Game news, Guides and Features

Nintendo Gamers UK – A Decade Of The UK’s Largest Nintendo Fan Group


Picture: Nintendo Basildon

Over the vacation season, we’re republishing choose articles from Nintendo Life writers and contributors as a part of our Better of 2023 sequence. Take pleasure in!

Within the gaming trade, Nintendo units itself aside not simply with the standard of its video games and its evergreen catalogue of traditional characters, but additionally a concentrate on neighborhood. Whether or not by means of software program that brings individuals of all ages collectively, {hardware} options like StreetPass, or the native multiplayer performance baked into each single Swap console, Nintendo is significantly nice at firing up positivity for gaming and giving like-minded followers trigger to get collectively to play and have a good time the video games they love. It is why we’re right here writing about them, and why you are right here studying about them. Varied Nintendo-focused communities have shaped around the globe over time and in the UK, Nintendo Gamers UK is the biggest.

An impartial ‘umbrella’ community of Nintendo followers, NPUK organises bodily meetups for avid gamers within the UK and Eire and is made up of 29 particular person regional communities. Jen Griffiths is a part of the NPUK committee and head administrator for this inclusive gaming hub, one which is quick approaching its ten-year milestone this August. “Our ethos,” Jen tells us through electronic mail, “is solely to offer free occasions in individual which might be inclusive and family-friendly areas for Nintendo followers to fulfill and play video games with one another.”

The thought of a extra unified collective of UK Nintendo fans started life earlier, actually, beginning out as an effort to utilize a 3DS characteristic that stays near our hearts, too, earlier than blossoming into one thing extra.

“Just a few teams popped up individually across the launch of the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, and initially it was all about getting these StreetPasses. Nintendo has at all times been about getting individuals collectively simply to easily get pleasure from their favorite video games. We needed to place that on an area degree, and over the interval of 2012-2013, James Bowden set himself the duty of connecting everybody collectively, and becoming a member of the dots for what turned StreetPass UK, and later Nintendo Gamers UK.”

Whereas NPUK serves as an umbrella for all Nintendo fan teams, Jen believes that one in all its strengths is the range of every member group. “The great thing about Nintendo Gamers UK is that everybody’s group comes collectively for a similar ethos and beliefs, however each group has their very own identification,” she continues. “Some teams are extra sporadic than others, however essentially the most energetic teams are inclined to purpose for month-to-month occasions, and a few are even weekly. We’re all volunteers and our ardour for Nintendo and neighborhood shines by means of in every little thing we do.”

The occasions organised and linked underneath the NPUK banner vary from smaller regional conferences (such because the current Mario Film ‘mini-meet’ run by Nintendo North Wales (NNW) and the upcoming TOTK meetup of Nintendo Dundee) to bigger multi-group blowouts. Jen mentions the January 2015 Smash Last on the Custard Manufacturing unit in Birmingham and the Mario Kart Finals / Splatoon Invitational final 12 months as specific highlights.

Your evergreen Mario Karts, Smashes, Pokémons, and Splatoons are common fixtures at neighborhood occasions, though that does not imply lesser-known, smaller video games do not make appearances, too. “We regularly see Good Job being performed!” says Jen of NNW, her native group. The Swap’s native multiplayer focus has additionally helped carry extra gamers into the NPUK neighborhood. “Extra individuals in household settings have Switches, and the youthful generations are beginning to become involved once more.”

After which there’s the tantalising prospect for 3DS followers like us — and our beautiful video producer Zion — to rack up a few of these candy, candy StreetPass hits. For 3DS-Lifers nonetheless flying the flag for the pleasant social characteristic from Nintendo’s earlier technology of handhelds, organised and protected occasions like these are an actual boon. “I personally final bought a StreetPass on fifteenth April,” Jen tells us. “We at all times ask/remind our members to carry their 3DSes in case anybody wants any puzzle items!”

Our ethos is solely to offer free occasions in individual which might be inclusive and family-friendly areas for Nintendo followers to fulfill and play video games with one another.

It goes with out saying that the previous few years have introduced vital obstacles to in-person meet-ups for Nintendo followers and everybody else. Whereas on-line options are higher than nothing (one thing all of us discovered in the course of the pandemic), there’s actually no substitute for assembly individuals head to head, one thing that goes in opposition to the outdated ‘lone-gamer’ stereotype.

“After Covid instances forcing every little thing on-line, we couldn’t wait to get again to doing what we love. With a longtime committee of a number of the core Founders, we’re in a position to do extra and attain extra individuals with our love of all issues Nintendo. It’s ironic actually, that quite a lot of avid gamers are assumed to be remoted of their bedrooms, when our mission is to basically community with different avid gamers and make connections in individual.”

Making connections in teams like these additionally has potential advantages that transcend a mere enhance within the social abilities division. “As soon as-lonely individuals are capable of finding their kindred spirits, and for the organisers of occasions, it’s additionally an awesome enhance to your CV and job prospects.”

Wanting again during the last decade, Jen mentions the North vs South Wales meetup from June 2015 as a big achievement, “however establishing a full committee to assist with the working of NPUK is up there, too. September 2020 was the pivot level for NPUK.”

As a nationwide hub, one of many nice issues in regards to the community is how widespread it’s — 29 regional teams and counting. NPUK ties native gaming communities collectively into a bigger complete. Certain, you may trek midway throughout the nation to fulfill like-minded Nintendo followers should you’re keen and ready, however there’s additionally possible a Nintendo neighborhood so that you can be part of a lot nearer to residence, and Jen encourages you to take action.

“Discover out the place your area people is, become involved; and if there’s nothing in your space, get in contact and ask about organising your individual neighborhood!”

There are Tenth-anniversary celebration plans within the works for the summer season, however that is nonetheless a number of months away. “First we’ve a marketing campaign for Psychological Well being Consciousness Week in mid-Could, so all I can say at this level is ‘Watch this area’!”

Many due to Jen for talking with us. Tell us beneath should you’re a part of one in all NPUK’s regional teams! And should you’re inquisitive about discovering a pleasant Nintendo-focused neighborhood close to you, head to the Nintendo Gamers UK web site and check out upcoming occasions in your space.


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