Making Friends on the Nintendo Switch

How relationship building on Nintendo Switch has helped me combat executive dysfunction

Making Friends on the Nintendo Switch
Source: Tobiah Ens / Unsplash.

While I got a Switch a few months ago to write more about video games, I’ll readily admit I haven’t used it as much for playing. Part of it is that I am terrified after drowning Spyro by accident in a game that was gifted to me. In my defense, I didn’t know that Spyro was allergic to water! Dragons have tailfins and wings that would allow them to tread within a shallow fountain. By the laws of physics, they should have the buoyancy to handle a fountain!

Another element at play is executive dysfunction with leisure activities. I’ve experienced this before, especially when a hobby becomes more serious.

The Root of Executive Dysfunction

Executive dysfunction is a condition that occurs when the mind resists doing a task. Whether it is something as enjoyable as watching TV or as mundane as folding laundry, the brain simply refuses to act, resulting in incomplete tasks or unfulfilled leisure time. It's like when a robot fails to move.

This condition is prevalent among those who are neurodivergent. One downside of having a lot of responsibilities, including writing about video games, is the fear and blockage that can arise. The fear of playing a game that may not be fun or no longer enjoyable, or the fear of trying out a new game that may not be appealing, can be overwhelming. For example, I had a strange dream about a version of Martha is Dead that seemed more plausible than the actual game.

Do I want to play the Switch? Absolutely. However, since I am not accustomed to using a handheld device, I keep postponing my time with it.

How Do the Nintendo Switch and Friends Simplify the Process?

Similar to other online gaming platforms, Nintendo allows you to connect with your friends. The difference lies in the cute sounds that play when you use the Switch, providing positive feedback with every gesture and action. This feature gives players more incentive to use the platform.

On Steam, friends are often people you connected with in the past, ranging from close friends to mere acquaintances. Some may even be the type to accept your winter gift and then anonymously criticize you on Tumblr because you don't talk anymore. There is no positive reinforcement for having friends on Steam.

Currently, finding friends on Switch is different. You need to manually enter a code, and someone must trust you enough to share it with you. Despite the challenge of typing the code on a small keyboard, the process reminds you of the special people who are also part of the Nintendo network.

Nitendo Switch - Spyro
Source: Howard Bouchevereau / Unsplash.

Body Doubling as a Strategy

Furthermore, the idea of body doubling also applies to having friends on the Switch. Body doubling, in this case, refers to having someone hold you accountable for a task, and vice versa. When it comes to gaming, having a friend to remind you of the fun you had can be helpful, especially when you've lost the thread of enjoyment.

Having online friends on the Switch makes it easier to remember to turn on and charge your device regularly, even if you're not using it at the moment. Personally, I found myself remembering to charge my Switch more often when I had friends to play with or to talk about purchasing games. I might need to check the instructions on how to properly shut down the device and give it a break, but having friends remind me of the joys of gaming is a great idea that I hope to continue to embrace.

And if my friends can help reassure me that I won't accidentally drown Spyro, all the better!


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