Girl Asks Nintendo for Free DS, Nintendo Obliges

When you're a kid, there's a lot of things you want but can't have due to lack of funding. Asking your parents to fix you up sometimes works, but most of us are familiar with being told to wait until Christmas or our birthday. So we'll sulk or mow lawns to pass the time or earn the money ourselves, but the majority of us likely never wrote to the manufacturer and asked for one for free. But what would happen if we did?

Nintendo is currently trying to discourage gamers around the world from writing in to ask for free consoles after the company's Australian branch responded to an 11-year-old girl's request for a free DS yielded positive results.

Helen wrote to Nintendo Australia as part of a class assignment that involved writing letters to companies. Helen said she picked Nintendo because she is a big fan of the company but also because she had a request to make. Helen claims she begged her parents for a DS but they said no. She has a Wii at home but not all of the games she wants to play are available for the Wii, the 11-year-old explained. Knowing there was no use continuing to bug her parents, Helen wanted to know if Nintendo would reply to her letter and send her a DS.

"My request is quite big," she writes. "I would like a D.S. please for those many reasons. Thank you for taking time to read my letter and I really appreciate it if you replied or send me my biggest request."

A Nintendo spokesperson did reply, telling Helen that they were very impressed by her letter. They also sent her a DS and said they hoped she and her classmates had fun playing it.

A good deed for sure, but now that the letter and Nintendo's reply have gone viral, Nintendo Australia is afraid it will be swamped with more requests. In an attempt to put off those eager to send their own letters, Nintendo's Heather Murphy told that the company verifies all requests. In Helen's case, they contacted the school principal and made sure the DS would be put to good use. Once they had established that, they sent on the DS and a child-friendly game to go along with it.

Heather also said Nintendo receives lots of letters everyday – most days they get too many to read – and that the company hardly ever gives away free merchandise.

"Nintendo does not routinely give away products in response to letters. From time to time, we may donate product to schools, hospitals or retirement villages," she said

"We receive a high number of letters on a daily basis, and unfortunately we are not able to respond to every one. So therefore we hope we do not receive an influx as we simply would not be able to respond."

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.