[Interview] Dan’s Nintendo Feed: Radiant Positivity

Written by Abram Buehner

An Important Member of the Nintendo Twitter Community

As we all settle into the doldrums of self-isolation, the escapism afforded by video games is more potent than ever. From Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Super Mario Maker 2, everyone at the Nintendad Manor has found some outlet for creative escape. These games and the online communities that surround them are a continuous source of excitement and fun, something that is invaluable in the current climate. Of course, not every facet of the gaming community is radiating positivity. Twitter, for as wonderful of a platform as it is, often finds itself embroiled in toxic rhetoric that cuts against the merit of these online spaces. If your timeline has become corrupted by infighting the way mine has been, I suggest that you inject some dedicated positivity into it with Dan’s Nintendo Feed.

After the final day of PAX East 2020 had ended, I had an opportunity to sit down with Dan, the owner and operator of Dan’s Nintendo Feed. A fellow content creator and eleven year veteran of the Nintendo community, Dan has carved out a niche for himself online, particularly on Twitter. He has dedicated his online persona to the dissemination of Nintendo news and the celebration of Nintendo history. While this may sound par for the course, Dan’s mechanical process and ideological backing make him one of the most unique and important voices in the community.

I want to do is get to know you a little bit. When did you first become a Nintendo fan?

Well, I feel like I have a lot of stories. I started out with my first video game ever that I personally owned: Pokémon Gold on Game Boy. In second grade I got a Game Boy Color for Christmas I got Pokémon Gold and that was the first game that I really got invested in to beat. Some of my other stories, my older brother had an NES and was showing me games he had as a kid like Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, Contra, Super Mario Brothers, Mario 3, just a giant list of NES  games. [They were like] bedtime stories. I’d watch him beat Contra in a night and it just got me into games like that.

So over time, I slowly became a Nintendo fan and then I eventually got a GameCube. I got a Wii, I discovered Virtual Console. And then after that, I figured out, ‘oh look, all the NES games that I grew up with are on the Virtual Console!’ Like Legendary of Mystical Ninja which is a game not a lot of people know about for the Super Nintendo. I used to play that all the time with my neighbor. Otherwise, I would never even know what that game was, but it’s one of the coolest cooperative multiplayer games ever.

Spinning off from that, can you talk a little bit about why Nintendo is so important and why you love their games so much?

The reason beyond my childhood why I love Nintendo so much is the variety of genres that they master. You look at their main branch franchises like Pikmin, Metroid, Zelda, Mario, Animal Crossing, Splatoon, Mario Kart – they’re the top examples in all their genres. Kart racer, shooter, real-time strategy, you know, Metroidvanias. The genre is named after the damn game, you know! They’re so creative and that has to do with experience and the team that they have behind them back in Kyoto, Japan. Most of it has to do with my childhood of course, what I grow up around, but it also has to do with the games that exist and their variety.

So, we’re both fans, but we also both game too. Can you talk a little bit about how you cover Nintendo through your Twitter account, The Nintendo Feed?

I feel like there are a lot of games [to] always talk about … and news is always dropping. So, the way I like to handle it is that like I do hourly posts and I always post something that’s either relevant or on my mind, just to stay caught up. Because, you know, if I just tweeted out every ten minutes, I’d be Tweeting way too much! So, I do an hourly post schedule and I just talk about the past, the present, and the future.

A huge thing of mine is that I feel like people do this thing where they only wanna talk about what’s new at the moment. That bothers me because there’s a lot of things out there. Thankfully, this is a bad example, but like the Wonderful 101. If there was no Kickstarter right now, no one will be talking about it and that breaks my heart. It is one of the best games ever… Pikmin 3 Bingo Battle! One of the best local multiplayer modes ever. My personal favorite, but no one talks about that because of what console it was on and it is not a game that came out three months ago.

As you just said, you do hourly news posts, which is a huge commitment. What keeps you motivated?

A few things. [One is] my passion for Nintendo. I’ve been running this Twitter account for eleven years now, but I’ve been taking it very seriously since the beginning of [last] April. I took a new approach to it, you know, I’ve watched people get excited for announcements and a lot of negativity will come from it because they didn’t get what they wanted. Sometimes, because their expectations are unrealistic. Sometimes, because they just didn’t like the way certain characters looked or something about the game because there are very passionate about it. So, I made a rule that I strictly post about positivity. I only post about things that are great about Nintendo products.

I’m not trying to [turn a blind eye] to anything, it’s because I want people to enjoy gaming. I feel like the negativity can be a barrier of that. Anytime anything is announced there’s always a giant group of people who are complaining about the most silly things and it ends up being the main focus of the game news and the announcement. … the reason why people get angry about these announcements because they care about it, right? So, I want people to enjoy themselves and enjoy the games, you know? I strictly focus on enjoyment only, that’s my main focus.

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of running The Nintendo Feed?

I’d say is all the friends I’ve made. I’ve made many friends, including you, within this last year and, hey, I got to meet you in person, that’s more rewarding than anything. But, you know, I get compliments all the time about how people are grateful for how positive I am about this stuff in the way I cover it, and how people tell me I have a unique outlook on things when it comes to news … they like the way I word things. They like my spirit of the day posts. Like you said, they like my enthusiasm, which I appreciate.  And honestly, that’s the kind of thing that keeps me going. It makes me feel like I’m doing something the right way.

Where would you like to see the Nintendo Feed go in the future?

I want to do everything. I want to stream, I want to make let’s plays again, I used to make them in high school. I want to do artwork, I want to keep doing my spirt of the day posts, I want to keep up with the news. I want to communicate more, I love to communicate with people who respond to me, I always try my best to respond to people. I want to do everything I possibly can and keep getting new ideas, like art projects. I made a Yoshi’s Crafted World display last year, because as you know everything in the game is made out of carboard. So, I took the Yarn Yoshi amiibo and put him in the display. And I made, out of construction paper, I made a big display. I put up a Christmas tree in my room—the Nintendo tree. I filled it up with plushies. I want to do creative things that make people smile. I don’t know where the Nintendo feed will be in a year, but I promise it will be way different than it is right now.

Prior to meeting Dan at PAX, we had only talked on Twitter. As soon as we met in person, though, it was as though we’d been IRL friends for years. He has an infectious personality and a true passion for his craft. I really enjoyed my time with him, and I truly value what he adds to the community. If you would like to follow Dan and make your timeline just a little brighter, click here. Thank you very much to Dan for his time.

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