One evening, we attended a talent competition in the clubhouse, during which the host - Uncle Ricky Dinkle (no, really) asked for boys and girls to come up on stage and sing him a song. At my sister's urging, I lined up with the other children next to the stage, ready to give my showstopping rendition of The Wheels On The Bus.
I had long curly hair back then - admittedly, not much has changed - which might be why Uncle Ricky Dinkle greeted me by saying "Here's a nice little girl".
"I'm a boy not a girl!" I corrected furiously, to waves of laughter from the audience.
Uncle Ricky recovered well with a comedy double-take, apologised, and asked me where I went to school.
"Bay school", I huffed.
"Bay school?" asked Uncle Ricky.
"No - Bay school," I replied, becoming increasingly frustrated by someone who seemed intent upon misrepresenting me.
"NO! BAY SCHOOL!"
Admittedly, I was recovering from having most of my teeth knocked out by a swing - for which I'd required years of painful dental treatment. My speech wasn't perhaps the most easy to understand, so I can almost forgive Uncle Ricky for not realising I was trying to tell him that I went to "play school".
Bear with me. We're getting to the Nintendo bit.
It was not any old play school I attended, but one which was run by my mother.
One time, needing a play house for the nursery, she enlisted the help of my grandad, whose knack for DIY - he was a mechanic in the war, before becoming a chimney sweep, of all things - I have failed to inherit. He had the brilliant notion of making the house out of cardboard.
What he built was a work of genius. Instead of some flimsy thing, he produced a structure durable enough to withstand the aggressive play of nursery age children. He glued corrugated cardboard panels together to make the sturdy walls, door and roof, then gave the whole thing of couple of coats of gloss paint, making it even more stable.
I mean, it was brilliant. I was stunned by his feat of engineering, and told all the other kids repeatedly that my grandad had been responsible. I was so proud.
It's possibly a weird thing to say, but from that point onwards I always felt cardboard was an underrated medium. I had one recurring fantasy as a kid, where I imagined a costume of the Wampa from The Empire Strikes Back, but made out of cardboard. I didn't have the skill to make such a thing, but I thought it could be made by someone cleverer than I - and relatively cheaply.
Indeed, my favourite toy was a cardboard Death Star - the plastic version they got in America was nowhere near as good, and probably twice the price. Cardboard offered more bang for your buck, and I never understood why it wasn't used more by toy manufacturers.
Of course, cardboard has made a bit of a comeback in recent years, thanks to Google's cardboard VR headset. Now, however, Nintendo is taking it to the next level.
If you missed the announcement video, Nintendo's Labo - yes, let's get the sniggering out of the way now - will arrive as a couple of sets of make-your-own cardboard objects (Toy Cons), into which you slot the Switch and Joy Con controllers.
From April, you'll be able to build interactive pianos, houses, motorbikes, fishing rods, robots, and - most impressively - some sort of mech suit, which works with what looks like a bona fide Nintendo Switch VR-ish game.
I mean... y'know... it's literally the best idea ever. It absolutely, one hundred percent, delivers on the promise of the Switch, while also tapping into something which kids instinctively understand: the potential of cardboard as a material which can ignite the imagination. Heck, Nintendo is even encouraging users to colour in their Toy Cons with felt-tip pens!
Furthermore, the initial two sets will be priced below £100 - making them (relatively) affordable.
What it really does for me is underline something which I'd already believed instinctively; the lower-specced Switch is already about a million times more exciting - for me - than, say, PlayStation VR.
Virtual reality has yet to have its potential unlocked. As impressive as the technology is, beyond that feeling of "being there", I've yet to seen a single application which really justifies its existence. It remains a novelty - and one, lest we forget, which is expensive, and mostly only offers a list of reasons why it still hasn't broken through to the mainstream.
I mean, take your pick from making some users want to throw up, to sensory deprivation, and looking like an idiot while using it.
Of course, critics are going to complain that Labo is a novelty, but at least it's cheaper than VR - which is also, at this stage, a novelty. Plus, is it really any more of a novelty than a Lego set? Certainly, its price is comparable to Lego. As is its name, for that matter.
Point is, when everyone was raving about VR as the future of gaming, I kept thinking: "But it isn't... it can't be..."
And thus far I've been proved right. Sales of high-end VR systems have been disappointing.
I honestly believe the Switch should point the way forwards for gaming. It takes the potential of our hobby - in the way that supporters desperately want us to believe VR has - and expands on it in a way that is fun, accessible, and approachable. And now Labo really unlocks the kid in all of us; we all played in cardboard boxes. We all made bases, or robots, or houses out of them.
By embracing the most lo-fi of technologies - cardboard, for pity's sake! - this most Nintendo-y of Nintendo's ideas highlights how misguided the VR faithful has been. You can argue that Labo and PSVR are targeting different demographics, but it underlines the gulf between much of the technology-obsessed games industry and what punters really seem to what.
Where Nintendo's competitors' attitude to progress is to stuff more technology into its hardware - oh, look: <YAWN> now the games are in 4K and have dynamic something-or-another - Nintendo looks at the hardware it has already and tries to figure out how best it can wring every last ounce of fun out of it.
In short: Labo seems to favour play over specs. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is what games and consoles should always be striving to do.
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