Nintendo Power is no more. The gaming industry magazine has announced that it is closing its doors as of December, 2012. There were three major loves for me growing up. The first was LEGO, the second was Ghostbusters (In kindergarten Slimer was my best friend), and thirdly, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
The news of Nintendo Power’s demise has hit me like a tonne of bricks. Why? Firstly because it embodied everything that I loved about Nintendo. Secondly, and more importantly, it reminds me of my role as a classical musician.
Musicians are in essence performing works from the past. And in that sense, we are looking at a snapshot from a time in history that no longer exists. Of course, this is not always the case. I.e. the music of Philip Glass.
But, it does make what we do as musicians more important. Nintendo Power brought classic gaming sensibilities together. It had the ability to immerse the reader into the game. When we read Nintendo Power, we were playing with power.
We need to act now to save the Arts in Australia.
The life of a classical musician is by no means an easy one. The constant struggle for paid work, the copious amounts of extra work behind the scenes (hours of unpaid practice), and the lack of job security all makes for a difficult life.
Would the public notice that classical music is gone, if it became extinct overnight? The answer is yes. Like in the case of Nintendo Power, you don’t notice what you’ve got until it’s gone.
But, that is the case for halting the decrease of Arts funding in Australia. We have very talented performers here in Australia. A good example is The Australian Ballet, which is considered one of the best professional companies in the world. Yet, if we continue to reduce funding to the detriment of the overall arts scene, there won’t be any scene left.
And those are the lessons we can take from the closure of Nintendo Power. The lack of funding and financial viability can lead to the demise of a much loved public treasure. We need to act now to save the Arts in Australia.