Let me show you my Pokemans!

(That was lame. Sorry about that.) I am getting everything set up with my router so I can do some Pokemon WiFi. I won’t be able to jump on until the kids are tucked in bed (they always want to see my Pokemans. [SORRY!]) but here’s my friend code:

3308 1742 3208

You can add yours in the comments or send me an email through the contact form or hit me up on Yahoo IM (screen name: cholo_75).

I’ll be back soon to get some codes and get in on some Pokemon battles.

Opera and the DS – surf the web!

This is the coolest news I’ve read in a while: Opera (my personal browser of choice) is building a browser for the Nintendo DS.

In Opera’s agreement with Nintendo, Nintendo DS users will now be able to surf the full Internet from their systems using the Opera browser. The Opera browser for Nintendo DS will be sold as a DS card. Users simply insert the card into the Wi- Fi enabled Nintendo DS, connect to a network, and begin browsing on two screens.

This is very cool news, just in time for the DS redesign! Right now, the article only mentions users in Japan, but I can’t see any reason why we can’t expect this here in the states. I can’t wait!

Poor reporting

I just read an article that makes me angry. The amount of mis-information and fear mongering is just amazing. The article starts out

We have an important warning for parents. Today marks the three-month anniversary of the launch of the Nintendo DS Wireless Connection. But Action News has learned this popular gaming system could put kids in harm’s way.

Huh? Right away, the red flags are going up. I assume they’re going to talk about the WiFi Connection. Sure, there is always the possibility of gaming with unsavoury people online, but Nintendo’s friend code system does a decent job of filtering those type of people out. So far, there are three games that use the Wireless connection (Tony Hawk, Mario Kart, and Animal Crossing) so right off the bat we’ve got some poor research being done:

It has built-in wireless capability. That allows kids to battle fellow Nintendo DS players across the room or across the world.

“They can play somebody they’ve never met.”

While this is technically true, my guess is that most kids aren’t playing with people they haven’t met over the WFC. I’m guessing most of these kids are playing with real life friends. (Let’s not forget that connecting to the WFC isn’t exactly simple. I’d say most kids under the age of 14 would struggle to get on without parental help). So what exactly is endangering the children? The super-horrible Picto-Chat!

Theresa’s 11-year-old daughter, Emily likes to doodle so she’s using the Nintendo DS Pictochat feature. Pictochat puts you right into a chatroom and let you send messages wirelessly – and on this day we are in one of Philadelphia’s many Wi-Fi hotspots.

Theresa Keel/Center City: “This screen name pops up and asks her what her name is and how old she is, and she answers.”
Emily Keel/Center City: “And I just felt a little scared and confused.”

This has happened to the Keel’s once before. But this time the screen name is so offensive, we can’t even show it to you.

“It frightened me. It really did.”

Wait one minute! Pictochat is not WiFi-enabled. At all. In fact, in order to chat with someone, you’d have to be in close proximity to the other DS your chatting with (about 60 feet). Unfortunately, this parent is so clueless that they have no idea what the technology in their child’s hands is capable of. All the mother has to do is tell her child to turn of the DS. If she was worried that they might be in danger, they could alert mall security and have them look for the scary person with the offensive screen name. But turning off the DS instantly severs any connection to the bad person. That’s all it takes. No one is “in harm’s way.” But of course the reporter couldn’t be bothered with the facts.

This is simply a case of not doing due dilegence with your research before you run a story. Sowing seeds of fear accomplish very little.

Even when we’re thinking of the children.

(via Digg. Slashdot, too.)

It’s a wild world out there…

So I’ve been playing Animal Crossing for a while now but haven’t mentioned it much past my friend code.

So what about it? Animal Crossing on the Gamecube was a game that I couldn’t explain why I liked. When you boil it down, it’s a game that has no purpose, no “ending” and nothing “manly” about it. The first time a buddy of mine saw me playing it he asked me how I could kill the residents of my town. The conversation went a little like this:

“What’cha playing?”

“Animal Crossing.”

“What’s that? Never heard of it.”

“Well, you’re this kid who moves into a new town populated by animals. You run errands for the animals and plant trees. You can go fishing if you want. Or you can do nothing. You do have a mortgage to pay, but you don’t have to pay that off, either. It’s pretty sweet.”

“Sweet? Sounds lame. Hey, can you shoot that cat?”

“Why would I want to do that? Mitzi (the cat’s name) is my friend. I just took her a shirt that Derwin (a duck in my town) just gave me to deliver to her. She hooked me up with this sweet wallpaper for my house. There’s no shooting, no punching, nothing like that.”

“What’s the point of playing if you can’t shoot anyone?”

“The point? I’ve got a house to pay for and I need to make some bells. I certainly can’t shoot anyone because then there wouldn’t be any one left to run errands for. I guess I could fish, but that’s not the best way to make money.”

“Right… Sounds fun. Wanna play some Turok?”

And so on. I don’t know why I played it so much. It was the first game my wife and I played together, so that had something to do with it. But I woke up early on Sundays so I could buy turnips from the turnip lady because that was the only time she came around. Was it my obsessive nature? What kind of game could get me out of bed? Explaining why it was fun was hard to do.

And so it is with Animal Crossing Wild World. It’s basically the Gamecube version with some added features and it’s still just as addicting. And I still can’t explain why. I’ll probably get to what I like and don’t like at a later time, but I will say that it’s a fun, pointless game.

Without any shooting.

Nintendo DS and Wi-Fi

4 Color Rebellion links to a pamphlet spelling out Nintendo’s plans for DS wi-fi access. While I’m still getting used to my DS (more thoughts on that later), wi-fi is definitely one of the reasons I picked up a DS. The little pamphlet has some interesting little nuggets of information (including a nod to Microsoft’s success with Xbox Live) but this is what intrigued me the most:

Perhaps a more interesting statistic is that by the end of 2006, 90 per cent of all DS owners will be accessing wi-fi gameplay.

Wow. 90% is rather ambitious. I’ll definitely be part of that 90%.

More information at Eurogamer.