For nearly a month now, a YouTuber called CND has been lining up every day in front of the Nintendo NY store in his quest to get a Nintendo Switch. We swung by one of his daily vigils to talk about his mission and his rise from simple unboxing videos to one of the fastest spreading names in gaming.
KC: So, tell us about yourself and what your YouTube channel is all about.
CND: Okay, my real name is Alex and I’m 19 as of right now. Just recently full time YouTuber which is… crazy to me! But it’s awesome. Just “Switched” (haha) to full time. Just in the New Year I really started. In the Winter Break I really had time to really commit myself to it. And when it was over, not even a week into it, I was like, “Wait a second! I can do this full time!”
KC: You’re at about 100,000 subscribers now, yes?
125,000 subscribers right now, which is insane. But uh, I was at about 50 [thousand] at about New Year, so I’ve about doubled in the last week and it’s been going up again. But who cares about that!
So my YouTube channel is just about Nintendo gaming. I just do whatever I want. I got really big doing unboxing videos. I unboxed a 3DS back in the day. I do reaction videos. I like to not limit myself to anything. If I want to rant about something I rant about it. Whatever the case may be, I’ll do anything.
Now I’m here, in New York, for the first time ever, and I had the opportunity of contacting Triforce, you know, the man who’s the Master of line waiting, and everything. So he came out, and now I’m here, and we’re making more content and videos, and I’m doing what I love. It’s awesome.
KC: What was your original reason for coming down here from Wisconsin?
CND: Originally the plan was just to come down here for the [Switch] launch. I did a GoFundMe actually, because at the time, I was able to pay my bills, which aren’t very expensive in a small town in Wisconsin, but I didn’t have money to get a plane ticket or hotel or anything out here. But I knew I wanted to do something big if possible. Just because I’m a big fan of Nintendo and everything.
KC: What is so special about this whole waiting in line culture?
CND: Well, it definitely is the community. That’s why it’s so worth it and so amazing. I didn’t even realize, it’s already the sixth day and we’ve had a group of at least four or five people just always here just hanging out, and not even necessarily talking to me. Like talking to everyone. And we all share the same passion, the same love for Nintendo, and we care about each other, we got each others’ backs, and I think that’s what people gravitate towards. That’s what people like about this. Yeah, yeah, you’re waiting for stuff, but your waiting around with a bunch of people for a common goal. It’s really great.
KC: What’s your daily routine on the line right now?
CND: As of right now, our main objective is queueing the line. Which is basically the line for the line. It’s the unofficial line. The line put on by the community and us. We can’t actually start lining up until Nintendo has an official line. They announce an official line within the last week. So right now we have to be on the other side of the street.
So daily right now, we wake up, we get here before the store opens, we stay until they close, and then we do it again. Every single day we’re here while the store is open, because you can’t stay overnight, because the Rockefeller [Center] and everyone that owns the whole place would kick you off for loitering.
KC: I see you’re still recording and posting videos every day on your YouTube channel. When do you find time to do that editing?
CND: I don’t! (Laughs) Normally we try to leave right away. We wanna be here when [Nintendo NY] closes, because that secures our spot the next day. People know that you were the last ones there and we’re the first ones there.
So right as we get back from the store closing, we go right back to the Air BNB we have right now. And we just go to work editing the videos. Normally we’re up pretty late. I try to stay up, but lately I’ve been going to sleep because I can’t stay awake, like my head’s going to smack my computer. I woke up at like 4:30 this morning because I was trying to edit a video, and I try to post it and get here before the store opens.
It’s basically constantly on the line, which is constantly working, filming, coming up with stuff, talking to people, and it’s every other ounce of time is on sleeping a little tiny bit, and editing the videos, getting them up.
KC: So how does your family feel about their little boy from Wisconsin going out to spend a month standing on line in New York?
CND: Yeah, and only literally graduating High School, like last year. Obviously it’s pretty crazy, but my mother was little more understanding, suprisingly. My father was very against the whole thing when I told him I told him. But I didn’t approach it as an asking him thing. I approached it as, “I’m telling you what I’m doing. Because I’m my own adult, and you can’t legally bind me down anymore. I’m sorry, but I’m doing this.”
And that’s not to say I didn’t think about the risks or anything. I thought about them a lot. And I’m still always being careful with what I do. He just didn’t completely trust me on that. Right now I’m in good hands, and everything’s working out smoothly so far.
KC: Now I understand you did not get a pre-order yet for your Switch.
CND: Nope! I didn’t bother, because it’s the same thing with the Amiibo, which I collect all of those.
First of all, I love getting toys. I mean, how many times I’ve gone to my GameStop in my home town like an hour, two hours before they open just to make sure I’m the first one to get that Amiibo that just came out. But it’s dumb now because they restock them enough. But with the Switch it’s just, even if I wasn’t here, I was going to do a midnight launch somewhere. Probably Chicago because it’s the closest city to me. And I was going to get there really early to make sure I was one of the top people – if not THE top person – to get the system. I knew I’d be able to do that somewhere. So I was never worried about the pre-order. It makes it more exciting as well.
KC: Are you worried they might not have any that are not already pre-ordered?
CND: No, we know they have them. [My friend] Triforce has worked at the store before. He knows how they get a certain amount of quantity that’s for pre-orders only, and once they’re sold out of that, they’re out. But they also get another big shipment of consoles that’s first come first serve.
KC: What about the Switch itself captivated you so much that it was worth going through all this to get one?
CND: Obviously any Nintendo console, anything they put out, I’m going to be really excited about, just because I’m a fanboy. I mean that’s part of it, but a big part was how it seems like a very social system. It can bring people together, you can take it with you where you can play it with other people. It’s very innovative that way. And of course the games, more than anything, look awesome.
But yeah, it’s just like coming out here on the line; the community is awesome, I can’t wait. And I’m still here a week after it comes out, so I can’t wait to be playing it with everyone. You know, at the park, at the house, wherever we are! Doesn’t matter.
KC: Do you have any lingering questions or possible reservations about the system?
CND: One thing, that I know they haven’t said anything about, is the Virtual Console. That’s one of the biggest sellers ever. It doesn’t seem like something that would take a lot to put together and put out there. But that’s marketing, or whatever they do, who knows I’m no expert at that. But yeah, Virtual Console, where is that? You going to say anything about that?
And also, that social app. Is that on the system as well? Or does that only run through your smart device?
KC: What kind of support has everyone been giving you as you’re waiting on the line?
CND: Way too much! That’s what it is. I tell people I don’t feel worthy, and I genuinely don’t feel like I deserve any of this. I am just a fan.
The only thing I’m doing for people right now is I keep brainstorming. I’m trying to figure out, “What can I do for people? What can I do for people?” You know, because I’m a giving person, I love giving. My entire life I guess that was how I was raised – that Midwestern hospitality.
But yeah, we got people coming out here, supporting us, bringing us food, bringing us all sorts of stuff: straight up games! I didn’t know I was actually touching people this much with my silly YouTube videos.
It’s always been my dream that I could make someone extremely happy. And the easier it is the better. And now it’s at the point that, for some people, I just simply like their comment or their tweet, and they tweet back like, “Oh my god! You just made my entire day,” and they’re just freaking out. And that makes me freak out because the fact that I actually have the power to do something like that is like SO amazing. It’s a dream come true.
KC: Do you consider yourself a fanboy?
KC: How do you define “fanboy”?
CND: It’s kind of like you look at it with a bias. ‘Cause you’re like, “I’m gonna like this no matter what. I already know.” That’s me. I’m gonna like this, I’m gonna like the Switch, no matter what. Is it Nintendo? I trust them. They’re going to make something good. So a fanboy is definitely someone who is going to freak out about whatever no matter what it is.
I guess you could also spin it and just be like it’s someone who’s very passionate about what they like. It doesn’t have to be a bad connotation.
KC: What’s the first game you’re going to play when you get your Switch?
CND: Honestly, probably 1-2 Switch. It’s accessible, that’s what I want. I want an accessible, easy to pick up game. With Breath of the Wild it’s a game where you sit down for a while. It’s definitely going to be fun, but I wanna get those social games right away, that’s why I can’t wait for Mario Kart.
KC: Planning on getting any accessories?
CND: I dunno how the funds are right now, but I’m gonna try to get a Pro Controller with the system. Maybe another Joy-Con controller. But getting both sets is very expensive right now. Maybe a carrying case of some sort, who knows. I guess we’ll see what they all come out with.
KC: Any final message for the readers?
CND: If you’re questioning if you want to get into all this, don’t feel like we’re not going to accept you. Because everyone is so accepting. It’s the nicest community ever.