Prepare yourself for a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat examination of the pinnacle of the culture of the amiibo scene.
As most of the long-time members of the Amiibo Dojo know, it didn’t begin as an amiibo site. Initially, the site was under the Cloud 9 banner, ran by Cloud, and started long before the introduction of amiibo to the video game world. One member in particular has been on the site for a very long time: Megar.
Megar, the basis for the similar character in Cloud’s Forum Adventures, is a notable member of the Amiibo Dojo. Megar does not interact with amiibo, and has never entered a tournament. It is currently unknown if Megar even owns an amiibo. This places Megar in a unique situation: he has observed, since the very beginning, the intricacies and discussions of amiibo competition at its deepest depths and loftiest heights. Megar is as close to Amiibo Buddha as one can get, without starving oneself and living in India. His perspective on amiibo is like no one else, and it allows him to see beyond the mere facade of amiibo competition and perceive the legitimate, underlying truth of the competitive amiibo scene.
On rare occasions, Megar will enter the Discord server and leave behind his catchphrase for all to enjoy: “Amiibo gay”. Sometimes, in dark times, he will pay respect to those affected by tragedy by leaving it lowercase: “amiibo gay”. Through either interpretation of Megar’s statement, we can reach a few insightful and helpful conclusions.
First, we must assume that Megar is not specifically reffering to homosexual acts perpetrated by Nintendo’s line of plastic figures. Amiibo have no genitals. Thus, the meaning of the word “gay” is likely not a sexual reference, but rather a cultural one.
It is possible that Megar might be using the word “gay” in its original definition: carefree, cheerful or otherwise showy. However, Megar has no experience first-hand with amiibo, which limits the possibility that he might develop a perspective on their attitudes and overall emotional stability. In addition, amiibo are plastic figures who have no attitudes or emotional stability.
Instead, let us tackle the meaning of “gay” as a typical slang term. In colloquial circles, particularly Eurocentric ones, “gay” is often used in place of “lame”, “uncool”, or “stupid”. While not explicitly a derogatory term (it is socially considerate to avoid using that slant on the word when in the presence of actual homosexuals) it is typically used as an insult. This fits neatly into the online history of Megar, who has never used amiibo and likely has a disdain for being surrounded by complete and total geeks.
Having established that “amiibo gay” actually means “amiibo lame”, let’s move on to the real meat of this piece.
We know that amiibo behavior is, in at least some small part, randomly determined by behavior. This has been known by the scene for a very long time, and I wrote about this here. Randomness has even been worked into the Utility formula, cementing its permanent position in the scene.
Amiibo are also known to be finicky to train, and often contain unsavory or difficult elements to their behavior. Pichu’s refusal to use Thunder, Mario’s refusal to stop using down-air, and the Ice Climber’s refusal to stop fucking dying are all seemingly impossible to fully eliminate from amiibo behavior. In tournaments, this proves true as well: even the most well-behaved amiibo use what they’re not supposed to use. This tends to create tournament outcomes that, while they support the typical picture of the metagame, severely decrease interest in the scene as a whole. Everyone’s gotten this close to winning, only to have their amiibo do something stupid and lose the whole thing for them. It’s a universal.
At this point, I recommend to all amiibo trainers to embrace that idea. Embrace the idea that amiibo might just be lame. Let’s think through that phrase in order to further explore its depths.
Given this underlying informational framework, I theorize that the truest, deepest meaning of “amiibo gay” is that amiibo are, in and of themselves, a nonsocial and socially unviable hobby of interest that flies in the face of rational thinking, which is exemplified when examined through the lens of determinism.
It is abundantly clear that amiibo collecting is not a common interest. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and unpopular. In today’s society, collectors of plastic figurines (who later become amiibo trainers) are left out of the group. In other words, society is anti-amiibo, and we live in a society.
Taking into consideration the societal aspects of amiibo collecting and training, let’s apply the context of the Amiibo Dojo to “amiibo gay” and assume Megar is specifically referring to amiibo training and its related concepts. This is reasonable, as the statement consistently is repeated on the Amiibo Dojo server, and the Amiibo Dojo server is largely populated with amiibo trainers. From these two vital pieces of information, we can conclude that “amiibo gay” is a metatext on both amiibo being considered unsocial and the center of a social group. But we’re not finished.
We can complete this thought by examining it through the lens of determinism. (I chose determinism instead of monarchialist anti-Enlightenment pre-1800s beliefs because I felt like it.)
So, if amiibo are lame, to what extent are they lame and how does that effect the gayness of “amiibo gay”?
Let’s harken back to the initial paragraphs of this piece. Everyone in the scene knows that amiibo sometimes don’t do what they’re supposed to do, and it seems obvious to conclude that that is really lame. (Socrates wrote extensively on this.) However, in addition to faulty AI spread across all amiibo, they also use randomness to determine proper move usage. It must be such a waste of time to make an effort on such a device!
Despite the seeming futility of training amiibo, the Amiibo Dojo still exists and hosts tournaments regularly, celebrating the apparent “randomness”of amiibo. Nonetheless, amiibo are not random, instead only operating in a predictable manner from a randomness seed, and thus operate against the wishes of the trainer at the behest of the trainer. To circle back around to determinism, the outcome of the theoretical amiibo tournament can be understood with a proper understanding of the underlying calculations determining amiibo behavior.
To put in layman’s terms, we tell amiibo what to do, hope they do it, and then they don’t because they never would have in the first place. And we do it over and over. And that is really gay.