In a very interesting interview, Mr. Miyamoto discusses how certain ideas like Miiverse came to be. Miyamoto goes on to explain that they take social networking seriously and how making it safe is a top priority.
“One of the early concepts for Miiverse came out of the opening screen of Wii Fit, where you see not only your Mii, but the Miis of your family as well. With the Wii U, a system that we’re trying to make into the center of the living room, our ultimate goal is that this might be the most looked-at screen in the house, the screen on the GamePad itself, even more so than the television. That’s our goal.
The idea is connecting people with data in an environment that’s comfortable and fun. This is a different sense of closeness and community than you get from, say, most social media experiences. We’re going for something that feels a little bit closer, a little bit more intimate in terms of how you actually interact with the world.
That was a concept that I think came across well in how we implemented StreetPass. You’re going to be making connections with people that you just walk by on the street every day. And if you happen to do so three times, then you can send them an individualized message. It gives you the opportunity to make real connections in real life as well, rather than the greater distance that I feel in social media, which can often feel like more of a virtual connection. There’s a very different feel when you have the opportunity, at least, for real contact with the people you’ve connected to.”
“We’ve seen the appeal and the fun of seeing all that user generated content has a tremendous amount of value, and at the same time is something that is somewhat challenging from a community management and moderation standpoint. With Wii we had a friend code system in place, and that was designed to create and allow for connection to other systems in a way that felt comfortable and healthy for consumers of all ages and all types. With Wii U we’re looking at Miiverse as a way for people to connect more easily with one another, so we’re working on preparing systems and building on the experiences we had with footnote studio while still maintaining a community management style that makes for a healthy online interaction.”
“I think what’s really important is, this has to be something that’s very easy to see, something that’s easy to use. One way we’re thinking of making that a little bit more intuitive and automatic is in, for example, New Super Mario Bros. U, if you die many times in one place, you’ll automatically see comments from other people who are having trouble in exactly the same area. You might see those on the map as well. That would make it easier for people to feel a connection with other players who are having the same kind of experiences that you are. Sure, for some people, that might give rise to a sense of competition. That helps them feel a bit of bonding as well.”