In addition to the multitude of games announced for the Wii U at E3 this year — most prominently Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U — Nintendo also announced Miiverse, a feature that allows players to interact with each other all around the world, talking about what games they like the most and so on.
While this is a good idea for the sake of player interactivity, as with any internet-based communication, there comes the problem of monitoring and moderating comments — and since the Wii U GamePad could allow explicit drawings, this problem is even more prominent. So how will Nintendo take care of this? According to Chief Executive Satoru Iwata: very meticulously.
Following the announcement of Miiverse, Iwata explained that Nintendo has a three-part plan to combat any sort of inappropriate behavior. The first is through content filtering via software, which isn’t a perfect solution as many users could easily work around any words that would be censored. Thus, Iwata says that the second part of the plan is to have human resources monitor the content. In other words, Nintendo will hire people specifically to keep an eye on Miiverse.
That may sound like a good plan at first, as humans would be able to examine each scenario on a case-by-case basis, but then the problem of time comes up. With software monitoring, a comment can be up in just a few seconds. With humans, it may take much longer to make sure the comment is appropriate for posting. How long can depend on how many people are doing the job and how much they have to work with, but according to Iwata, “30 minutes should be acceptable.” Nintendo will be monitoring initial feedback for further planning.
The third part of Iwata’s plan is to have the users themselves monitor and flag any comments that aren’t fit for Miiverse. But, as with the first part, that isn’t a perfect idea. For one, it would mean that potentially troublesome comments will be seen by a number of users before they’re removed. For another, this concept could easily be abused by some users, flagging down comments they simply disagree with rather than consider inappropriate.
It certainly seems like Iwata and Nintendo will have their hands full merely deciding what to do about this problem, let alone actually implementing the solution. Nintendo has always been concerned with providing a family-appropriate experience, so monitoring comments will be a necessity. On the other hand, a delay of up to 30 minutes for a comment to appear is incredibly long, and many users will consider it ridiculous, which could result in the Miiverse feature going largely unused.
What do you think Nintendo should do about this potential issue? Will you be using Miiverse if the delay is implemented?
Source: L.A. Times