Ran across this interesting article today. Pretty interesting point. I'm a huge fan of games that teach by giving you (1) a need to do something (e.g. an obstacle you can't get over without jumping), and (2) a safe opportunity to experiment until you figure it out. Of course, Super Mario Bros was written for a controller that had two (count 'em!) action buttons and a d-pad. Modern controllers have two analog sticks, a d-pad, four shoulder buttons, and four action buttons, plus weird stuff like being able to push the sticks down for yet another button, etc. And some games use them in combinations. Or make use of the accelerometer. So maybe it's just not practical to expect people to discover controls by experimenting. On the other hand... why not give the player a chance? If they don't do the required behavior after 5 or 10 seconds, then show the tip. If they do, then silently file that tip away as "not needed" and never show it. What do you think?