When I was in high school, I had a small, silly-looking version of myself who lived inside my friend’s TV. I never owned a Nintendo Wii, but I spent many hours playing on Laura’s—my mini-me was always there waiting for me when I arrived, strolling around the boundless floor of the Mii Channel in her duo-chromatic outfit, smiling like an idiot.
Miis, in their original capacity, were not social avatars (they didn’t exist to communicate with friends or represent you online), but my experience with them always was. After all, I only saw my Mii when hanging out at my friend’s house—even when I wasn’t there, she was mingling with the other Miis on the channel, avatars made by our other friends: Monica, Chelsea, Shaan, Laura’s brother Chris, and Beardy Weirdy, a bizarro Mii someone once made who showed up a disproportionate amount of the time and remains a hilarious in-joke more than a decade on. I haven’t seen my Mii in about that long, but Miis have continued to appear in Nintendo releases, right up until their starring role in Nintendo’s first social app in 2016.