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Posts with tag pictochat

The DS Life: Doing it big

The DS Life is a weekly feature in which we scour the known world for narrative images of Nintendo's handhelds and handheld gamers. If you have a photo and a story to match it with, send both to thedslife at dsfanboy dot com.

Hazz: Hey, dude! :)
Nelson: Hey, Hazz. How's your DS?
Hazz: It's a little bigger than I expected! ^_^
Nelson: *WANG*

Continue reading The DS Life: Doing it big

Nintendo DS inspires liberals to defraud innocent Americans

Some merry pranksters pulled one over on former Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback ... and it's all because of the DS. Last month, GamePolitics picked up on a particularly atrocious entry at Blogs 4 Brownback, an unofficial site for the then-candidate that focused on the very dangerous Nintendo DS, and how it was offering predators free access to millions of children worldwide (since only children play DS, you know). Several other venues picked up on the story as well; feathers were ruffled, fingers were pointed, and many people had a good laugh and a head-shake over the level of crazy to which some people will rise.

Of course, we can't blame other games writers for being taken in by the fake blog; after all, the included video at Blogs 4 Brownback was one quite familiar to us here at DS Fanboy, so we know that there are plenty of people who really are worried about the horrific and insidious dangers of Pictochat. Today, GamePolitics is reporting that it seems that Blogs 4 Brownback is nothing more than an "ultra-subtle parody," but the folks behind it deny any such accusations and claim they are the real deal. So which is it? Folks having fun at the expensive of Brownback and his supporters, or truly rabid Brownback supporters who hate Nintendo? Either way, those of us who get to read the outcome feel like winners.

No DS in UK prisons for fear of terrorist attacks

Due to the ability to transmit signals wirelessly, UK prisons have banned the Nintendo DS (along with some other video game systems). The reason? They fear that the devices can be used to plan a terrorist attack. Of course, should they actually research the system, they'd know that the wireless capabilities of the DS are severely limited.

We can imagine terrorist attacks being planned in Pictochat, but we're sure the prison guards would notice someone lurking outside the prison walls with a DS.

How to make a better Nintendo DS

Next-Generation's Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh acknowledges that the Nintendo DS is an industry-changing system, but still sees the portable console as an "unfinished project." He wrote up a wishlist of improvements that he feels would fulfill the handheld's potential, extending its shelf-life. And while we've already seen dozens of message board topics filled with wild-eyed suggestions and what-they-should-really-do ideas in the past, Eric's revisions actually sound half-way sane.

So what are some of his seven steps for making a better Nintendo DS? Slap on some internal flash memory, paving the way for firmware updates and a Virtual Console setup for handheld games (GB/GBA/NGPC/etc.). Allow for an expandable, customizable system interface. Flesh out its WiFi support by integrating Pictochat and developing a unified online service.

They're all great recommendations, but one has to wonder how implementing those changes would affect the portable's retail price. The DS probably wouldn't have been such a success if it weren't for its impulse-buy pricing. Still, we would love to see Eric's suggestions make it into the handheld's next revision.

We're sure that our readers have their own ideas on what the next Nintendo DS should have. VoIP capabilities? A flux capacitor? Maybe just throw some Ds on it? Drop us a comment and let us know what you think would make a better Nintendo DS!

Pictoblog, picture blogging with the DS

We've always equated PictoChat with the banana peel in Mario Kart DS. It might be better than nothing, but we were really hoping for something a little more useful when we opened up that item box. Despite its polished interface and availability with every Nintendo DS system, hardly anyone uses PictoChat regularly. This can be attributed to the application's limited functionality and lack of online support. Unless you're sending phallic doodles to a nearby friend, there's really no reason for using the communication utility.

Thankfully, there are several homebrew projects that better realize the DS' potential as an instant messenger or a canvas for digital artists. Pictoblog is another application that extends the system's capabilities, enabling users to sketch something out on the handheld's touchscreen, and upload the picture to a post on their blog. Pictoblog works with a number of CMSs like WordPress, Movable Type, and many others.

Developer 0xtob has set up a test blog for users to experiment with, but it probably won't be long before the site is flooded with crude illustrations of the male anatomy.

Pictochat on your PC

The guys over at DS-Play, one of several large DS community sites, have rolled out a PC version of Pictochat. Situated comfortably within your browser window, the program emulates the functions of the built-in DS program, namely sending text messages to others and displaying poorly drawn genitals. In addition, it also lets you save your supposed masterpieces for later viewing. It's not going to make you delete your current IM programs, but it does provide a neat little diversion, especially if your communication and artistic skills aren't hampered by the use of an imprecise mouse and fairly limited tools (you'll get 16 colors and you'll like it).

A word of warning, however: The very first crude drawing I was presented with involved uncomfortable bodily functions. These people are everywhere.

[Thanks Daniel!]

But is it art?

Raz from Psychonauts!The connection between holding a stylus and holding a pencil is a fairly obvious one, though many would agree that the latter is more often involved with unpleasant things such as writing essays, ticking boxes in a Reader's Digest survey and, of course, stabbing people in the eye. To be fair, I did use my stylus for stabbing once, but I really can't be held responsible for my actions during a heated Mario Kart DS session. Perhaps if there was some game that allowed me to release my frustrations through artistic expression, some people wouldn't regret using homing shells so much.

Apparently, there is one such a game - and we all have it. It's called PictoChat. The NDSart gallery provides a virtual wall to hang many of the masterpieces that have been created by avid touch screen artists. Instead of squeezing a sketch onto a single Pictochat screen, the pictures are segmented across the dual screens, photographed and then combined again. The work on display here is very impressive and could certainly be expanded by an online-capable PictoChat program that could allow you to save and send your drawings to friends. That is, provided they aren't still mad at you for attacking them with a stylus.

[Via Infendo]

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