While the recently announced Nintendo Labo is meant to be a whimsical combination of cardboard, software and hardware that stirs the imagination, some people have mistaken it for mere junk.
In a chuckle-worthy story from the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) aka the German ratings board for video games, the cleaning crew for their office almost threw out the sample kit that Nintendo provided to them.
They regaled this story via tweet, which translated reads: "Finally we can tell the story, when we had the latest Nintendo hardware, it was almost dumped by the cleaning crew as waste paper. In the past no one would have believed this story, anyway."
That's a pretty groan-inducing boner for an exciting product that, despite reservations, is generating real excitement. Of course, that might be the point. Chris Plante of Vox Media pointed out that while cardboard manufacturing is cheap, the real bonus of Labo is that discarded units won't spend the rest of their existence as landfill:
"From an archivist perspective, solid materials have helped game controllers maintain a legacy. But the vast majority of peripherals ultimately move to dumps and the Salvation Army, not museums or private collections.
"The choice of cardboard peripheral acknowledges the true identity of Labo: they’re toys. They’re cheap and malleable, meant to be used and disposed of. Those aren’t pejoratives. They are opportunities.
"The Labo designs are inherently novel, which is a kind way to say they will likely last long enough to entertain their owner until the next cardboard contraption appears. And when they’re gone entirely, they will gradually decompose, making way for whatever comes next."