On LadiesGamers, we have interview series for Women in Gaming, Inclusive Gaming, Indie Dev interviews and Unsung Heroes of Videogames aka their composers. But we didn’t yet 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. In the first entry, we talk to two ladies who are two of the admin behind the Facebook group Switch Physical Game Hunters.
For as long as the option to buy games digitally has been around, there have been discussions among gamers about whether to buy physical games or download them digitally. Pose the question in a, probably virtual, room full of gamers, and opinions will be varied.
As more and more games are available digitally only, collecting physical Switch games has turned into a real hunt. There’s a group on Facebook dedicated to just that, called Switch Physical Game Hunters.
Recently we got to know two ladies who are part of the admins behind the group, and we couldn’t resist an interview with them. Let’s give the spotlight to Ruth and Tammy.
Welcome ladies! Could you please introduce yourself?
Ruth: Hi everyone, thanks for the invite! I’m Ruth Mccauley and I’m 39 years old, and from Northern Ireland. I work as a medical technician in the NHS and am currently completing my MSc dissertation part-time.
Tammy: Hello everyone, I’m Tammy Hoefer, thanks for having us on your page. I’m 52 years old and from Denver Colorado USA. I work as a medical receptionist, but love most being a grandparent to 3 lovely grandsons.
How long have the both of you been gaming, and what was the first ever game you played?
Ruth: I’ve been gaming since I was maybe 5. I honestly can’t remember the very first game…what I do know is it was on the ZX Spectrum! Some of the games I played back then were Disco Dan, Arkanoid, Hunchback & Mr Wimpy. I still remember playing the Gameboy in the shops when it came out. I also remember getting a brand new Sega Gamegear for Christmas, and a 2nd hand Megadrive a few years later. I played PC games after that, and then I had a PlayStation, PS2, PS3 & PS4. Also a Wii, DS lite & 3DS. And now my console of choice is the Switch!
Tammy: I’ve been gaming since I was 3 or 4. The first game out on a home console was what I got to play. It was none other than Pong! And that was for a very long time.
So, both long-time gamers! Do you only play games on Switch, or on other platforms as well?
Ruth: Right now, the Switch is my console of choice, but I still have all my other consoles. I’ve recently been considering getting back into PC gaming using Steam.
Tammy: Yes, I only play on the Switch. I wasn’t able to play Switch for years until this great guy came up with this device that put the 2 joy-cons together tightly so that I could play with one hand. My other hand is paralyzed and has been for a long time. I was out of the gaming world for a while due to this and I am so happy to be back.
The Switch Physical Game Hunters Group
You are both admins in the Switch Physical Game Hunters group. Were you a part of it from the start, and can you tell us about the inspiration to start the group?
Ruth: Our group founder was Markus Ammann. Markus & I met in another game group and set up a couple of groups together before finally the current one. It’s been going for just over a year now and we are so delighted to have such an amazing group of admins and so many wonderful members! It’s great to have such a group where like-minded people can talk about games and show off their collections!
Tammy: I was brought in close to the beginning, so I have gotten to watch it grow to over 3,300 people in just a year’s time. When Markus Ammann the founder brought me on near the very beginning, I was inspired by his enthusiasm and love for the collection of physical games and hunting for them as I also am a physical collector.
What makes you prefer physical games on Switch?
Ruth: I prefer to have something tangible in my hand, rather than something virtual. I’m old-school in that way I suppose! I still have my games from back in the day, and can still play them now! That won’t be the case in a few years with digital games when servers get shut down.
Tammy: I’m old school! I want to be able to touch it, see it and feel it. And this way when the internet goes out I can still play it.
Does this mean you never play digital-only games?
Ruth: I usually only play digital games if they aren’t available physically; if there is a physical version I prefer that. I do collect gold points though and spend them on those digital-only games when there is an eShop sale. I have a huge wish list set up in Deku deals!
Tammy: If it’s not available physically and I really want it, I will get the digital copy. But I tell you what when it does come out physically I am getting it too! And as Ruth says “collect your gold points, they add up fast”.
The Hunt that’s in the name of your group, suggests that it’s collecting is a very important part of it. Can you tell us about that?
Ruth: I personally only purchase games that I want to play, and I rarely purchase collector editions. I only very occasionally purchase ‘limited’ games due to the expense. However there are lots of people in the group who do strive for full collections of limited games, and who only collect games from particular regions, and that’s great: We welcome everyone who loves physical Switch games!
Tammy: Not all games are available in all regions. Some people collect games from all regions, some collectors collect Pegi over ESRB or vice versa. Collectors of all sizes, from those who have a few games on up to those who have thousands of games. I love that our group is diverse and works together so amazingly well helping each other to hunt for the games they are looking for.
The Collector Group is For Everyone
You mentioned that most of the members of the group are male. What is your explanation for that?
Ruth: I suppose that most gamers are male! It’s traditionally seen as a male pastime. But we do have female members, and nowadays more females are playing games. The Switch seems to be a particularly popular console with women, and there is a huge range of games for all interests and abilities, which I think is great. Our group is for everyone, and we as an admin team ensure that the atmosphere remains friendly and that everyone is treated with respect.
Tammy: Well let’s see if we can’t change that through your article. There are women collectors out there, we just need to hunt them down and bring them to the forefront of the industry. It’s not just a male hobby, it’s a hobby for everyone everywhere. As a good friend of mine says “There’s nothing like seeing the red carpet of Switch”
As we always ask anyone we interview: what’s your most favourite game, and what game character would you like to be?
Ruth: Ooooh tough one…so many to choose from! I’m a big fan of the DragonQuest series, the Yakuza series, and the Fallout series. (I’m desperate for some of the Yakuza games and Fallout 3 & New Vegas to come to the Switch!). I play a huge range of different types of games though…sport, action, platform, and adventure. I particularly enjoy games when the outcome is affected by dialogue – like in Fallout, where your interactions with one faction cause your relationships with another to change. Character-wise, I really am not sure. Probably a brave explorer in the Fallout universe, specialising in science/engineering/computers, who is a pretty decent shot with a firearm!
Tammy: Favorite game is hard to say, I have so many favourites. Diablo III is my current favorite and I would be the Demon Hunter in that game. Although I do play a large range of games all the way from horror on down to puzzles. I especially love a game that makes you think.