cards in Japan and when they became more and more popular, the founder of Nintendo Fasajiro Yaumachi then hired more workers to mass-produce more cards, in order to meet consumer demands.

The Hanafuda deck consisted of 48 playing cards divided into 12 suits. Each suit represented each of the 12 months of the year.

In 1949, Sekiyo Kenada, who was then Nintendo's second president, suffered a stroke and as a result, called on Hiroshi to replace him, which he did. He became the new Nintendo president and no sooner did he began firing workers and managers, so that they would not be able to question his authority. Hiroshi changed the name Marufuka Playing cards to Nintendo Playing Cards.

In 1959, Nintendo collaborates with American giant, Disney to produce playing cards featuring Disney characters. The idea was so successful, it sold over 600,000 packs during that same year. 4 years on, Nintendo sold instant rice (yes rice) but unfortunately, it didn't work. After that, they went into the love hotel business. They were also a taxi company. But after several attempts, Hiroshi realised Nintendo's asset was not in hotels or the food industry, but the Hafuda playing cards. After the success of the playing cards, their next journey would take advantage of that and to go into the toys and games business.

And with that, Nintendo shifted their focus towards video games.

In 1983, the year of the video game crash, the Kyoto – based company which made playing cards, toys and released arcade games, introduced the Famicom. The Famicom was an abbreviation of Family Computer, and it became Nintendo's first real entry into the console market (Kinder, 89).

Easily beating rival systems of Sony (years before the launch of the Playstation) and Matsushita in Japan, the Famicom sold 2.1 million units in its first 18 months since its release.

Costing between $80 and $150 to produce and manufacture, the Famicom was an 8-bit games console that had the same microprocessor used in Apple's IIC and Commodore 64 PCs (Kinder, 92).

Nintendo arrived in the United States in 1985, in an attempt to revive the video game craze and spent around $30million on advertising to persuade consumers to purchase the Nintendo Entertainment System, I.e, NES for short. The NES was the West's version of the Japanese Famicom. In 5 years, Nintendo controlled 80% of the market share. With total sales heading towards $5 billion, it gave them 20% share of the entire US toy market. To make matters more interesting, by the end of 1989, it was revealed that 1 out of every 5 households in America owned a NES (Kinder, 89, 90).

A year later, Nintendo claimed that close to 50% of its players were over 18 years of age and 36% of them were female. Video games were no longer toys, it was a hobby, a lifestyle. The cutesy graphics and designs of the characters were appealing enough for young girls to take an interest in games and to play as Mario and Link.

Mario and The Worldwide Impact of Nintendo

Mario's influence and impact goes beyond video games making him a (unlikely) cultural icon.

Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka, whose company develops Angry Birds even said Mario was influential;

'Mario is a great character. But it's not just about him – it's the whole world that Nintendo has built, with the other great characters and the stories told through its games' (Soteriou, 2012).

Created by Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario is to Nintendo, the same way Mickey Mouse is to Disney; he is the main driving force behind the company's success. When you think of video games and of Nintendo, the first immediate thing that springs to mind is, Mario. He is everywhere and his cultural impact, since the days of Mario Bros on the NES, has put him ahead of other gaming mascots such as Pacman and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic became Mario's arch rival during the Genesis vs Super Nintendo days of 1991, up until Sega quit the hardware business and thus, rebranded itself as a third-party software developer and publisher in 2001. 

With 3 animated series, an awful Hollywood movie starring Bob Hoskins, countless merchandise and toys and numerous appearances in spin-off games and such, the fact that more children during the 1990s identified with Mario and preferred Mario over Mickey Mouse, tells you something about Nintendo's effect outside of video games and within society and culture (Super Mario Bros HQ).

The original Super Mario Bros is arguably still the best selling video game of all-time with over 40 million copies, sold worldwide. Mario and his brother, Luigi have become a cultural phenomenon and one would argue they are also the most recognizable video game siblings as well.

Nintendo found their secret weapon to their success; they knew that in Mario he had that cross-over appeal that would interest people of all ages, both male and female, all around the world, as well as it would enable the company to generate more income.

In 2009, a research company going by the name of Smarty Pants, who focus on child-related brands- questioned 4, 700 kids aged between 6-12  for a study titled ''Young Love'. They were asked out of all the major brands, which one was their favourite. Nintendo was the number 1 choice, with the Wii, followed by the DS in second (7, Firestone). These 2 products, Wii and DS games consoles beat out Mcdonalds, Nickelodeon, and DisneyThis statistic alone demonstrated the massive impact video games has had on people of all ages, but that also the image of the traditional video games player, had changed. No longer was this past-time for young boys and teenagers and geeks- video gaming was a hobby that everybody, male and female, young and old all embraced and could participate in. 

Samus Aran & The Birth of A New Female Gaming Hero

As well as Mario and Link from The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo also thanks to Gunpei Yokoi, -creator of the Gameboy, which went on to become one of the biggest selling hand- held systems, ever-, during 1986 unveiled their first main female gaming protagonist, named Samus Aran. The game was titled: Metroid.

In Metroid, the objective of the game is to aid female bounty hunter Samus Aran in finding and destroying Mother Brain & saving the universe. A plot that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Aliens movies starring Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley (Kinder, 107). One of the interesting things about Metroid is given the main protagonist is female, one would be forgiven in thinking that as Samus is a woman and the hero and not some damsel in distress, her heroism and bravery in the face of evil, would encourage more female video game players to play Metroid games and see Samus Aran as a some kind of role model for women.

When in fact, the interest in Metroid and its cult status as a sci-fi action-adventure series has prompted more male players to take an active interest in the franchise. Probably because a) it is a sci-fi, action game and b) Samus shoots people with her arm cannon, not just because she is female.

Additionally, Samus Aran's impact and cultural status amongst gamers and Nintendo fans, has led to the creation and arrival of other female video game characters by other creators and developers. Most notably that of Jill Valentine of Resident Evil, Chun Li of Streetfighter, Sega's Bayonetta and Tomb Raider's Lara Croft.

The success of Nintendo led to the revolution of the entertainment industry and by the 1990s, it made more profit than many of the U.S film and TV studios such as Paramount, Fox, NBC. Nintendo became a home entertainment giant and were finally taken seriously (12, Firestone).

As of today, Nintendo have released a total of 7 home consoles, including the recent Wii U and 6 hand-held consoles including 7 iterations of the Gameboy and 4 iterations of the DS (Dual Screen). With total hardware sales surpassing 600 million and software sales over 4 billion to date, in addition to the DS being the biggest- selling 7th generation handheld console and the Wii as the biggest selling 7th generation home console, Nintendo, in the face of ongoing constant (& mostly undeserved) criticism, media and press attacks and the urge by their detractors to leave the hardware business and focus on making games for mobile devices & rival consoles, are still here, still fighting. And still proving that there are still people that prefer to play games on consoles, as well as still love Mario, Kirby, Link and Samus.

In other words, Nintendo aren't going anywhere.

(Continued in part 3) 


  • Playing with Power in movies, television and video games: from Muppet Babies to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Marsha Kinder, 1993
  • Nintendo's Mascot: From Donkey Kong to Super Mario Lovers, Helen Soteriou, BBC News, 4 June 2012
  • Super Mario Bros HQ, 1997-2013
  • Nintendo: The Company and its Founders, Mary Firestone, 2011 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...