Ole Ukena. Cher / Chair / Share (poster of the singer Cher, a chair, a printed definition of the word share; 220 x 175 cm). 2011.
“The power of language can both separate us and bring us together. This piece, which is based on Joseph Kosuth‘s masterpiece „Three and One chairs“ from 1965, playfully capitalizes on linguistic similarities while highlighting cultural absurdities bringing about the question: could a pop icon, place to rest and a single noun have anything in common/share common ground? In this work the intended act of misinterpretation becomes the actual act of artistic creation.”
Back when the Nintendo 64 was still known as the Ultra 64, Super Mario overlord Shigeru Miyamoto told the Japanese press: “We are going to make lots of weird games from now on.” And he wasn’t lying.
Despite a comparative lack of product when compared to its competitors in the fifth-generation console wars, the N64’s seven-year lifespan offered many fascinating anomalies alongside theZeldas, GoldenEye 007 and influx of Mario Party games. And in their own way, each of the following titles were attempts at launching a gaming future that we now accept as the present—even if they were handled clumsily or marred by top-level corporate concern.
As Nintendo inches towards fixing the reputation of the Wii U and forgetting a cataclysmic financial year, we look at a history of mismanaged N64 ambition.
HEY YOU, PIKACHU! (1998)
To this day, Nintendo has a cagey relationship with third-party developers. Its late president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, was notorious for charging outside companies license fees to create no more than five games a year. His business plan was meant to improve Nintendo’s quality of stock and give them the edge over their rivals. During the Sega-era console wars, this strategy allowed Nintendo to keep a stranglehold on third-party developers, but also gave Yamauchi a dictatorial reputation. Speaking to Games Informerearlier this year, the author Blake J. Harris shared what these third-parties recalled: “Nintendo had you by the balls, and they knew it.”