Nintendo has announced Miitomo, its first smartphone “game” in partnership with DeNA.
The general premise of the title is to connect your Mii with other Miis, even if you tend to be shy about sharing details about yourself or getting into conversation with strangers. Nintendo executive Shinya Takahashi stated expressly that it is supposed to “find ways to encourage people who are hesitant to talk to share things about themselves.”
The description from Nintendo seems like it is serving a nice social purpose, but there are a few questions that need answering. First up, what kind of information would you possibly disclose without knowing you’re disclosing it? Perhaps Miitomo will ask the user about themselves first and the app will then selectively share information with others in their vicinity. Sounds a bit like how eHarmony works.
The other question is what might make people share that information if they’re not already into sharing? What would make me share something person about myself with my smartphone, knowing that information could be transmitted to another user? If anything, I’d be more cautious because I won’t know who is getting the information, or even when.
Miitomo sounds like it could quickly be a way to connect with people you would otherwise not meet, but that also opens up the possibility to have a Nintendo app function essentially as a dating match game.
We’re bearing in mind that the app has literally just been announced and isn’t expected to hit the market until March 2016, but the premise of the app (or game, if you really want to call it that) seems a bit odd for Nintendo. StreetPass was a neat thing because little, if any, information was shared about you. Miitomo could be taking this to a whole new, potentially creepy, level.