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‘Super Mario Maker 2’ Finally Acknowledges Nintendo Fan Communities

It was the best-selling game of June, with IGN calling it “the most accessible game design tool ever created, and that core is just one part of a greater whole…”

Since its launch three weeks ago, fans have already built over 2 million custom stages, NPR notes — but the real news is that Super Mario Maker 2 finally represents a shift in Nintendo’s attitude towards its fan community:
It’s Nintendo’s reliance on the creative spirit of these dedicated players that makes the Super Mario Maker series such a quietly radical property within the Nintendo canon… By loosening its grip on a beloved property and tossing the keys to the player community, Nintendo feeds into the fan-obsessive tendencies they’ve previously refused. With the Super Mario Maker series, Nintendo acknowledges the history of competitive speedrunning, tournament play, and even the masochistic fan games that have made their games visible and interesting in an entirely different way. It’s the rare Nintendo game that is depending on those players, creators, and spectators to keep it alive. Super Mario Maker 2 has only been out for a few weeks, but already we’ve seen how the game’s deceptively complex course editor has led to the community making some astounding levels…

Nintendo has always been old-school in the way they rely on offline experiences, downplaying the kind of online communities that other developers prioritize. Ironically, it is that indifference that has made fan communities formed around Nintendo games feel singular and special — they’re smaller, more intimate, and regulated by the players themselves. With the Super Mario Maker franchise, Nintendo finally acknowledges the power and influence of its most obsessive fans — by creating something that couldn’t thrive without them.

IGN argues that “it’s astonishing how incredibly well it’s all held together in one cohesive package… It does nearly everything better than its already excellent predecessor, introducing some incredible new ideas, level styles, building items, and so much more – all while maintaining the charm of Mario games we know and love.”

And Slashdot reader omfglearntoplay writes “If you like old games from the 1980s, this is your game.”


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