Interview: Jay Bartlett (Nintendo Quest)

I recently reviewed the cult-favorite documentary “Nintendo Quest” and found it to be full of heart and love for the gaming community. I liked it so much that I started consuming other content made by the creators of the documentary: the Gamecast podcast (which is excellent), the shenanigans of cosplay group Star Wars Echo Three, the games from Tiny Titan Studios, etc.

So I thought I’d reach out to Jay Bartlett, the star of the documentary, to get his thoughts on how “Nintendo Quest” changed his life, the current state of the industry, and the perfect Star Wars game.


IF: Well, Jay, it’s been a couple of years now since the release of Nintendo Quest, and you’ve definitely received a bit of a cult following in the gaming community. For those who aren’t in the loop, though, would you mind describing the film, what it’s about, your role in it, etc?

JB: I always wanted a complete NES collection, specifically the NTSC games, my best friend is a film maker and dared me to do it. Gave me 30 Days. We wanted the experience to be old school, so no eBay, internet purchases etc. Half the fun when we were younger was going out there and purchasing the games. We wanted to re create that out school feeling.

IF: I mention the cult following thing because sometimes, films fail to make a ripple. However, Nintendo Quest was received with arms wide open by the community and even after all this time you’re still gaining new fans. How has this public exposure impacted your life, your hobby and what you do in general?

JB: It’s opened many doors and opportunities. I have made a ton of new life long friends out of he film and still humbled by the fans that reach out daily. I even met my fiancée because of the film!

IF: I won’t spoil the ending of the film for those who haven’t watched it, but we have a sequel of sorts now with Nintendo Quest: Power Tour. Can you give us a rundown of what that is?

JB: The Power Tour was Rob, Glenn and I once again hitting the road. This time we toured the film across North America and screened it across many States and Provinces. A total blast.

Nintendo Quest is super fun, and goes beyond collecting.

IF: Having watched a bit of Power Tour already, I can see that there’s a tonal shift from Nintendo Quest: the sense of urgency imposed by the quest itself is gone, replaced by a relief and amazement at how people reacted to what you guys did. How different was it to film Power Tour, in comparison to Nintendo Quest, on an emotional level?

JB: It’s a completely different beast. It was a lot more relaxed as the games I got were part of a friendly competition list Rob and I had.

IF: Nintendo Quest is out, Power Tour is out, you are doing GamerCast (the gaming podcast) and A Galaxy Far, Far Away (the Star Wars podcast). Do you see yourself back in front of the camera sometime in the future? I know you’ve been asked a lot about SNES Quest, but… will Jay return in any way to our screens?

JB: Yes, Jay will return

IF: Now, onto the nitty-gritty: how important do you think it is for people to create films like “Nintendo Quest”? Do you think it had an impact (positive or otherwise) on gaming and how it’s perceived by peers and strangers?

JB: The film is all about positivity. I’m transformed in the film. The guy that starts out in the journey becomes a different person by the end, defiantly a growing experience for me. Everyone who has reached out to us has had nothing but positive things to say. I’m quite humbled by the impact my journey has had on people.

Jay also podcasts alongside Rob McCallum and Glenn Stanway.

IF: From what I’ve heard of Gamercast, you’re big on the social aspect of gaming, and I don’t mean playing online from far, far away (he). You really believe that gaming is at its best when you’re in the same room with your friends and can interact. How catered do you think this niche of the market is in the current gaming gen? Do you think people care about local multiplayer? Should they?

JB: It’s not for me to speak on behalf of the gaming community. It’s a different time now then it once was. Couch co op and parties have been replaced by online, headsets, and solitude. I’m being a tad dramatic of course, but I’ve been gaming since the beginning and have seen the changes multiplayer gaming has gone through. While I love the experiences I’ve had online with World of Warcraft and Destiny, nothing beats your buddies together in the same room playing Goldeneye on 64, or Mario Kart.

IF: Nintendo Switch. I know you love Nintendo and heaven knows we’ve been waiting for the big N to get over the Wii U hump. Now the NX has blossomed and we’re a few months in, what do you think the Switch represents in the current gaming climate? Do you think it caters to what we said before, about focusing on social gaming and local interaction?

JB: Nintendo has tried for years to bring it back, I don’t see it ever being the main stream anymore which is a shame.

IF: A bit of a fun question before I leave you: you love games, and you love Star Wars. Has the perfect Star Wars video game been created already? What is your vision for the perfect Star Wars game?

JB: Knights of the Old Republic is by far my fav. You really felt like you were in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, and the story of Darth Revan is incredible

Jay performs as Kylo Ren as part of the cosplay group Star Wars Echo Three, whose appearances include charity drives at local hospitals.

IF: Jay, it’s been a pleasure. I leave the floor open to you for any message you’d like to give to gamers in the UK and beyond.

JB: Keep on gaming, never think anything is out of your reach in life because it isn’t, just takes hard work.


Want more Jay? Who wouldn’t! Here’s the links to everything:

“Nintendo Quest” and “Nintendo Quest: Power Tour”: robmccallumfilms.com

“Gamercast” gaming podcast: gamercastnation.podbean.com

Star Wars Echo Three: https://www.facebook.com/Star-Wars-Echo-Three-1105673182894017/

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