Yesterday I was the best man in my best friend Steve’s wedding. (You might remember him from our Pixelnauts Play: Eclipse video!) In my preparation for this event I knew I was going to have to write a speech, and every best man speech has to regale some past tale of embarrassment to the audience right?

Well, Steve has always had horrible luck with electronic related things, including video games. He grew up believing there was a “Licavoli Chip” that knew he was playing and thus would glitch the game. I knew I had to mention this at his wedding, so I sent some emails out to Sega, Nintendo, Gearbox, Bioware, etc hoping they would play along and send me something back saying that the chip exists. Out of all the emails I sent, I got one response.

It was from Nintendo.

This is the letter I sent out:

Hello,

In May of 2013, my best friend Steve Licavoli is getting married. He’s asked me to be his best man, and I was pleased to accept. I’m starting to plan out my best man speech and I need some help from you.

Steve is my oldest friend, we met back in first grade. We grew up together, and part of that was we grew up playing video games. But Steve has always had, well, a strange luck with electronics. He seems to always think the game is against him specifically. He says the game cheats when he plays. Strange things just seem to happen to him, even in a game we’re playing together.

Over the years he’s come up with a variety of explanations for these occurrences. He’s called it the Cheap-nay Monster in the Shade. For a while he blamed gnomes; going so far as to cover any hole in his computer they could see out of. (He even claimed that worked until his processor fan melted to the heatsink and broke). But there’s one explanation he has always used, and that is that there is a chip in the console called the Licavoli Chip. It’s basically a chip that registers he’s playing, and causes all manner of game and electronic malfunctions towards him.

Now, he doesn’t actually believe there is a Licavoli Chip (I think). But any friend of Steve will have heard him mention the Licavoli Chip at some point in their life. I thought this needs to be mentioned at his wedding in some capacity.

So, what I’m asking for is something I can give or show him that says the Licavoli Chip is real. It can be a letter, a short video, just something I can present to him during my best man speech.

I realize, I could probably fake something for this. But it just doesn’t mean the same thing compared to having something real from the people that have made things he’s enjoyed (except when its cheating him).

If you are willing and able to help me in this endeavor, you can read more about what I’m looking for below. If you can’t, then I just want to say thanks for making some of the games Steve and I grew up with and continue to enjoy playing to this day.

Thanks for your time,

Carl Kloster

And here is the response I got back:

Hello Carl,

I would first like to congratulate your friend Steve on his upcoming nuptials! I’m sure that it is a great honor for you to be selected as his best man. We here at Nintendo’s Consumer Service do not have the resources to send our fans videos, but we are always happy to reply to e-mails.

As a child, I often blamed supernatural creatures and mischievous entities when it came to video game frustrations, so I definitely feel Steve’s pain. Even now, I’m prone to crying out my disbelief to the ceiling when video game luck just isn’t favoring me.

I would love to give you something to amplify the effect of your speech, but I have to say that all of our games and consoles are designed to play the same for all consumers in this region. Even in the name of light-hearted tomfoolery, Nintendo can’t officially confirm that our developers are specifically targeting Steve or anyone else. The “Livacoli Chip” doesn’t exist, but rather it sounds as though Steve is simply the victim of a series of unfortunate coincidences.

I understand that this response isn’t as cool as what you were hoping for, and I do sincerely apologize. Please pass along my regards to Steve and his bride.

Sincerely,

T. J. Geise

Nintendo of America Inc.

It was the response I was expecting. But, it wasn’t just a stock response either. It could have been a two line response of “Nintendo doesn’t comment on blah blah blah”. This however, is a real message back to me from a person who understood what I was looking for. I was so happy to get it.

So, I bought the guts of an SNES, and mounted them in a shadow box with what I felt was the best quote in the letter.

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“Nintendo can’t officially confirm that our developers are specifically targeting Steve”

That sounds to me like if they won’t confirm it officially, maybe there’s a chance that Steve’s been right all this time.

And when I presented during my speech I had Steve read that quote out loud. It went over better than I hoped for and for that: Thank you Nintendo, and specifically thank you T.J. Geise for helping me make my best friends day a little more special.

steve nintendo

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