Too many dogs spoil the soup
[Art by 3D Rod.]
I’ve reviewed Splatoon two times in as many months (most recently for our free digital magazine), which has given me ample opportunity to think about why the game resonates with so many people. At its core, it’s a game is about laying dominance upon an environment that you share with your peers, where taking out the other guys is only useful as a means to that end. It’s sort of like hashtag activism in that way. Spreading their color/message/hashtag all over the internet is the prime motive of the hashtag activist. If crushing or quieting someone with an opposing color/message/hashtag helps them to achieve that goal, then so be it.
Sadly, many hashtag activists end up turning on each other in time, as invoking more conflict is often the only way they know how to keep people interested. Weirdly enough, it looks like that kind of “dog eat dog” mentality has made it’s way into Splatoon’s national Splatfest tournaments, which are currently in play across the U.S. and the U.K.. We’ve received multiple reports from members of Team Dog in the U.S. who have been pitted against groups of their own. Nintendo has acknowledged the issue as well, stating that its an effort to keep matchmaking timely. We can guess that means that there aren’t enough members of Team Cat to go around at the moment. No reports of similar matchmaking problems in the U.K., though their have been some instances of wildly imbalanced team sizes.
This may seem like a small thing to non-fans of Splatoon, but I know plenty of people who have been training for the Splatfest for weeks. It’s like if the Super Bowl was self aware about how silly it was, and if everyone watching the game also got to play in it. You can see how that might inspire strong feelings in fans, both positive or negative, depending on their experience with the event. Hopefully Nintendo will find a way to get these issues fixed by the time of the next Splatfest.