Goodbye Nintendo Power (1988-2012)


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.

Nintendo NES

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.

5 thoughts on “Goodbye Nintendo Power (1988-2012)

  1. Did you seriously publish this? Comparing the entire fine arts scene to a Nintendo magazine??! It’s a magazine. Magazines are an old format, being quickly overtaken by apps and websites. Ever heard of IGN? Gamespot? etc. It’s a strange segue to make from the demise of a magazine to your career as a musician. Nintendo isn’t going out of business. Other Nintendo magazines will likely fill the void so clearly left by the dwindling readership of ‘power’. You write as if it’s a decrease in funding that’s killed this indie mag. It’s the change in how people absorb media and editorial. Nintendo Power was never considered a “much loved public treasure” either. It was a commercial magazine with a limited reader base that shrunk enough until it became unprofitable to print. As for your remarks on “saving the Arts in Australia”, that’s a discussion for another time, somewhat completely removed from this article.

  2. Hey Critical Clef, Ive clinked onto your blog…surprise surprise!!! You are one of the main reasons people now stray from the classical arts, and no wonder, your blog is a pretentious bucket of crap! The above blog however is appealing and makes the reader more intrigued to explore classical music. This is a persons blog and it is a self expression as is yours, but at least the above blog is not full of shit and is not pretentious. And by the way at least Im not a coward and I wont post anonymously

    1. Hi Clare. You are quite obviously a little hurt by my remarks and being related to the author means you seem to also have an emotional connection to this piece rather than just a journalistic one. Fair enough. My comment was in pure bewilderment that a small niche glossy magazine’s demise is in any way comparable to the entire arts industry in any context? One of these captures the imagination and readership of a few thousand and turns a small profit annually. The other is a multi-billion dollar industry that captures the ears, eyes and hearts of millions and is in one of the most exciting periods of change in a long time. This blog certainly is appealing, but not for the reasons you state. Do you honestly believe that linking a magazine about Nintendo to some vague assumptions about the arts industry will “make the reader more intrigued to explore classical music”? I think the reader will leave confused about what the article was all about.

      As for your remarks on Critical Clef, you are entitled to your subjective opinion on whether you think it’s a “bucket of crap” as you so eloquently put it. We are a growing base of authors, some of which hold the highest positions in the arts industry, of which you would probably also label as “pretentious”. Nothing wrong with a bit of anonymous artistic discourse, and in this day and age where the entire fine arts is all too often praised through critique and lashed with funding, it’s encouraged.

  3. And by the way Nintendo Power was obviously adored by the public as it lasted decades, why don’t you do some research before trying to humiliate someone for expressing their opinion!

  4. I’m amazed that no one has stated the obvious…..
    It’s all about interpretation. It appears to me that the original article was written not to denegrate classical music in any sense, way or form. The author appears to have compared the demise of Nintendo Power to funding for classical music because just as Nintendo was the linch pin which triggered a love for computer games for him and many young children, mine included, it also fostered an interest in anything to do with computers for that particular generation. Computers became fun to work with, and not boring as when I first learnt computer programming and had to use languages such as Turbo Pascal to write a program!

    However, that being said, it’s a shame that criticalclef chose to be critical about a very small portion of the article and seems to have missed the whole crux of the discussion at hand, i.e. the decrease of funding to the arts in this country.

    We value our sports heros, and so we should because they put a lot of sweat and tears and many hours of practice into their chosen profession, however, the same cannot be said for our music industry in this country. If at least half of the amount of funding was directed towards the arts in this country as is to sport, then perhaps many more musicians would be able to fulfill their chosen profession as well, and not be forced into other forms of employment which, although it pays the bills, can be extremely soul destroying!!

    Yes, I also am feeling a certain loss at the closure of the Nintendo Magazine, and yes, there are other web sites, etc. that will now take over, but a small salute needs to be given to the originals who paved the way for the newer, shinier, forms that are now taking over.

    Nintendo Power, I too salute you!!

    PS. Criticalclef, Like you, I also will sign this anonymously.

    Classical Music Lover,

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