Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review: SQUIDS Odyssey

I know that I have said it before, but I love games from the eShop.  Whether it be from Wii U's eShop, PSN, or Xbox Live, there is just something about the games within that takes gaming to a whole new level.

SQUIDS Odyssey is one of those games.  Typically, when you buy a game from one of the top developers, you get something that is formulaic and built for specific fans.  However, SQUIDS Odyssey is a bit different.  It calls itself an RPG, and it does have elements of role playing games, but it does not have the added stress of grinding for hours in order to combat one massive spell that the next boss may use.

I found SQUIDS Odyssey to be fun and addicting.  I can describe it best as being the love child of Angry Birds and an RPG, and it is one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen!

"A new breed of hero has arrived on the Wii U -- and they're pretty stretchy! SQUIDS Odyssey is a tactical RPG that takes a ragtag army of Squid heroes across four kingdoms as they try to save their lush underwater land from a menacing black ooze. It can be downloaded now for Wii U from the Nintendo eShop (3DS version is also coming soon)."

SQUIDS Odyssey is an amazing game that deserves a five star review from everyone that plays it. After you download, play, and then force yourself away from it, leave a comment below telling me how much you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Miiverse Code of Conduct: Understanding The Ban

imagesRemember the first time you posted something that you found witty on the Miiverse, only to be rewarded with a deleted comment?  What about the time you posted your best doodle on the Miiverse, and found out you were banned for a couple days due to inappropriate content?
Many have had those exact scenarios play out, only to be left wondering what they could have done to prevent such bans and deletions.  According to the Miiverse Code of Conduct, there are a very “loose” set of guidelines advising members what can and cannot be posted.
Obviously, harassment, profanity, and sexual content are all content that will get you banned.   Nintendo’s official statement on such violations is stated in item 1.6 of the Miiverse Code of Conduct:
“Our goal is to keep Miiverse fun and enjoyable for everyone. In the event that someone violates the Miiverse Code of Conduct, we will take appropriate action, up to and including blocking the offending user or console.”
Further information about the consequences of inappropriate behavior can be found in item 2.4 of the Miiverse Code of Conduct:
“Users who violate the Miiverse Code of Conduct may find their posts deleted and their access to Miiverse blocked.
If you see content that If presents a credible risk to your or another’s safety, please contact law enforcement. If contacted by law enforcement, Nintendo will work with them directly on their investigation.”

Again, there is no definitive outline for what determines a two day ban, or a lifetime ban.  So, I decided to give Nintendo a call to see if they could provide some answers.
When I called, I had a surprisingly short hold time, only about thirty seconds.  A nice young lady named Lindsey answered and happily offered me her assistance.  I told her how happy I was with the Wii U and how I love the Miiverse interface.  She was quick to thank me for my support in the Nintendo Community and seemed excited to assist me.
Then I asked about the guidelines for being banned.  Her verbal happiness turned to a nervous stutter.  I could hear her fingers frantically striking the keyboard, as though she dreaded the question and knew exactly where to find the vague answer that she had been provided.  After a few deep breathes, she asked what I meant specifically about being banned.  I assured her that I was not banned, but did not want to get myself into such a scenario.
Before I could ask more, she stumbled over her words as she asked me to please hold while she found some more information.
About two minutes passed and she apologetically thanked me for holding.  She still seemed nervous and told me that their admins usually handle ban cases.  When asked if I could speak to an admin, she said that they were not available at the time.
She advised me of the main causes of being banned, as stated in the Miiverse Code of Conduct.  Actually, I think she was reading right from them.  Violent content, inappropriate/ hateful comments, advertising, sexually explicit content, etc…  She did offer to tell me that there is a built in profanity filter that will delete most posts containing cursing immediately.
When asked about actually being banned, she could only say that a ban can last anywhere from a couple of days to permanently.  She then advised me that the types of bans are either limited to restriction on specific online activity (such as a specific game or community), or can result in being banned from all online services.  Once again I asked her how the type of ban was determined, and she became silent for a second.
Assuming my phone had a bad connection, I apologized and said that my phone broke up and could not hear her.images (1)  She cleared her throat and said that the admins determine the type of ban.  I, once again, asked if they had specific guidelines that they follow when initiating a ban or post deletion.  Again fumbling over her words, she stated that there was no strict set of guidelines other than the Miiverse Code of Conduct and that it is up to the admins themselves.  She did state that the Admins take into account the type of violation as well as the number of previous violations, and the number of previous bans.
I was starting to feel bad for her now, we were about fifteen minutes into the call and she was beginning to repeat herself.  So, I asked if there was any documentation she could provide me in regards to the policies.  She told me to visit the Miiverse Code of Conduct on either the Miiverse, or (I have pasted them below for your viewing pleasure).  I thanked her for her time and ended the call.
So, what does this tell us about being banned?  Not a lot at all, except to mind out P’s and Q’s, try not to draw anything that could be misinterpreted as being sexually explicit (be careful with drawing those Pikmin), and be sure to spell check those posts to ensure a random bit of profanity doesn’t slip in.
I know the job of an admin cannot be an easy one.  The sheer number of posts that they must have to review probably makes them a bit cranky, and I am sure if I was one of them I might even throw in a random ban just to confuse the heck out of some kid out there.  But we have to keep in mind that they are doing it to keep the community safe.  Although I wish their guidelines were a bit more structured so things would be more clear, or maybe that they should be a bit more lenient on us.  Until then, be sure to read the Miiverse Code of Conduct below and follow the rules as closely as possible.
Miiverse Code of Conduct
Miiverse Code of ConductLast Updated: January 31, 20131  Miiverse MannersThe following are some important guidelines for making Miiverse a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone. The Miiverse Code of Conduct contains detailed information, so please read it carefully. 1.1  Posts Can Be Viewed Around the World
Miiverse contains many gaming communities where people from all over the world can share their thoughts.
When you post in a community, remember that everyone can see it, so please express yourself in a way that everyone can enjoy. Use common sense, and think before you post.
Additionally, any comments you make on your friends’ posts will be seen not by just your friends but by people around the world, too. Please keep this in mind.
1.2  Be Nice to One Another
In order to keep Miiverse a fun place for everyone, we ask that you be considerate to other users.
Help us keep Miiverse an enjoyable experience by not posting anything inappropriate or offensive.
1.3  Do Not Post Personal Information—Yours or Others’
Remember, knowing someone in Miiverse isn’t the same as knowing them in real life.
Never share your e-mail address, home address, work or school name, or other personally identifying information with anyone on Miiverse, and never share anyone else’s information either.
Additionally, if someone you meet in Miiverse invites you to meet him or her in the real world, do not accept. Miiverse is an online community and should not be used to arrange real-world meet-ups.
1.4  Don’t Post Spoilers
Some people come to Miiverse looking for tips and tricks for games, but others want to discover a game’s secrets all on their own. Posts that reveal secrets of a game or its story are called “spoilers.”
If you’re posting something about a game that might be a spoiler, be sure to check the Spoilers box before sending your post. This way, people who don’t want to be spoiled won’t see your post.
1.5  Users Aged 12 and Under
For the protection of younger users, direct friend requests are not possible in Miiverse for users aged 12 and under. At the same time, younger users can make friends on Wii U outside Miiverse by entering each other’s Nintendo Network IDs in the friend list on the Wii U Menu.
We encourage younger users to make friends on Wii U only if they are friends in real life (such as friends from the same school or neighborhood). Therefore, do not attempt to exchange your Nintendo Network ID with other users on Miiverse.
Additionally, do not attempt to exchange Nintendo 3DS or other friend codes.
1.6  Code of Conduct Violations
Our goal is to keep Miiverse fun and enjoyable for everyone. In the event that someone violates the Miiverse Code of Conduct, we will take appropriate action, up to and including blocking the offending user or console.

2  A Few Reminders
Please keep the following considerations in mind before posting on Miiverse.
2.1  By Gamers, About Games
Miiverse is a gaming community that allows people from around the world to interact and discuss the games they love.
In communities dedicated to a specific game, please stay on topic, and only make posts relevant to that community and that contribute to the overall discussion. When someone posts on an unrelated topic, it may detract from users who want to discuss the game.
In addition, please refrain from making posts that other users may find irritating, such as those asking for friend requests or asking people to Yeah! your posts.
2.2  Respect Other People’s Work
You can post handwritten illustrations in Miiverse.
Because you can make handwritten posts, you can also make sketches. Please post only your original works or works to for which you have been given permission to use.
As long as you follow the Miiverse Code of Conduct, you can use Nintendo’s copyrighted works within Miiverse.
2.3  Violation Types
The following is a brief overview of the content prohibited by the Miiverse Code of Conduct:
Personal Information
  • Personal information includes but is not limited to your e-mail address, home address, work or school name, and phone number. Never use Miiverse as a means of setting up real-world meet-ups.
Violent Content
  • Violent content includes anything that depicts violence, promotes suicide, endorses acts of cruelty or violence.
  • Inappropriate or harmful content includes anything that promotes dangerous behavior or illegal activities.
  • This includes any content that slanders, defames, or misrepresents another person, as well as any discriminatory, harassing, or abusive content.
  • This includes any post containing commercial or marketing content, as well as any attempts to sway public opinion for the purpose of financial gain.
Sexually Explicit
  • Sexually explicit content includes anything containing nudity, sexuality, or propositions.
Inappropriate Reporting
  • Intentionally misreporting a post for violating the Miiverse Code of Conduct is itself a violation of the Miiverse Code of Conduct.
Additional kinds of violation include intentionally posting the following:
  • Content that infringes on the copyrights, intellectual-property rights, usage of likeness, or privacy rights of any third party
  • Religious or political content
  • Content that disrupts the community (multi-posts, etc.)
  • Content soliciting donations or participation in fundraisers or demonstrations
  • Soliciting people to enter their Nintendo Network IDs on friend lists, publishing Nintendo 3DS or other friend codes in communities, soliciting people to make public their friend codes, using other methods besides friend requests to try and establish relationships in communities. (This does not include making public the community code of a community you created.) The posting of Nintendo 3DS or other systems’ friend codes, usernames, or other unique IDs
  • Any conduct that violates the Nintendo Network Services Agreement
2.4  Consequences of Inappropriate Behavior
Users who violate the Miiverse Code of Conduct may find their posts deleted and their access to Miiverse blocked.
If you see content that If presents a credible risk to your or another’s safety, please contact law enforcement. If contacted by law enforcement, Nintendo will work with them directly on their investigation.
2.5  Reuse of Posted Content
Your posts and comments may appear within games and may be modified to appear in those games.
For example, only a portion of a post might be used, the poster’s name might be obscured, or a specific word might be left out.
This is because posts sent to Miiverse will be used to make games more fun, and will be aligned in keeping with the game’s world feel or design. Thank you for your understanding.
2.6  The Use of Messages and Content on Miiverse
Nintendo may use your publicly available posts, comments, drawings, and other contributions to Miiverse as set forth in the Nintendo Network Services Agreement.
2.7  Disclaimers and User Responsibilities
Each Miiverse user is responsible for understanding and complying with the Miiverse Code of Conduct.

3  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you have any questions while using Miiverse, this is the first place to check for an answer.
3.1  I saw a post or comment that violates the Miiverse Code of Conduct. What should I do?
If you encounter a post or comment that violates the Miiverse Code of Conduct, please report the violation using the Miiverse reporting function.
Reported violations will be reviewed by a Nintendo moderator. Any post that violates the Miiverse Code of Conduct will be removed.
Please note: False reporting is a violation of the Miiverse Code of Conduct and is subject to action up to and including loss of Miiverse access.
3.2  I received a comment or message that is offensive, threatening, or upsetting.
Harassment of any kind, including slander, defamation of another user, disclosure of personal information, or invasion of privacy, is a violation of the Miiverse Code of Conduct. Even in messages between friends, such exchanges violate of the Miiverse Code of Conduct.
Please report any posts or messages that violate the Miiverse Code of Conduct. If you are experiencing harassment, please use the Report function on the offending user’s profile screen.
Furthermore, if you do not want to receive comments or friend requests by messages from a particular user, you may use the Block function on the user’s profile screen.
3.3  I saw a comment with a spoiler in it, even though it wasn’t marked as having spoilers.
It’s up to users to mark their posts for having spoilers. However, if someone forgets to do this, you can help by hitting the Report Spoilers button.
Comments and posts that receive enough spoiler reports will be marked as spoilers, viewable only to people who have chosen to keep spoilers visible.
3.4  Why do some users have a green check mark? What are verified users? Can I be a verified user?
A verified user is someone whose identity has been authenticated and certified by Nintendo. Their verified status indicates that they are a legitimate source of high-quality information. Their status as a verified user is indicated on their Mii character as shown below:
Verified user status is granted only to parties as needed based on Nintendo’s determination. We do not accept requests for verification from the general public.
3.5  I can’t see comments for other regions.
Your Miiverse settings may not permit you to see posts made in other languages.
Within your Miiverse settings, find the option that reads “View community posts from users who are using which system language” to control which languages you see in Miiverse communities. You may choose to view all languages (default) or only posts made in your Wii U system’s language.
Remember, when posting in Miiverse communities of another region, the code of conduct for that region applies, as does the code of conduct for your own region.
3.6  I found content that infringes on my copyrighted work, and I would like it removed.
Nintendo respects the intellectual property of others, and we ask users of Nintendo products and services to do the same. If you feel that your intellectual property rights have been infringed, please visit to read our full policy and submit a takedown request.