Experiencing Miitomo as an Introvert
Miitomo is an app made for socialites and talkers built on “Would you rather?” and personality quiz-type questions. Users are rewarded for expressing opinions and cultural observations with both currency, and insight into their friends’ perspective on fascinatingly mundane things.
It’s something you can see Miss Piggy obsessing over, given her persona on The Muppets. (Season 2 writers, take this down.) Miitomo is not a misguided substitute for existing social media; it’s a tool devised for conversation with values in line with Nintendo’s iconic, approachable style. Given the experimental aims of building bridges through small talk, I wondered if someone like me — who the game says fits the “Independent” archetype — could warm up to Miitomo.
I’ll say this: If I wanted to be a fashion guru, I’d rather play Style Savvy. Being called a “Boutique Stylist” means little in this context. That said, my storage in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is overflowing with shirts and accessories — I’ve had to make a clothes pile outside my home — so Miitomo knew how to use my non-social touch point against me. Although I’m not drawn to any of the pancake shirts, cat sweaters, and floral hats that make up the first wave of Miitomo Drop prizes, I quickly spent my first 5,000 Coins on plaid and checkered styles that speak to my real-life preferences.
Eventually realizing I couldn’t evade Miitomo’s primary focus forever, I started with the question component… by reading the answers of friends. I learned a few things in the process.
On the first day, two different people brought up bagels and another two mentioned Better Call Saul, which I thought was an odd coincidence. One friend shared a funny story about a recent Spyfall session they had, while someone else spoke on a personal matter. Sometimes when your friends’ Miis come to visit, you get questions where the answers will stay between the two of you. And to me, this is one of the best parts about Miitomo; when you can engage one-on-one and initiate secret conversations.
Where normally friends of friends can see comments left on someone’s post, no one else will see these more personal answers. You decide on the tone of the conversation, if you want it to be a comedy thread or a serious exchange of ideas, knowing it won’t be broadcasted to everyone. Some examples include describing what you think your friend spends most of their time doing, or what their best quality is.
I found that second question surprising, since the bulk of Miitomo’s question database is geared toward trivia tidbits and reminding you of things you likely already knew. These questions, on the other hand, seek to build on existing connections, and in my case, it was interesting to learn how someone else sees me.
By comparison, how is knowing when I started buying my own clothes relevant? (I actually didn’t skip this one: “Who comes up with these ridiculous questions?” was my answer.) That doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed my early time with Miitomo. I’ve actually had more fun coming up with short jabs, inside jokes and references, as well as subversive one-liners.
That’s more representative of me anyway; just like the other day when I was asked two questions about words and I had an excuse to use the word “opulence”. I quite like how happy dances and other animations trigger as your friends’ Miis read off specific words like “horror,” “giant” and “okay” in their answers. This and the ability to snoop into someone’s closet and order their gear a la Splatoon, are two of the most charming features.
Unless Miitomo suddenly floods me with word-related questions, I’ll continue to shy away from answering unsolicited questions. But to be fair, the environment itself is welcoming enough to keep me engaged regardless.