Gamers like You and Me Interview

Gamers Like You and Me: Meet Nadia

At LadiesGamers, we have interview series for Women in Gaming, Inclusive Gaming, Indie Dev interviews and Unsung Heroes of Videogames, aka their composers. But yet, we didn’t have a series for gamers like you and me. Gamers who have a passion for their hobby, one that adds value to their life and who have often been gaming for years and years. So, time for a new series: Gamers Like You and Me.

This time, we are talking to Nadia from the Netherlands. Years back, Paula and I were a part of a group on Facebook that was very, very passionate about Animal Crossing. Nadia was one of our group…I say was because although the group still exists, it has been dormant for quite a while. As Nadia and I both live in the Netherlands, we even met up with a group of Dutch Animal Crossing fans. She stood out to me as she wore a dress that she had painstakingly copied in the game for her character. Looked gorgeous. At one time, we met up together and talked about gaming while going out for a meal. She’s, in fact, the one that made me enthusiastic enough to buy myself a PS Vita. And I never regretted that! So, let’s hear her story. 

Who is Nadia?

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thanks for joining us at LadiesGamers, Nadia. Can you tell the audience a bit about yourself, like what kind of work you do and what your passion is?

I’m Nadia van Axel Dongen, and I’m currently 46 years old, working in IT at the Koninklijke Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Aside from playing video games, I like reading Science Fiction books, and I also play the piano. I do renditions of film-and-game soundtracks, sometimes appearing at amateur concerts. The below video is from a concert, which I’ve put on my YouTube channel.

I know you are into Cosplay as well. Can you tell us about it?

Yep, you’ve got that right! Well, before I started doing cosplay, I visited several Fantasy Conventions. I saw how people dressed up in the most amazing costumes. So when I had the chance to go to a Star Trek Convention in London, I decided to dress accordingly.

The people and the atmosphere was so inviting, and I had such a good time that I decided to do this more often. On Facebook, I found out there were Conventions in the Netherlands, like the Dutch Comic Con. I loved going there, talking to like-minded people and chatting about games, movies and television series. I’ve been doing this for over ten years now, and I still love doing it.

Gamers Like you and me: Nadia
My first cosplay outfit: Katrina from Animal Crossing

Over the years, you’ve shared photos of some amazing cosplays with us on Facebook. How did that come about?

At the Conventions, you come across photographers, and making arrangements with them is easy. They often snap your picture at the Convention, but it’s better to make an appointment for a photo shoot after the event. As by then we both have more time, it often leads to better pictures.

Gamers Like you and me: Nadia
Monster Hunter Cosplay, by nvdbergphotography

You can arrange for a photoshoot alone or with a group that all dress up in a certain theme. Most of the time, the photographer is an amateur too, so you make arrangements based on TFP (Time for Pictures). Which means you get a certain number of copies of the pictures.

Gamers Like you and me: Nadia
Detroit becomes Human, an adventure game that follows three robots/androids who become sentient. Photographer unknown

Playing Video Games

You’re a gamer, just like us. When did you first start gaming, and what was your first game?

I’ve been playing games since 1994. My ex-boyfriend got me acquainted with The Elder Scrolls Arena from Bethesda, and ever since, I’ve played every Elder Scrolls game. I like how you can play every character how you like it. I still hope for a remake of Morrowind, that one was so very immersive! 

Playing video games brought me new kinds of music and a very cool new hobby!

What devices do you use to play games on, and which is your favourite?

I play games on the PC, PlayStation 5 and the Nintendo Switch. I mostly play on the Switch, as I can easily disconnect it from the tv and take it along with me. Very nice to be able to game while travelling. Currently, I’m playing Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom.

Gamers Like you and me: Nadia
Luigi’s Mansion Crossplay fotograaf Philip Romein

Do you buy your games physical, or do you download them?

When we still had the 3DS, I tended to buy games physically, but nowadays, I usually download them. With all the special prices and sales in the eShop, it’s much easier to download them to the Switch. On my PlayStation, I have a premium subscription which has some fun games as well.

Favourite Games

Which video game genres are your favourites and why?

My favourite genres are RPG, Action Adventure and Cosy Games. The first two are because you can be any character you want and have many adventures, while you really wouldn’t be like that in real life. I mean, in Stray, you can even be a cat!

Gamers Like you and me: Nadia
Ankha Animal Crossing by Erwin van Dijk

Cosy games take a bit of a slower pace, you can still have adventures, but they allow you to relax as well and take it easy.

What are your top 5 in games?

1. No Man’s Sky. I love science fiction and spent many hours in No Man’s Sky. You can build things there, and I can go to other planets if I want to.

Gamers Like you and me: Nadia

2. Mass Effect Legendary Edition. A science fiction RPG, I have had this game since it was released on the PS3, and I still play it from time to time.
3. Animal Crossing. Such a great game to meet people, and it’s a good one to pick up and play.

Gamers Like you and me: Nadia

4. Horizon Zero Dawn. An open-world adventure which has been so beautifully made. The story is great, and the side quests are fun to do.

Gamers Like you and me: Nadia

5. Fire Emblem. This strategy game has great replay value and isn’t too frustrating to me.

Which game character would you want to be?

We ask this of everyone as the last question in the interview. If you could be any character in a video game, who would it be? And did you ever cosplay this character?

I would think Shepard from Mass Effect. She has friends she can count on and is a badass herself. The version I play is mostly a character that is very fair. I’ve never cosplayed Shepard; the armour is simply too much work. I think I would be an Atari instead.

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