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Image via @SplatoonNA on Twitter. 

Let's Play: Splatfests in the 'Splatoon' series are fun even when you're not playing

What sounds more fun than an argument over a narrow topic that lasts an entire weekend? 

OK, regardless of how amusing that sounds on the surface, imagine that clash taking the form of anthropomorphic squids and octopuses shooting ink at each other while trying to cover as much turf with said ink as possible. That’s how Splatfests in Nintendo’s Splatoon series go. 

Splatfests have existed ever since the first installment of Splatoon on the Nintendo Wii U in 2015. Throughout Splatoon and its sequel, 2017’s Splatoon 2on the Nintendo Switch, the debated topics—depending on region—have included Cats vs. Dogs, Spongebob vs. Patrick (yes, really) and Vampire vs. Werewolf. Of course, these “wars” never had any serious stakes around them and often focused on fictional, intangible subjects.  

With 2022’s Splatoon 3 on the Nintendo Switch, its first Splatfest—not including the World Premiere prior to the full release—revolved around a decision that most players would probably never have to make in real life. Yet, it still led to plenty debate and arguments on social media and between friends. This time, the question was, “What would you bring to a deserted island?” The in-game hosts, Shiver, Frye and Big Man, made their cases for bringing gear, grub and fun, respectively. After the Splatfest was announced during a Nintendo Direct on Sept. 13, debate and excitement followed.  

Arguably, the days leading up to the Splatfest were almost as fun as the event itself. Personally, I chose to go with Frye’s Team Grub. Every time I would bring this up, people pointed out that bringing gear was much more sustainable and wiser, as not only could it be used to harvest food, but it could also help provide shelter, protection or in an extreme scenario, a way off the island.  

Team Gear had a solid argument to its case, but if we were to think in extreme cases, I asked myself: “What if the deserted island was so small, you didn’t even have room to use gear? If you were the only living thing on the island, how would you hunt for food or grow a garden?" It’s the worst-case scenario, but if the deserted island in question was only a few square feet in size, I’d rather have the guaranteed food source to keep myself alive until a rescue arrives.  

See how much thinking went into a debate that wasn’t even decided by logical arguments? The Splatfest, which began Friday night and went until the following Sunday night, was instead decided by a mix of popularity and in-game performances. Regardless of how solid or flimsy your logic was, it wouldn’t matter if you could cover as much ground with ink as possible.  

Even though Team Gear won instead of my own, I wasn’t even disappointed (not completely, at least). The mix of casualness and competitiveness might be what makes Splatfest so fun. Each topic opens up a debate on topics that could be discussed for hours, but in the end, the purpose of the event is to just have fun and play with Splatoon 3’s community.  

Melody Feazell is a senior studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Melody by tweeting them @MelodyFeaz.

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