“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile” - Albert Einstein
Hi, my name is Melvin Osei, and I co-run a Nintendo Players UK group in London named NX LDN.
I am a university student studying Engineering Product Design, with the goal of becoming a Games Designer. I grew up being a Sonic the Hedgehog fan and my journey with Nintendo first started with the Gameboy Advance, then my sister’s Nintendo DS family of handhelds, until I ultimately became a Nintendo fan with the Wii. I joined the Nintendo Switch London Meetup group, as it was known then, in October 2017 with the aim of finding local Splatoon 2 players and like-minded individuals. The original group was created with the intention of meeting more people within London who owned a Nintendo Switch, which is very probable in a city of 8 million people. Over time, the lead organiser, Ali Mansour, made me the sole admin of the meetup’s WhatsApp group, and I knew it was his way of passing the torch for me to continue running the events. It was around this time that I created an updated Discord server and Valentin Yovchev revived the Meetup.com page. We rebranded in June 2019 as NX LDN and created new social platforms such as Twitter and a new Facebook group, while becoming integrated into Nintendo Players UK.
The Oxford Dictionary defines volunteering as “freely offering to do something”. I freely offer to run these events purely because I enjoy running them, and my goal for the meetup is to unite people who own a Nintendo Switch that wish to share their gaming experience with others. Nintendo Players UK is a cool collective of groups across the nation from London to North Wales to Belfast, founded and organised by volunteers, where some regions choose to hold their events monthly, every two months or twice a month. NX LDN has the privilege of holding weekly meetups, usually upstairs in Starbucks New Oxford Street near Tottenham Court Road station. We all bring our own Nintendo Switch consoles and multiplayer games, then play together. Meeting weekly means encountering new people frequently, allowing more and more people to make friends with others who have similar hobbies and interests. Along the way, I have befriended many people, some of whom I'd now even call my best friends.
We have from time to time changed our venue for meetups such as Loading Bar for Breeze, the Splatoon 2 UK Community LAN, and have hosted some in-meetup events like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Tennis Aces tournaments. We have also participated in external events collectively, from having our meetup events taking place at NGI's Project Arena, to joining Nintendo UK Versus events as team NX LDN for Super Smash Bros or forming a mix of meetup people we’ve befriended for Splatoon 2 UK Qualifiers. Additionally, competing together was a driving factor of how we became an NPUK community since we wanted to partake in events like the NPUK Squid League, as the community that we already were.
As I am writing this, we are currently in a surreal period of time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although we are quarantining and social distancing, it hasn't stopped us from being social. Thanks to online gaming, we can still talk and interact with our friends and family over long distances via text chat, voice calls and online play. Our community has connected through WhatsApp and Discord in between meetups and continues to connect with one another through these and other digital platforms, in order to game together and link with people worldwide.