Let’s Interview: StreetPass Events Founder Shane Kressley

Let's Interview:

Shane Kressley

StreetPassLove Events Founder

Interview conducted by


Let’s Interview: StreetPass Events Founder Shane Kressley

Back in the 3DS era, Nintendo consoles were very different from how they are now. Indeed, with dozens of built in apps and features plus numerous extra easter eggs and details, they were more of a general entertainment system than a pure games console, with lots to see and do even if you didn’t have any games to use them for.

And one of the most interesting of these features was StreetPass. Designed to encourage you to take your 3DS with you when out and about, the system had you automatically transfer data with anyone with a 3DS that you’d pass along the way. Then, this data could be used to make progress or unlock content in various games, ranging from built in ones like StreetPass Quest and Puzzle Swap, to full Nintendo titles like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7.

It was an awesome feature, and like many other fan favourite elements from the 3DS era, one that didn’t return with the Nintendo Switch.

But while Nintendo’s support for StreetPass might be over, that doesn’t mean the fans aren’t going to let it die without a fight. Oh no, thanks StreetPassLove and their events, the 3DS scene is thriving once again, with StreetPass based events at every other convention and show.

So in today’s interview, we’re gonna ask them all about it. To understand the world of StreetPassLove, and learn what inspired founder Shane Kressley to start this whole event thing in the first place.

Are you ready guys? Let’s get this show on the road!

The Interview

Starting with some background info. Who’s the team behind these events?

N/A please just specify that you’re speaking with Shane Kressley, I’m the Event Organizer and leader behind StreetPassLove. I’m 24 years old and grew up with a 3DS in middle school + high school. I have a background in assisting Smash tournaments so StreetPass events was right up my alley.

And how did you get into gaming? What was your first game?

I remember playing the original Super Mario Bros. on NES when I was 2. From there I played a lot of Nintendo games and really enjoyed my handhelds. I always wanted something to play while on the school bus or at daycare.

Super Mario Bros Title Screen

This was Shane’s first ever game

What games are you playing now?

Lots of fighting games like Rivals of Aether and I’m getting online every weekend for my 3DS game nights over in our 3DS Discord (link in Twitter bio).

Onto the 3DS now. How did you first get introduced to the console?

I had a friend at school with a black 3DS that showed me Kid Icarus on his console. I got mine that next Christmas with Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land. By the end of the holidays, I’d opened just about every app on that system.

Mario Kart 7 Title Screen

Mario Kart 7 was one of Shane’s first 3DS games

How did it stack up to Nintendo’s other systems for you? Was it immediately your favourite system?

My Wii was always good for finding random throwaway titles at thrift stores and my Wii U was a Smash Bros machine, but I mostly stuck to 3DS because it had so much more charm and the games felt incredibly high quality even on a handheld. It’s safe to say this is my favourite console and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

What (non) StreetPass related features do you like on the system?

I regularly use Swapdoodle to practice drawing and to communicate with other 3DS friends. There’s also a Miiverse replacement called rverse that I like to browse once a week because of how active it is. I’ve even been experimenting with the two front cameras and want to host a 3DS photo contest in the near future.

How about games? What are your favourite 3DS games?

Gotta say Kid Icarus: Uprising because it’s a gorgeous masterpiece. It’s still my #1 favourite game to this day and I love going back to grind for weapons and to play online. Kirby Planet Robobot is another highly polished platformer that everybody should give a try. My most recent addiction though has been CTGP-7 which is a mod for Mario Kart that adds 80 custom tracks and rebalances some of the mechanics. I find this to be the premier racing experience over Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the balance between casual and competitive fun.

Kid Icarus Uprising

Kid Icarus Uprising is Shane’s favourite 3DS game

Either way, it’s clear StreetPass was a big deal to you guys given the events here. What makes the feature so special?

Nobody has emulated this feature on other consoles, phones, or any other device. StreetPass makes the 3DS feel so social with how you can play games with people you meet and the feeling of completing puzzle panels, your region map, or knocking out achievements feels incredible. Every tag you get is special because the minigames look at the other Mii’s stats like how often they walk or what their favourite things are.

Were you disappointed it wasn’t a thing on the Wii U or Switch?

I thought StreetPass was a natural fit on the Switch given it was our next Nintendo handheld, but over the years I’ve realized that the Switch wasn’t made with as much love as the previous generation and it lacked many basic features like a web browser, photos app, and Bluetooth pairing for multiple years. In a weird way I’m thankful that the 3DS still has this unique selling point that no other device can say it has.

Nintendo Switch Menu

The Nintendo Switch lacks a lot of features compared to previous consoles, like themes, a browser, etc

What are your thoughts on StreetPass related games, like Find Mii/StreetPass Quest or the downloadable ones they sold later?

Overall, the quality of these minigames is surprisingly high with tons of replay value, secrets to find, and completion incentives. These are quick and simple to play which makes so much sense on a handheld that you can bust out for a 5–10-minute play session. If I had to pick a weak link of the bunch, maybe it would be Ninja Launcher but even that game I have come around to adoring now.

Do you have any favourites there?

I’m still a sucker for Puzzle Swap despite its simplicity. After a few system transfers I’ve had to restart my progress and the game feels fresh even now. The 3D art you unlock is incredibly charming and I’ve always gotten a kick out of the strategy behind picking which pieces to take.

Puzzle Swap

Shane still has a soft spot for Puzzle Swap, despite its simplicity

Mii Force is also really fun because you get a different weapon per Mii which shakes up the gameplay every time I hop in. The dialogue between the Mii Force Captain and Goldbone, beautiful backgrounds, and the arcade style gameplay holds up to today’s standards very well.

Onto your events now. What made you decide to start up StreetPass events?

I’ve been on the internet for years seeing comments like, “I wish StreetPass meetups were still a thing” and I decided I was going to be the one to do it. Running events started out with my Twitter where I wanted to find other people that were into 3DS. We quickly hit 100 followers just by reaching out to people and from there we grew fast. In just a year we hit 2000+ followers, received multiple news articles, worked with larger conventions, and established a worldwide StreetPass Weekend so everybody can get tags no matter where they live.

And for those of us who don’t attend, how do they work?

It’s as simple as finding a convention/event near you and telling us about it. We directly communicate with their organizers to setup an official gathering at one spot for 1-2 hours. Then it’s an open invite to all attendees that have a 3DS and want to be a part of the fun. Sometimes it’s just for StreetPass but we try to set a community game feature like joining Mario Kart via local play.

There’s a good mix of physical and virtual events here, with your Discord server being the hub for the latter. What made you decide to do both this way?

When I started gathering a crowd on Twitter, I had multiple people ask if I had a Discord for finding/organizing meetups. I initially reached out to the r/3DS community but they weren’t interested in the traffic from my page so I found a smaller 3DS fan server that was warm and welcoming. Initially I just sent people to their server but the StreetPass interest quickly blossomed into regional roles and I climbed the moderation ladder to being co-owner with Funsparce. We realized that online events would allow anybody to join the fun even if they couldn’t make it to a convention and thankfully there were multiple people like RickE who were already hosting events to help me run my own.

As for the physical events at conventions, how do you decide which ones to attend there? Do your members suggest events?

I attend as many events as I can but sometimes, I leave it up to community members to manage the meetup for me. Our Twitter DMs are open and we’ve received plenty of suggestions that turned into real events. Sometimes the conventions themselves reach out to organize a gathering which makes things really easy to coordinate.

What are some of your favourite events so far? Any fun stories?

TooManyGames was really special as our first sponsored gathering with a huge turnout of 30+ tags. I’m always interested in traveling so the convention experience is a comfortable and exciting one for me. I did have one meetup where I was showing what Mii’s were lined up at my gate and I looked up to see a guy that perfectly matched his Mii, that was a great laugh.

Have you completed any more games or puzzles because of them?

I’m still working on completing most games but I did get to finish Find Mii I + II thanks to all the tags I get at conventions.

Find Mii 2 Title

Shane finished Find Mii and Find Mii 2 via these events

Given Nintendo is shutting down the 3DS’ online functionality, services like Pretendo and Rverse are coming in very useful in keeping the games playable. What are your thoughts on those?

I’m in direct communication with both teams and they’ve made for such a loving community. The drive to keep this console alive shows how active its users are and I feel lucky to be making an impact among these people.

Do you think they can revive the 3DS’ online community once more?

We certainly have the numbers for it all and I believe there is a lot of love for this console out there based on how often I see people talking about their games/memories online. Right now, we’re trying to preserve online games through our Discord game nights and we can use all the help we can get!

How does it feel knowing so many people like these features and want to use them in 2024?

There’s something heartwarming about seeing StreetPass and the 3DS as a whole persevere over 13 years past it’s release date. Seeing the return to this console fills me with hope that others join in on the fun and we can keep this handheld alive for years to come.

Has anyone at Nintendo taken notice of these events? Do you work with the company in any way?

While we don’t work with Nintendo, we do have some of their various employees following us and what we do. Nintendo has shown an abrasive side when it comes to supporting fan community events like Super Smash Bros tournaments so we hope to fly under that radar while we are still growing.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Artwork

If not, would you want to in future?

In an ideal world we work with Nintendo to bring back StreetPass Weekends and bring the StreetPass Relay servers back online.

What do you think the chances are for StreetPass being a thing on future Nintendo systems, like a hypothetical Switch 2?

Unfortunately, Nintendo has seemingly lost their drive towards innovation and stopped caring so much about free social features like StreetPass. It’s also a matter of the Switch not exactly being pocketable so it’s difficult to justify developing the feature if you keep it in the dock all day.

If it did return, how would you want them to update it? Any aspects you’d want to see changed there?

StreetPass could be used to exchange contact information, high score leaderboards, user created content, and so much more. We could always use more minigames, hats to wear, and puzzles to complete. How about StreetPass dating to find locals with similar interests? The concept has so much to expand on.

Finally, what have you learnt from running these events and the community around them?

I have honestly been surprised by the success of these events and the talented people in its community. Whether it’s the homebrew developers coding games, or the artists using the touchscreen to work on art, the 3DS is a home for creation. This community is active and welcoming to all even if you’re buying your first 3DS in 2024 onwards.

Yeah, that’s fair. But in a way, it makes sense. People love the 3DS and its games even today, and it holds a special place in the hearts of everyone who grew up with it.

And that’s not surprising at all. When it comes to charm and personality, to Nintendo consoles that felt like they were made with more than just finances in mind, the 3DS may well have been king. With an amazing library, a ton of awesome built in apps and features and little Nintendo inspired touches around every corner, it felt like a console the company truly put their heart and soul into. A true gem of a system that just took the DS and Wii design ethos that bit further.

Either way, thanks for the interview! It was amazing hearing all about your events and the 3DS as a whole, and we’ll happily recommend them to anyone that wants to make more use out of this awesome console. Hopefully you enjoyed being part of this interview as well.

And hopefully everyone reading this enjoyed the interview! Leave your thoughts in the comments below, on social media, or on our Discord server today!

StreetPass Love/StreetPass Events on Social Media