#1 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

As I've been reminiscing about summers past, Campy Hyrule came to mind. Campy Hyrule was a short online summer camp that Nintendo organized for 13 years straight. There were silly flash games, contests, and the promotion of video games. Most importantly, however, was the development of little communities in the form of cabins. You were assigned to a cabin, which was associated with a chat room and forum where you could meet other Nintendo fans.

I participated one year, in 2004, and loved. It was pretty dumb, but it was exciting to see what silly things took place each day, and to be exposed to an entirely new online community. The two following years I couldn't participate, and after that, they killed it. It was quite sad to see it go.

So, any bombers ever spend time in Camp Hyrule? Have any fun memories?

#2 Posted by SexyToad (2760 posts) -

I didn't go but I wish I had. That sounds amazing! Any idea why they stopped doing it?

#3 Posted by ascholzk (261 posts) -

I went for 2 years. It's weird how many great memories I have from it. I still have a Stumpy T-Shirt from being in the winning cabin one year! That and the Nsider forums were some of my favorite early online memories.

#4 Posted by Arbie (1449 posts) -

That sounds like so much fun! Urgh, curses that I never knew of its existence. =[

#5 Posted by EuanDewar (4899 posts) -

The fuck is an "Online Summer Camp"

I don't get how that- wat

#6 Posted by EuanDewar (4899 posts) -

That's like, maybe the biggest misuse of a phrase I've ever seen

#7 Posted by Village_Guy (2546 posts) -

Never heard about it, but it sounds pretty silly - and, no offense to anyone, but it sounds like a gross misuse of "summer camp".

#8 Posted by Chop (1996 posts) -

Yeah, I participated the summer before Animal Crossing and Mario Sunshine came out (01, 02?). Most of my memories of it involving getting chewed out by angry and obnoxious kids.

#9 Posted by Grimhild (723 posts) -

@BoG said:

The two following years I couldn't participate, and after that, they killed it. It was quite sad to see it go.

I'm getting so many weird mental images from this, of your Camp Hyrule alter-ego returning from the pixelated woods to find it in flames and then going on a Conan-esque quest of revenge on Nintendo. I also just woke up and I'm kind of hung over, so feel free to /ignore me.

#10 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

@EuanDewar: @Village_Guy: No, I agree, it's a silly phrase. Of course, it was more a theme than anything else. The main page was designed like a camp, and there were summer camp and Nintendo themed pages associated with it. For example, you could go to the lake to play flash games, or go to the mess hall to chat with other "campers." It wasn't really a summer camp, and I think that we all realized this.

@ascholzk: I'm jealous! My cabin got second place. I agree with you though, about the memories. It's strange how mesmerizing it was in my youth. Though only temporary, the community felt so much more tight-knit than most long term web communities. I remember my year, they had lots of tiny little ways that you could contribute. We had to make a camp banner for the forums, and we could submit user icons. One of my icons was selected, and I just felt so cool. I told everyone in the cabin.

@Grimhild: The year that I returned to find that Camp Hyrule was dead... I think your post describes how I felt emotionally.

@SexyToad: No idea. Apparently, it died with the N-Sider community. I don't know why that died, because I never used those forums.

#11 Posted by ascholzk (261 posts) -

@BoG: Yeah I mean looking back, it was essentially chat rooms, community contests, and flash games, but it definitely culminated to more than the sum of it's parts. I remember the year Camp Hyrule and N-Sider ended, SO goddamn emotional! And all the NOAs felt like camp counselors even though they were just the mods! And each year something completely went to shit and it was so intriguing.

#12 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

@ascholzk: I know! In my youth, mods were totally a lot cooler in my eyes, but the NOA dude were like gods. I mean, they weren't merely moderators, but camp counselors who worked for Nintendo, the center of my childhood universe. I also remember the disasters. I was super shocked when the camp flooded my year!

#13 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1107 posts) -

Nintendo dropped all community aspects when they licensed off Nintendo Power to Future. It is amazing just how cold and corporate Nintendo is nowadays, compared to back then.

#14 Posted by gakon (1952 posts) -

I didn't remember Camp Hyrule until I saw this thread, and then I was all "OH MAN, I DO".

I have better memories of the larger Nintendo message board community. I spent a reasonable chunk of my adolescence on the Nsider Forums (which sadly closed around 2007 or so). I wasn't a Nintendo fanboy myself; I was more often interested in trolling and arguing with those folk. Look, I was an angsty 8th-grader and I got the slightest feelings of self-worth out of making myself out as intellectually superior to random people on the Internet.

But yeah, there was so much weird stuff going on there. The chat rooms, the complex ranking system (at 1200 posts you were allowed to have a signature; at 3000+ you were allowed to edit your posts), the Sages (select members of the community hand-picked by mods, who often created controversy for their "special" status), the role-playing boards (which I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I was a part of) the weird cult of personality around certain mods or Nintendo executives like Reggie. I always wanted to write a few blogs about that place, but by now a lot of the memories have vanished from my mind.

#15 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4418 posts) -

holy fuck! I forgot about Camp Hyrule! Now that brings back some memories lol

I definitely remember participating at least once.

#16 Posted by Trevorisamazing (60 posts) -

Few memories of Camp Hyrule, but vivid memories of the Nsider forums, particularly Trivia HQ chat. I was one of the regulars there for a long time, and then stopped going for a few months.

When I came back, much to my surprise, the forums had completely shut down. It was legitimately sad. I had a lot of friends I had made there.

#17 Edited by MikeRD (32 posts) -

Yeah, Camp Hyrule seemed pretty neat when I was a teenager. I guess it was through Nintendo Power that I found out about it, and I'm pretty sure 2004 was also the first year I signed up for it, though I then participated in it until whenever they stopped doing it. In fact the last year where it technically "existed," I won the sweepstakes which was a life-size Link statue (if you've seen that one mailbag video where the guys got a giant Skyrim dude-statue-thing, think that, except Linkier...). It wasn't like previous years though. I think it was just a webpage with maybe a couple of flash games and a place where you could enter your MyNintendo account info or something (or maybe you just needed an e-mail address - can't remember exactly) to be entered for the prize, unlike previous years where they actually had activities and contests, and participation from NoA employees. 
 
And yeah, you're right about it dying off along NSider. Because of the Camp Hyrule thing I ended up posting a lot on those message boards and participating in the chats they had for a few hours each weekday. I'm not sure why they did away with that stuff. It was pretty nifty getting to talk to random NoA people, even if they were mostly lower-level call center people. One of them even hosted a trivia game on many Friday nights where sometimes he'd buy stuff from their NoA HQ gift shop and give it away as prizes. There were some really cool people that worked there and interacted with that community. As to why they totally got rid of that stuff, it all happened after the Wii launched if I recall correctly. My best guess is once that thing started selling gangbusters they didn't see the need to spend the resources they had been to support an online community and wanted to shift their focus elsewhere. That's a total guess though, I don't have any actual insight as to why.

#18 Posted by Ducksworth (660 posts) -

I signed up once, didn't understand what the heck my purpose was so I never want back...wish I did though.

#19 Posted by MikeRD (32 posts) -
@Trevorisamazing said:

Few memories of Camp Hyrule, but vivid memories of the Nsider forums, particularly Trivia HQ chat. I was one of the regulars there for a long time, and then stopped going for a few months.

When I came back, much to my surprise, the forums had completely shut down. It was legitimately sad. I had a lot of friends I had made there.

What was your screen name? >_>
#20 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1641 posts) -

I did it once. My cabin won! Ah, what a goofy thing. To be young again...

#21 Posted by Trevorisamazing (60 posts) -

@MikeRD: Zoda-Z.

#22 Posted by ZombiePie (5642 posts) -

Hell yes I remember Camp Hyrule! That shit was on Nintendo Power every Summer. 

Moderator
#23 Posted by GioVANNI (1285 posts) -

I never participated in Camp Hyrule, but I did spend a good bit of time on the NSider forums.

#24 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11638 posts) -

I remember lurking, but never posting, on the Nsider forums frequently. I don't recall much, but I do remember enough to know that I probably would make fun of everyone who posted there if it still existed to this day, though my 11 or 12 year old self thought it quite cool.

#25 Posted by JeanLuc (3579 posts) -

Never heard of it. What years did it take place?

#26 Posted by Pepsiman (2470 posts) -

Oh man, I had completely forgotten about that shindig until this thread. The NSider forums were the first real game forums of any sort I ever participated in and was probably where I made my first Internet friends. Pretty sure I participated in Camp Hyrule at least the same year as BoG and I think I also did it for one or two other years, although I never got super into any of the activities because of life commitments and general laziness at the time. If any of you remember HPFan from the forums, that was me. Despite not having been there in years, it was still a bit of a depressing day to discover they had shut that place down and didn't even care to archive it.

#27 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Pepsiman said:

Despite not having been there in years, it was still a bit of a depressing day to discover they had shut that place down and didn't even care to archive it.

We've all felt that pain, in one way or another. Except for me, it was with a Fire Emblem board, back when the SNES translations were still happening.

#28 Posted by Apathylad (3066 posts) -

Yes, I remember participating one year, and something about a mascot named Stumpy. It would be cool if they brought it back, especially considering how much social networking has changed since I last went there.

#29 Posted by Coketruck (24 posts) -

Hell yeah, Camp Hyrule! I did it back in 97 and 98. If I remember right, those were the first two years it was at nintendo.com instead of AOL. Yes, I'm old. Ah, fond memories of the days when nobody had quite figured out how the hell this whole "internet" thing was supposed to work.