I was looking at Nintendo's official forums, thinking I might scrounge up something interestig during this long period of lull in any useful information about the upcoming console generation. There I once again came face to face with the hardest reality of the internet.

It is populated by functional illiterates.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, I don't think I've ever seen forums so devoid of original thought, sentence structure, and typographical integrity. I'd thought I'd seen some bad cases of AIM conversation class forum posters, but the Nintendo forums are loaded with them. For all of their shortcomings, the various Blizzard fan forums I used to participate in at least had semi-articulate posters. Even if they couldn't type to save their lives, they seemed to be able to string together thoughts.

Now, in the middle of this chaos Nintendo splits all forum and site members into three categories, Members, NSiders and Sages. Members are the lower tier of things, having basic access to some forums but not all. NSiders are those with enough knowledge to know not only what a serial number is, but how to find the one on their Nintendo console (GameCube, DS, or Gameboy). Telling Nintendo you've given them money opens up more forums. The basic qualifying intelligence check helps weed out the weak from the genome, but not quite enough to make the NSider only forums much better than lunch in elementary school.

Last of all are the Sages. These are the handpicked elite of the Nintendo forums. They aren't moderators, but they have access to Sage only forums where they can discuss stuff and post reviews of games without fear of illiterate answers. From what I can tell, to become a Sage you must A) Post a lot, B) Post with a decent literacy level, C) Prove you can string together coherent thoughts and D) Keep a cool head in the face of throngs of largely immature morons.

There appear to be a few benefits (apparently some better reviews get into Nintendo Power Magazine) to being a Sage, but honestly I don't give myself much chance of becoming one. I'm far too busy doing important stuff as well as playing video games to post obsessively anymore. Even if I managed to become one, I'd probably lose interest and post once a year to point out to Nintendo the exact flaws of a particular game I played. I don't think Nintendo is interest in people like that.

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