Monday, November 26, 2007

Wif-Fi and the Nintendo DS

I've been looking into possibly getting the wife a Nintendo DS for Christmas. The mini-games are fun and she likes the Brain Age and other "adult" games. I think she'd like Nintendogs and cute games like Drawn-To-Life, too. So, with this, I've been checking into the features of the DS and how it works. I know you can play wirelessly, you can download demos and such from stores and at McDonald's, and I know you can even do basic chatting and access the internet for content. And that's really what I'm interested in: the Wi-Fi and online capabilities of the device. Why is that important? Because while I don't know how to do those things, my 6-year-old neighbor does...

And don't laugh and say "Haha, but he's just a kid! Who cares about their silly games?" Because those kids will become teenagers and then adults - growing up as the technology grows with them, and anyone who doesn't keep up will just be another clueless old person to them. And tech-savvy kids have no respect for clueless old people. I know, because I was one of those tech-savvy kids.

Modern example:

In checking out the DS's online capabilities I discovered that Nintendo actually discontinued their Opera-based browsing software for the DS a month or so ago. The reason they discontinued it is that parents were buying it without realizing what it was and then discovering that, to their surprise, their kids were going online with it (um, duh). So, with parents screaming that their kiddo's Nintendo DS suddenly had become a portal to the evils of the internet, Nintendo went ahead and stopped making that "game" and it's now becoming somewhat a rare find in used game stores.

While I think it's funny that a parent would buy their kid a game they don't understand, I have to admit that I don't understand how the DS gets online. What games work online and what is the extent of the file sharing and online gameplay? Other then my Blackberry, I've never owned own a single web-enabled device, let alone set up or accessed a Wi-Fi connection.

But with their lil' Nintendo DS, even the lamest 8 year-old has. And why not? I defeated bowser and saved the Princess at 7 years old - why shouldn't the average kid be able to master the full capabilities of the current Nintendo product in the same way I did?

So, getting a DS and keeping up with modern gaming isn't just a bad idea for a Christmas gift, but it's also a good idea from a parenting perspective: my oldest kid will no doubt have a next-gen Nintendo of his own one day and I think it's important that I not only understand how it works, but maybe even be able play with him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Video update

I've been doing lots with YouTube and such lately, so here's an update: a while ago I realized it was clunky and messy to embed YouTube videos right on So, I simply put a link to my my YouTube account and another link to my Arlington County videos.

We've been cranking out content at work, so eventually the Arlington County YouTube account page was getting cluttered, and it was way too hard to find videos or expect anyone to see the "good stuff" with 70 or 80 videos spread over 6 pages... So, I dug into YouTube a bit, figured out Playlists, and set up a bunch to keep things organized. Now, I point people here at work (and on to the Arlington County Playlist page instead. Ooh, organization! How nice!