Mark, thank you for giving us this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thanks for giving me the chance to interview! My name’s Mark Carabin. I run Warp Whistle Gaming. We do a weekly Nintendo Podcast, a daily video series, reviews, let’s plays, etc. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada with my wife and dog.
What was the first console and game that you owned?
My first console was an NES. I’m not even sure when my dad got it. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have it.
Do you have any fond childhood memories based around gaming?
Of course! While I loved playing outside and doing things that didn’t involve having a controller in my hand, so many of my best childhood memories are gaming-related. Some of my best are gathering a group of friends and just losing a weekend to gaming. Whether it was multiplayer games like any iteration of Smash Bros, Mario Kart, games like Goldeneye 64, the CoD series, Halo… you name it, we played it. I also have great memories of sharing the controller and cooperatively beating games like Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time as a group. Gaming has really shaped a lot of my life.
Let’s jump forward a bit. For those who are unfamiliar, can you tell us about how the CaNERDian Gamer and Warp Whistle Gaming came to be as well as what it is that you do?
Warp Whistle Gaming started as a podcast 3 years ago. My brother and I had been talking about doing a podcast for a while and settled on a weekly Nintendo show. We started a Facebook group and grew the community that way, but lately I’ve been focusing on growing ou community and followers even more, producing more video content, creating t-shirts and other merch and a website. It’s keeping me busy for sure.
The CaNERDian Gamer thing came out of a bit of a joke between myself and Sean Capri (We The GamerCast – awesome show!!!) as something I said all Canadian geeks/nerds were CaNERDians, but he loved it as a moniker and called me THE CaNERDian and it just kind of stuck. I changed my Twitter handle to @canerdiangamer and kind of adopted that as my online persona for my daily video series.
All of us at The Switch Effect want to wish you a big congratulation for reaching the three year milestone. From creating an active gaming community online, to posting daily videos, reviews, live streams and more, it seems you do it all! Over the past three years, what are your top three highlights that you are most proud of?
Thanks so much! It’s been an amazing three years with plenty of highlights I could pick. I never expected, when we started, to be able to get review codes for games and interview awesome developers like Zoink Games (we were the first podcast appearance they ever did), Jeff Ball (who did the music for Tiny Barbarian), Niklas Hallin (Yono and the Celestial Elephants), and Jools Watsham (Atooi Games). Those are all highlights for sure.
The community is another big highlight for me. Meeting so many awesome podcasters, creators, websites, YouTubers and just awesome people in general has been incredible. We’ve had several community members as guests on the show, and continue to grow along with the people in our community. It’s awesome!
The last highlight for me is just being able to get together with my brother every week and geek out about games. My brother and I have always been close, but after we moved out of our parents place and bought houses of our own, it’s nice to have a reason to come together every week. No matter how busy our lives get, we always try our best to get together every week and talk about Nintendo. My favorite episodes of the podcast are the ones where we just talk. Whether the mics are rolling or not, we’d be having those same conversations and talking about what games we’ve been enjoying and what theories we have about the crazy toymaker called Nintendo. I’ve always operated with the mindset that if five people or 5,000 are listening, it doesn’t really matter to me because it’s just fun to have a good chat with my brother.
What can your fans and followers expect from you in the coming year (and beyond)?
I’d like to keep focusing and getting better at video. I really started focusing on daily videos, reviews and let’s plays in the fall, and the growth in followers on YouTube has been great! It can be hard to find a good work/life balance sometimes, so I have to get better at the balance, and putting out things at a regular pace that doesn’t overwhelm me, but I look forward to continuing to focus on that side of things.
Time to “switch” gears. We at The Switch Effect are obviously big fans of Nintendo’s new console as we know you are. What are your impressions of the console now that the console has been out for a few months?
Switch is quickly becoming my favorite console ever. There’s still a lot of stuff that can be improved upon, like online services, virtual console, cloud saves or even the ability to back up saves on an SD card, etc. But the pros heavily outweigh the cons for me. At this point in my life, having the ability to swap between TV and tablet instantly is a literal game changer. If the form factor wasn’t enough, the game support has been incredible. In one year we got a groundbreaking Zelda game, an amazing Mario game, a fun new IP with Arms, a continuation of one of my favorite new franchises with Splatoon 2, and so many other great games from first party, third party and indie studios. It’s incredible! It’s a great time to be a Nintendo fan, and my poor PS4 is gathering dust.
What advice would you give Nintendo as it enters its second year with the Switch?
Keep the momentum going! Throw some money around and lock down some third party exclusives or support like Sony and Microsoft do. Continue to grow relationships and highlight awesome Nindies. I’m happy they seem to be taking a page from Miyamoto’s book when it comes to launching the paid online service. He said “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad” and I think that applies to this service. First impressions are important. They already dropped the ball on the voice app. They need to come out swinging. I hope they launch the service with a heavy hitting 1st party game, and some awesome support from online third party games (CoD, GTA V, Fortnite, etc.).
Which new games are you looking forward to the most?
That’s a bit of a problem, isn’t it? Nintendo wants to sell 20 million units this year and hasn’t showed us a reason why yet, for the most part. Anticipation for two of my biggest games, Metroid Prime 4 and Pokémon Switch, is based on a logo and a man sitting at a desk, respectively, and we don’t even know if they’re launching this year. I’m excited to revisit Bayonetta 1 & 2, but realistically I could fire up my Wii U and play both of those again if I wasn’t committed to double dipping on Switch. Are we getting Bayonetta 3 this year? I hope so, but who knows?
I’m sure we’ll continue to get awesome Nindies throughout the year, like Treasurenauts, Fe, Flipping Death, and more. I’m looking forward to finally sinking my teeth into Dark Souls this spring and I’ve been holding off on Wolfenstein 2 so I can support the Switch launch. We know it’ll be the summer of Mega Man, with 1-10 and all the X games being released, leading up to Mega Man 11 this fall, so that’s fun and kind of also checks that Virtual Console box. I bought an 8Bitdo SNES controller just for those games, and it’s great for retro-style indies. I don’t believe we’ll have a lack of things to play. Part of me, however, is a little worried that if Nintendo doesn’t show a bit of their hand soon, momentum may start to die off a bit. I want this wave to keep on going well beyond 2018. I think Nintendo earned a bit of blind trust in 2017 though, so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Last question now that we’ve run you through the gauntlet. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I don’t think so. I probably overshared or talked too much on some of those questions, so I’ll leave it at that. Thanks so much for the opportunity to chat. Make sure you tune in to the podcast, and follow what we do on your favorite social networks or by visiting our website!
Make sure to follow the CaNERDian Gamer and Warp Whistle Gaming by using the links below.
the CaNERDian Gamer
Warp Whistle Gaming