The Story Behind the Advance Wars Story: An Interview with Rachael Adamson
Fame can come quickly, especially when it’s by chance.
Such is the case of Rachael Adamson, a young woman living in the UK who became an instant celebrity due to a single mistake by a corporate giant. In this case, the giant was Nintendo, and the error involves the long-awaited Advanced Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp for the Nintendo Switch.
Earlier this month would have been the official release of Advanced Wars for the Switch, an enhanced remake of the first two games in the Game Boy Advance-era series. However, real-world circumstances saw the game delayed by around a year. For many, it was understandable, if disappointing, to learn. For Adamson, it would become so much more, when she discovered that her pre-ordered copy of Advance Wars was not only pre-downloaded but playable.
“When I found out I could play it, I was more confused than anything at first,” Adamson said, in an interview with TechRaptor. “I was well aware of the release delay and thought, ‘Either it’s a mistake, or it was subtly released without warning. I think things changed when I searched on my (secondary) Switch and couldn’t find it for download on the eShop or anywhere else.”
Adamson details the entire chain of events in her personal blog, where she details that her pre-order of Advanced Wars was already paid and she had already redeemed a download code used to access the game at launch. Nintendo had already assured Adamson that his code was valid, but it turned out that the code had pre-downloaded the game for Adamson, allowing him to play it on the original April 8 launch date.
“Confusion aside, I was really excited! said Adamson. “I was looking forward to this, especially since it’s a game I played a lot as a kid. When I woke up and checked Twitter the next day after the tweet I I did about it I was in shock I didn’t I realized I was the only one with access to it and was waiting for more tweets with people playing it I was talking to one of my brothers about what had happened, and he linked me to YouTube videos with thousands of views of people discussing the tweet I think at that time I started to realize how important it was.”
Adamson’s original tweet, which has since been deleted, would become a major point of discussion and speculation online for a few days. Several outlets immediately began covering the event and attempting to contact her for more information, while hundreds of people on Twitter bombarded her with questions about the game and its status. It was a job she wasn’t fully prepared for.
“I’ve reduced my use of social media over the years and don’t go on Twitter often, so I’ve gone from interacting with almost no one one day to thousands the next, with people making videos on the situation and websites doing articles… It really had an effect on me,” she said.
The ups and downs of fame
Adamson is very open about her struggles with anxiety and depression, including posting a warning on her blog about her own battles with mental illness. She has written several articles on the subject and speaks frankly about it even in the face of her newfound fame.
“I have social anxiety disorder and have been diagnosed with EUPD [emotionally unstable personality disorder]so I’m extremely concerned about what people think of me,” she explained. “A lot of people were really nice about the whole thing and really wanted to know a few things about the game, but it didn’t didn’t help people say me i was a liar, i faked pictures, or i had hacked the game. It really upset my head, i even felt the need to go on and try to fight such claims because I desperately don’t want people to think negatively of me for it.”
Adamson pointed out that her limited interactions on Twitter have also been difficult in recent days, mostly because she just wants to be as helpful as possible to those around her.
“Even if people like you ask questions,” she said of TechRaptor, “I just want to be as helpful as possible. At the same time, I’ve never been in a position where people were asking about articles, so it’s a very strange new experience.”
It’s an experience that Adamson relishes to some extent, becoming a major focus for avid gaming media and coming into contact with many kind gamers within the gaming community.
“Besides playing the game (and seeing that it’s playable, I had my doubts for a while when they kept delaying it!), I would say it’s been positive for me to be able to interact with the community.” she says. “I’d also be lying if I said it wasn’t very cool to be featured on websites I visit myself for news or to have videos made about me, even though I haven’t done anything .”
Through it all though, his love for games – even niche titles like Advanced Wars — shines through.
I have not played Advanced Wars in about 20 years,” Adamson said. “But I was looking forward to it, especially seeing the updated graphics for the Switch. Learning to play the game was a lot of fun, and while working on it, I remembered why I liked the game originally. It’s been a while since I’ve played a real strategy game that I need to devote my full attention to!”
Adamson also relished playing the game for as long as she could.
“I wish I could say I got over it all or just jumped into game two to take a look at the new commanders that everyone keeps mentioning to me, but I really don’t want to spoil it for myself. -even,” she said. “Can’t say too much, but I’m sure everyone is excited about Online. And Hachi’s Shop! Definitely one for the finalists.”
Nintendo has already responded to Adamson privately about the game, offering him a full refund for his purchase and, on April 14, revoking his access to Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp. Within a week, the experience took Adamson on a roller coaster ride that gave her, in at least one corner of the internet, an experience she never thought she’d have.
Like all celebrities, using that fame and that platform is part of the job. For full disclosure, we asked Adamson if she had anything to say publicly for anyone who may have had the same anxiety and mental health issues as her.
“When it comes to mental health, it wasn’t until I was approaching 30 that things started to look up for me,” she said. “School days were really hard, and even after school when I became a recluse for about 10 good years. I sometimes wondered if a life like that was worth living. The advice What I would give to anyone else struggling with depression and anxiety is to hold on. It sounds corny but it’s definitely getting better.”