GR NewsBot—May 30, 2011

The Straight Graphical Dope on Nintendo

“If you’ve never read about Nintendo’s history, it’s a fascinating story. In Japanese, the word Nintendo means ‘leave luck to heaven’.” And if there is a heaven, it seems to have been smiling on Nintendo for a very long time. Certainly since the company began producing video games in 1978. Many of us go through our daily lives using the products we like without giving much thought about the company behind the conception and manufacture of these products. Seriously, think about it: when you got your first NES or Gameboy you didn’t really consider where it came from, you just wanted to play with it and have fun, right? Right. Well, at the link there is an infographic which will give you a quick and interesting summary of Nintendo’s origins and historic sales and market share figures. At the very least, if Nintendo comes up at the next cocktail party you attend, you’ll be able to whip some heavy gaming facts on the less-enlightened martini-and-olive crowd. (Bit Rebels—Nintendo History)

Prince Philip Unapologetic for ‘Slitty-eyed’ Remark

“I’d forgotten about it. But for one particular reporter who overheard it, it wouldn’t have come out.” One day in 1986, on a visit to Xian, China, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (a.k.a. husband of Queen Elizabeth II) famously commented to a group of British exchange students “If you stay here much longer you’ll be all slitty-eyed.” Many of you are likely too young to remember this and other disparaging public comments the duke has made over the last 60 years. And you’re probably better off. Of the comment above, the duke recently said “The Chinese weren’t worried about it, so why should anyone else?” So much for enlightened attitudes and cultural sensitivity within the British Royal Family. (The Daily Telegraph UK – Prince Philip.) (For your further amusement and disbelief, an extensive list of “Philip-isms” can be found in this piece by The UK Independent: Insensitive Prince.)

Mortal Kombat Legacy Slightly Flawed, but Good

“Mortal Kombat Legacy seems to have the right production values. It’s no ‘big Hollywood’, of course, but it’s got primetime television level effects.” Seven episodes into this web series, and things seem to be going well. It boasts a cast of actors familiar to fans of science fiction TV programming (Jeri Ryan, Tahmoh Penikett, Ian Anthony Dale and Ryan Robbins), and is giving Mortal Kombat fans fairly interesting stories on the origins of key Mortal Kombat characters. The story on the origin of Raiden, in particular, has been praised as the series’ finest so far. Still, it is a fledgling show, and web-based at that; so it has been criticized a little for continuity errors and some production values that seem a bit less than top-notch. However, word is Mortal Kombat fans should not only check it out; they’ll probably like it quite a bit. (TG Daily – Mortal Kombat Legacy)

China, Japan Look to Rebuild Chinese Tourism

“Following the Tohoku quake and tsunami, Japan saw its sharpest fall on record in foreign travelers, with people coming from China dropping by 50 percent year on year.” By some estimates, overall foreign tourism to Japan has fallen by as much as 60 percent, and the Japanese economy is really starting to feel it. In an attempt to correct this situation, tourism officials from China will be visiting Japan this week for a conference to determine how best to revitalize Chinese tourism to Japan We reckon it is fast becoming a good time to be a Chinese citizen looking to visit Japan, as Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano announced last week that Chinese tourists will be able to obtain multiple-entry visas to visit Okinawa as of this July 1st. (The Japan Times – Chinese Tourism)

The Japanese Are Not Entirely Happy

“(The) Japanese provided a lower “life satisfaction” index reading than many of the 33 other member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.” Yes, apparently only 40 percent of Japanese surveyed are satisfied with their lives. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average among it’s members is 59 percent. And considering all the troubles in today’s world, it isn’t surprising that the averages overall and for Japan aren’t higher. Particularly when one considers recent disastrous events affecting many Japanese. However, folks in Japan do think they have a pretty safe way of life. In the past year, only 2 percent surveyed in Japan said they experienced some form of violence. This is half the OECD member nation average. Not bad. (The Japan Times – Unhappy Japan)