Any Nintendo fan who has kept up with the company recognizes the word amiibo. The word refers to collectible figures of Nintendo’s franchises, more specifically the characters within these franchises. This includes characters such as Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Zelda and so much more. However, these figures are not just collectible, they contain NFC technology that once scanned, allows the figures to play a role in the Nintendo games for both the Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo Wii U and the soon to be released Nintendo Switch.
amiibo are a stellar example of transmedia and convergence as Nintendo has repurposed the idea of collectible figures. The company included in these figures NFC so that when touched to a gaming console, it communicates digital content over to these gaming consoles. From there, the player is able to use this data differently depending upon what game they are playing. For example, in the game Mario Kart 8, should the player scan a Mario amiibo, then they will unlock a Mario costume that the player avatar character can wear while racing. This is something of a new genre because not only does this allow Nintendo fans to collect figures of their favorite gaming characters, but this also allows them to interact with them in various games.
In Nintendo’s franchises, there are numerous examples of cyborgs, a creature both machine and organic. The first to come to mind is Donkey Kong. Despite the name Donkey, this character is actually designed after a gorilla. This gives the player the idea that this character is organic, an animal that one can find in the real world. But because of the nature of the genre, Donkey Kong is actually a mixture of animal and machine. There are other examples of characters that match this definition, such as Yoshi, Fox McCloud and Isabella. Nintendo is only one company that mixes human, animal, and machine together to create its character’s and stories. By using these mixtures, Nintendo is able to allow these characters to not only behave as humans, but have both human emotion and relationships that are believable. This is only made possible by the new technologies that have been developing and by engaging in the player’s imagination.
In addition to this, Nintendo characters are extremely popular for cosplay and costumes. By dressing up as their favorite characters, people are able to live out a fantasy and become a part of something much larger than themselves. People also take their love for these characters and write their own fanfictions which incorporate not only Nintendo’s characters, but their own created characters as well. Some people even make fan games using Nintendo’s characters or perhaps put them in a different game as a cameo. Nintendo’s influence on people has led to many creative ideas and outcomes.