Kids In Japan Are Getting Free Super Nintendos. Step Up, America.
Here's another point for the "humanity is not so bad" column. The Japan Retro Gaming Association is giving away 100 free Super Nintendos (Super Famicoms) to children of Japan to encourage them to stay inside. We recognize that in today's world of Fortnites and Animal Crossings, it's a tall order for a little console from the '90s to clamp down on anyone's attention span. But we'd remind you that last year New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe was a top seller and that's basically a very (very) polished version of Super Mario Bros 3 for the Super Nintendo. The console still holds up. And even though those lucky Japanese children won't be receiving copies of Super Mario Bros. 3 along with their Super Famicoms, it appears that they'll be getting Donkey Kong Country and Final Fantasy VI (Two games that are arguably even better).
It makes us realize how badly we need some retro video game-based stimulus packages for the youth of America. Imagine if, alongside your check of $1200 (assuming it has even made it to you yet), you also received a Gameboy Color and a copy of Mortal Kombat or Pokemon or Kirby's Dream Land or Nemesis. The nostalgia alone is enough to keep away the thoughts of impending viral doom for at least a week. Then consider how much enjoyment you'd get sitting down your kids and/or Zooming with your nieces and nephews, explaining to them the games of yore and illuminating them with your ancient secrets. "Up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, B, A," you say, absolutely blowing their minds.
Or, more than likely, no kid is going to give a shit, and they'll go back to scrolling through TikTok within the time it takes you to explain why you need to blow into the cartridge to get the game working (Even though it doesn't). Before too long, you'll probably give up and go back to your usual routine: Screaming in existential fear over an illness you can't see and rewatching The Office. But the gesture is still nice, so kudos to the Japan Retro Gaming Association and other groups who look to follow suit (thanks Sony). In a time of increasing fear and debilitating boredom, we'll all take whatever kind gestures we can get.
Top Image: Donkey Kong Country/ Rare