My Mii’s popularity in Nintendo’s mobile app, Miitomo, has been capped at level 20 weeks now. With my waning interest, I find myself visiting my mii less often. It’s okay though because I had some great fun with friends and acquaintances on there. I’ll cherish their silliness forever, especially their TMI moments.
It’s intriguing how well you get to know some people from a few text-based conversations over the course of a few weeks. As I’ve been playing, I haven’t been giving out too much information, at least nothing serious. I’m a secret to everybody.
At times, I’ll relay crazy but truthful snapshots of my life—like that time a bakery exploded in Brooklyn, right as my friend and I were driving by—but I’m not sure anyone really believes me. It’s not that I’m being overly cautious, granted there is some element of that as well. What I’m actually doing is putting my personality out there. And I believe that’s what some of my Internet-based circle of friends are doing too.
Masking personality is difficult, I believe. It can be done, sure. But with Miitomo, designing your Mii—from its looks to outfitting it with hundreds of clothing options and accessories in the shop—can mean a reflection of personal tastes. Then there are those outfits available both in Miitomo Drop—a mini-game in which you drop your Mii friends into a field to snag prizes—and the clothing shop, which are absolutely ridiculous.
Some of them are simple imaginative role-playing things, such as your standard pirate outfit, or ninja garb. Others are a little weirder such as the full-on banana suit for a more slippery statement, or the cactus suit to create a prickly situation. Mixing and matching in funny ways is easy to do in Miitomo. I’ve seen some friends mix-up outrageous things, while others play it safer.
Making observational personality judgments based solely on style seems a bit of a stretch, and it probably is. But coupled with a few conversations I’ve had with some people, another picture begins to form: they’re actually really funny, and it shows up in their style, musings and clever responses.
Some of these conversations I’ve had with people are nonsensical and hilarious. Threads have gone 70+ comments long, which we’ve now made into in-jokes, transcending Miitomo’s space. Through these interactions, I’ve strengthened some of my friendships and I in my mind, I feel as though I’ve gotten to know some people a little bit better. And I honestly don’t think that’s an overly dramatic thing to say.
Take for example a friend who will be visiting this June with his wife. I’ve never met him before, but we speak almost daily on Kotaku’s Reader-run Community, TAY (wahay!). His wife joined Miitomo and friended me to get more of those precious Nintendo rewards coins. Since then, I wouldn’t say we know all that much more about each other, but I’ve picked up little tidbits from her about her life with my friend. At the very least, when we meet in July, if she cuts the cheese in my presence, I’ll know to laugh and not at all be offended
unless it’s silent but deadly. I’m told she has no shame.
We can use this knowledge as a jumping point or a way to break the ice if things get quiet and awkward when we meet. Honestly though, I don’t think it will because Miitomo is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing—being a social app. And I think based on our conversations there, we’ll get along just fine.
It’s hard to say you can ever truly know a person, especially by what they put forth hidden behind online personas. Miitomo’s an interesting experiment, for sure. One that has me marveling at how very differently everyone approaches the same questions, or reacts in conversation. I’d like to think there’s some truth hidden in the witty remarks or literal emotional outpourings, and the hours spent putting some facet of self forward in that capacity.
Maybe I’m putting too much stock in something so arguably lighthearted but it’s an intriguing thought. People’s responses on Miitomo say a lot about those individuals, even when they think they’re not saying too much. It’s all in the personalities, from the serious to the strange.
And that’s true of me, as well.