Nintendo has finally released a trailer for their upcoming new video game console, the Nintendo Switch, but in a bold but righteous move, the company has decided to pair eagerly anticipated information about their new system with an important message about the perils of video game addiction. The trailer begins with a man sitting on his couch in a dark room, late at night, after everyone else in his neighborhood has been long asleep. Alone, unshaven, playing a Legend of Zelda game with a dead look in his eyes, the man ignores his barking dog, who probably hasn't been fed in weeks. That is, if the dog is even real, and not a figment of his video-game-addled brain playing tricks on him.
Suddenly, perhaps driven paranoia, the man gets up from his couch, removes detachable pieces of his controller containing the buttons, walks over to the console, and slides them onto it. He removes a now fully functional portable gaming system from its stand as the game disappears from his TV and appears on the portable screen without missing a beat. The man continues playing, still ignoring his (possibly hallucinated) best friend.
The sun is coming up, and the man is sitting on a park bench, still playing the game. He seems oblivious to the world around him as Link does battle with a giant pig-monster.
The man is at the airport. Forced to walk without his game, he's clearing jonesing for a fix. After clearing security, he immediately inserts a cartridge into his Nintendo Switch and begins playing again. He sits next to a woman who is also playing a video game, but instead of engaging in conversation, he simply starts playing as she watches on, the opportunity for human social interaction lost to the pull of addiction. He boards his plane, and immediately takes out the tablet-like console and props it on the seat tray. He removes the two controller pieces from the screen and the camera closes in on his dilated pupils as he is drawn once again into the distant euphoria of his game. This man hasn't slept in months. He's practically unrecognizable, like he's a completely different person.
Back on the ground and in a cab, he's still playing. He arrives at a new house, plugs the console back into its base, and sits on the couch to play on his TV again. His dog is nowhere to be found, probably awaiting euthanasia in a shelter somewhere as the man fires arrows at a dragon in his immersive fictional world.
Now the man and two friends are getting into a van and driving. As we all know, playing video games while driving is a dangerous activity that results in countless accidents each year. So of course, the group immediately begins recklessly playing Mario Kart while driving down the highway, with little care for the lives they're endangering around them. As the game further clouds the minds of these men, they imagine themselves driving actual go-carts. It's unclear if this is a mere daydream, or if the group has been involved in a fatal multi-car pile-up, and the scene is occurring in their comatose brains.
The men is playing basketball now, but this is far more physical activity than his wasted muscles can handle after years of video game addiction. They stop their real-life game, break out two Nintendo Switches and four controllers, and sit down at a picnic table to play video basketball instead.
Presumably, all of the men have ended up in jail or the morgue by this point as a result of chronic, longtime video game abuse, because now, for the first time, a woman is the protagonist of the commercial. She's playing a 3D Mario game on her switch on the TV. Probably, she is the sister of the now-deceased man from the first part of the commercial, but rather than learn from the tragic results of his mistakes, she is falling into the same trap he did. She looks out her window, and two of her friends are waiting for her. They've probably been waiting for hours. They beckon her to join them, but she can't leave her Nintendo Switch, not even for a few moments. She switches the console to portable mode and goes to join her friends, "there," but not really "present."
Misery loves company, and she pushes the console on her group of friends. She gives them a taste of the alluring console for free, but when they can't live without more, they'll have to pay. Not just with money, as we've seen in this harrowing look at video game addiction. Potentially, they'll pay with their lives.
A group of video game junkies are sitting on the floor of an empty building which they've seemingly broken into just for a place to get their fix. They're preparing for a multiplayer game against another team of players. As both groups completely lose touch with reality, they imagine themselves on stage at a professional eSporting event. The crowd cheers as this sick fantasy pulls them further away from the real world and deeper into a pit of despair from which they will likely never escape.
This is the fate that awaits anyone foolish enough to play with a video game console that makes it possible to never leave the electronic world of games behind.
Everything is gone. Families wrecked. Lives destroyed. Humanity circles the drainpipe as Nintendo profits. But at what cost? At what cost?!
Nintendo Switch. Coming in March, 2017.