Spotlight articles highlight different StreetPass groups across the world. If you are a StreetPass group leader and would like to be interviewed for the Spotlight series, please contact us.
Jordan White, founder of StreetPass NYC, has been playing video games ever since he was in diapers. Or so that’s how the legend goes. He’s an amateur video game level and scenario designer, competing in the Global Gaming Jam, and a member of the International Game Developers Association. You might recognize him as the ninth person in line at the Nintendo 3DS launch event in New York City.
Why did you decide to start your StreetPass group?
Before the Nintendo 3DS came out, I heard that groups in Japan were creating local meetups to use the StreetPass function. Then I heard some crazy people in the U.K. and D.C. were creating similar meetups in their local areas. I thought it was a cool idea and waited for someone to set up one in NYC, since I love the city and I know it’s a huge gamer city. To my shock, a month went by and nobody set up any sort of thing. I figured, “If nobody is going to set up one, I guess I should.” It’s spiraled out of control — in a good way — ever since.
How are you getting the word out about your group?
My first major step was to create Facebook and Twitter accounts and some form of blog. Then, knowing that I was going to pick up the Nintendo 3DS at the launch event in Union Square, I printed out 400 paper flyers (which I’m experienced in making) to hand out in line. The press and first adopters ate it up and my group numbers swelled. I also hang full-color flyers up at local GameStops, Best Buys and other gaming sites, such as the Nintendo World Store. And we recently finished creating an email mailing list and text message list as well. Having friends at Nintendo of America — who I met at launch — support us also greatly helps!
In your opinion, which games have the best uses of StreetPass?
The two popular ones seem to be Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition and Nintendogs + Cats. Many of our StreetPass NYC folks are huge fighting game fans. Many New Yorkers also can’t afford or accommodate pets, so having a virtual one is pretty popular in our group, too. A sure-fire hit is the built-in software, though. StreetPass Mii Plaza games are constantly being worked, with people questing for hats and puzzle pieces. And all of us were surprised just how much the Nintendo 3DS Sound Channel is popular with its little-known StreetPass functionality. Runners up are Samurai Warriors: Chronicles and Ridge Racer 3D. I had a few people who felt alone playing those games and they were very happy with the few dozen StreetPass hits they have received at our gatherings.
If you could update any game for any system to include a StreetPass feature, what game would you choose and how would you update it?
I don’t have an existing franchise in mind, but being a game designer, StreetPass has really opened my mind to the possibilities of gameplay even when one is not playing the game! My favorite idea that I would like to see is a mystery/RPG type game were the side quests are tied to StreetPass. Your Miis end up in a “Rumor Pub” that you speak to and side-quest activate. Each Mii ads a bit to the side-quest story much like the StreetPass Puzzle Pieces, but chunks of a plot instead of an image. Two other cool ideas is a Left 4 Dead-type game were you get to create your own enemy types that are shared via StreetPass or a music game that strings your StreetPass hits decoding their Miis into a string of music, each variation in the Mii adding a note to a randomly generated song based on the people you meet. To designers, the possibilities are endless!
Do you have any advice or encouragement for other StreetPass groups?
My first two meetings in the month of April were huge learning experiences for me, since I have not done anything like this or to this scale in my life. A few tips for other founders: Be active in your promotion to keep people in involved! Don’t underestimate your members and Nintendo fans. If you build it they will come, even in the freezing cold rain! (Like our first meeting!) Always have a positive demeanor and be open to any possibility or change in plan. Make sure you communicate well to your audience; you don’t want to confuse people like I accidentally did on my rain date! And speaking of rain, unless it’s an indoor location, never announce your date way in advance or you might be hit with bad weather and problems will arise. Lastly, believe in yourself. I’m just some guy from with zero money who has his “herp derp” moments in spades and yet not only is my group successful beyond my wildest dreams, but we were featured on Nintendo Week. Believe in yourself and don’t give up!
Click here to visit the StreetPass NYC blog!