Before you accuse one person or company of copying another – make sure you know who had the idea in the first place.

PREDICTION: As Ubisoft announce their plans to launch Dogz on to the GBA it’s clear that they’re capitalizing on the immense popularity of the DS’s Nintendogs. Nintendo loyalists across the globe will berate the cheap tactics of Ubisoft and their blatant disregard for Nintendo innovation.

It is worth remembering, of course, that were it not for the original Dogz games produced on PCs and consoles over a decade ago it’s very very unlikely Nintendogs would ever have been thought up in the first place. And yes, the Dogz games pre-date Tamagotchi and Pokemon too. In fact, the first instance of a virtual pet was in the mid 1980’s with Activision and David Crane’s seminal Little Computer People:

Nintendogs, 20 years ago.Nintendogs, 1985

Understandably, Nintendogs is appearing on the newest hardware with the most innovative of controls (assuming you never used Dogz on a pocket PC in the last 10 years) and will obviously look prettier than the original concepts of the design from decades past. So remember the usual N-tard blinkered yelp of “Well, all company X does is nick ideas and make them look pretty on newer hardware” when they attempt to hide their ignorance and bias.

I sincerely hope every gamer in the world proves my prediction wrong. 🙂

11 thoughts on “How to avoid looking stupid”
  1. I personally think that Nintendogs has done for Dogz what “Creatures” did for Little Computer People. Evolution and such. (I seem to remember a really awful GBC Dogz game which was one of the worst games on the system.)

    If you can take a gaming concept and make it better then it’s fair play.

    Koff, you seem to love LCP very much, have you ever touched creatures? Download the “Docking Station” demo from their site for free:

    It’s not the actual game that’s fun, it’s more thinking about how they all work and such.

  2. Yes, I spent some time with Creatures. I wasn’t too impressed at the time. When you consider the scope of LCP from two decades ago (a virtual pet who had their own virtual pet amongst other things) you can see why newer virtual pets (Dogz, Creatures, Nintendogs) don’t impress me that much. Apart from being derivative they simply don’t expand on the concepts and scope introduced in that effort.

    I’m grateful to you for pointing out the Creatures series of virtual pets in this topic. It helps to show just how many times this idea has been done before over the years and why I feel there’s huge injustice in our culture when a company such as Nintendo can take such an old idea and claim innovation and originality when it’s nothing of the sort. Not even the control scheme.

    If people choose to believe Nintendo invented the virtual pet idea then that’s up to them. Facts and history show otherwise – if you’re inclined to look at them.

  3. I dragged my Grandmother all over Hong Kong just so I could get a Tamogotchi ^_^

    So yeah, the virtual pet idea is nothing new to me but I still enjoy Nintendogs.

  4. Ah yes, the classic Dogz titles, of course the original idea of a virtual pet didn’t orginated from Nintendogs, Pokemon or even the Tamagochi. But then again, when have you ever heard a Nintendo fanboy claim Nintendogs was the invention for a virtual pet? Sure it’s innovative, it has better ineteraction and more features then previous versions of the virtual pet concept. But personally, I have never heard anyone say (including Nintendo themselves) that they invented the virtual pet game concepts.

    Sorry, but I will have to disagree with you regarding Dogz for GBA. I reckon a GBA version of a virtual pet game may help raise SP and Micro sales, as many people who can’t afford a DS will still have the option to own a virtual pet. I doubt anyone will criticise Dogz as being a Nintendogs wannabe, even if it is.

    One final thing, I believe the title for your post is quite inaccurate, as most gamers haven’t even heard of 1980 virtual pet sims. Sorry, but it is true (and you’d know it), that if you went up to someone and claimed the 1980 Dogz as the original virtual pet game, I’m sure they’ll just laugh and shake their head. I am assuming that most (if not all) Nintendogs owners, mostly children, have never heard of Dogz.

    This may be a factor to the game’s success. Recently sales have comfirmed that Nintendogs sold 160,000 units during its first week in Europe. lol, it certainly seems like most gamers are not as intelligent… or critical… as yourself :).

  5. I’m not saying that Dogz coming out on the GBA is a bad thing at all. Why shouldn’t it do well? There’s a demand for it and Ubi are simply striking whilst the iron is hot.

    However, my point about Nintendo getting credit where it’s not due and accusing a company like Ubi of ripping off Nintendogs is mainly spurred on by this article. It’s from a site that I felt had knowledge and Nintendo bias – but now I have to assume it only has the bias. (Check the article’s title).

    Also, I don’t expect new gamers to know that Nintendogs isn’t a new idea that dates back 20 years. But at the same time I would like to think they have the common sense and objectivity to realise that it *may* not be a new idea even if it’s new to them as a player.

    Anybody who assumes they know something when they clearly demonstrate that they don’t is simply going to make themselves look foolish.

    Before pointing fingers it’s best to make sure you know which direction they should be pointing in!

    As the linked article shows, my wish to be proved wrong has already failed. 🙁

  6. Hmm, good point, though I’m certain that Nintendogs did at least give Ubisoft SOME ideas for the new Dogz.

    I agree with you regarding the title, some fans really are clueless when it comes to gaming outside of their experience.

  7. It seems that you have something against Nintendo fans and not much agaist Nintendo (but still). I would like you to visit Digital Share so that we can discuss and come to certain conclusion. Your presence would be very appreciated. Thank You.

  8. You could say that I have something against Nintendo fans. I’d like to clarify that. Any individuals who will constantly move the goal posts in a debate, dismiss facts, logic and objectivity in some senseless sport of one-upmanship will not receive praise from me. This behaviour tends to be most apparent in (but not exclusively to) Nintendo fans. It is they, far more than the captialist movements of Nintendo themselves, that do incredible damage to the integrity and credibility of this culture and industry. I don’t reward ignorance and childishness with praise or respect and I never will.

    As for you invite to Digital Share, I joined because another member creating a topic about me, bearing nothing but my name, and I commented on my actions so as to clarify where I was coming from. It became readily apparent that nobody was interested in seeing an alternative, more informed point of view (the ridiculousness of the interpretation of ‘lifestyle product’ and sales statistics demonstrates this perfectly) so I promptly decided I wouldn’t be staying – news that was received by other members crowing and beating their chests with some sort of primal pride.

    My presence and views were very much NOT appreciated or even acknowledged and your invitation is declined. Don’t take this personally, I’ve left better forums than Digital Share.

  9. The only way I can imagine Dogz GBA being influenced by Nintendogs is by it’s success, since the success of Nintendo’s do-’em-up shows that there’s still a market for tamagotchi-stlye games. Even so, I’m betting it’s mere coincedence.
    It deserves to be dismissed though-Sorely for the fact it uses a “z” instead of an “s” for the title plural 😛

  10. I totally agree. Nintendo fans do have something to move the goalposts of reason and truth, and the “debates” that involve them are little more than shouting at people who do not think Nintendo is “da best fing eva!!”, and they will not see reason. As Winston Churchill once said, they often use “terminological inexactitude”.

    Nintendo do make good games. They are brilliant at the process of making themselves always look in the best possible light, whatever the situation, which, to be honest, is a great attibute to have, if you are a company. However, their fans take this spin as if it were fact. Everything Nintendo does is original, never mind that the idea was already around. I once said that Nintendo do not innovate, they steal other people’s ideas, and then make them popular, and I stand by that. This, in my opinion, is not a wholly bad thing, but it does generate a level of fanboyism that is not present in other company’s fanbases, as the fans believe that Nintendo did invent this innovation, and that anyone who points them in the direction of the truth is promptly insulted.

  11. Prediction Koff? It already happened on a Dutch site.

    However, I don’t know if it’s fanboys or people simply not looking any further/not knowing about the older titles.

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