Last week, the UK Nintendo Life team hosted a meet-up in Nottingham's swanky Broadway cinema lounge, with staff members travelling from all over Great Britain to get together and play a lot of video games.
While there are many stories from the evening that we could tell — and plenty more we couldn't — one small chance encounter stands out as a crystallisation of why we love gaming: it brings people together. There's no way to tell this story without breaking into first person, so here we (I) go.
With attendees coming from all corners of the UK, everyone made their own travel arrangements, agreeing to meet at the venue around 2pm. My train from York had been delayed due to some bad weather, but I got into Sheffield with plenty of time to make my next train. Naturally I had my 3DS in my bag, StreetPass mode engaged: with just a few pieces left to get in Puzzle Swap, I wasn't going to let any opportunity pass by.
Eventually my train to Nottingham rolls up — a shaky little two-carriage affair — and I dump my bag and take a seat.
After a few minutes, I get a text from our assistant editor Mike Mason.
I've just StreetPassed you in Sheffield.
"How strange," I think. "He must have been waiting for a train at the same time."
(For anyone wondering how Mike could be so certain he'd StreetPassed me of all the James-named Mii characters out there, my personal phrase is — of course — nintendolife.com. Viral marketing on the go.)
A brief SMS conversation later and we realise we're sat about 15 feet away from each other; the high-backed seats meant we couldn't see each other's faces. Were it not for StreetPass, it's unlikely we'd have known we were on the same train and would have sat on our own, instead of catching up and talking about computer games like the huge nerds we are.
So there you have it: StreetPass helped me to meet up with someone I already knew and who I knew was going to the same place I was. Hardly spectacular luck I'll admit, but a nice little act of serendipity that gave two friends an extra hour together.