The greatest thing about the new Nintendo 3DS hardware has to be its StreetPass feature. This feature can very well change the way we play handheld gaming devices, and will encourage 3DS players to take their portable gaming into the public.
StreetPass mode is activated when your 3DS is on standby, and will transmit all sort of data to other 3DS players who just happen to be walking by. Information such as your Mii avatar, profile information, and game-specific info will be sent to 3DS owners that you walk across on the street, and vise versa. On a normal stroll through town, you can potentially "meet" another player's dog in Nintendogs, exchange ghost replay data in Ridge Racer or have your Street Fighter IV team battle others. You can even collect other players' Mii avatars and form your own army with the built in "Find Mii" game.
Be warned, though--you can potentially look very silly by trying to take advantage of this wonderful feature. Don't let this fear prevent you from experiencing such an innovative gameplay feature, though. The following are tips in order to make the most out of using the Nintendo 3DS StreetPass feature without looking creepy and silly.
The DON'Ts of Using the Nintendo 3DS StreetPass
DON'T Walk TOO Close to Anyone You Suspect Has a 3DS. That's Creepy!
So you see someone that you think may have a Nintendo 3DS system. How close do you have to get in order to get a StreetPass with this person? Luckily, you don't have to get up close and personal with him in order to exchange data. That can be creepy and dangerous! According to Nintendo's website, the 3DS can pick up the signal from another system within 98.4 feet or roughly 30 meters.
So keep your distance and avoid looking like a stalker. Soon enough, you'll receive his Mii avatar along with his profile, game data, and all sorts of information. Now, you can be a stalker.
DON'T StreetPass with a Regular Nintendo DS Game in Sleep Mode
The StreetPass feature is deactivated once you boot up a regular ol' DS game, and that includes when you put the game in sleep mode. Fortunately, the system will still keep track of the number of steps you take using the built-in pedometer, and will still award you those precious "coins" to spend. Just make sure you exit the game at least once every seven days in order for the system to save the steps and coins you've accrued. If you want to activate StreetPass, you're going to have to exit to the home screen.
DON'T Carry Around Your System in a Fanny Pack
Because you absolutely DO NOT want to look like this guy.
DON'T Try to Get StreetPasses Near Elementary Schools
Sure, it may seem like a good idea to try to StreetPass connection near elementary schools. Since this is a large volume of gaming youth in one concentrated area, you're bound to come across another 3DS player, right? Think again.
If you're old enough to afford the hefty $250 price tag of the 3DS, you're probably too old to hang around elementary schools without looking like a total creep. Besides, kids can't afford the system anyway. You're better off trying your luck in better places (which will be addressed later).
The DOs of Using the Nintendo 3DS StreetPass
DO Get a Messenger Bag
If you're a guy, it's important to get a messenger bag to lug around that 3DS of yours. The system's slightly too bulky to be placed comfortably into your pockets, and you'll run the risk of damaging your precious handheld. If you're a student, you can always place it in your backpack, and the ladies can always use the purse.
DO Take Your 3DS to the Mall
The mall is a great place to potentially StreetPass with randoms. In fact, I got my very first couple of Streetpasses at South Coast Plaza Mall in Orange County, California. There are crowds of diverse people here, some of them are bound to be playing their systems.
DO Take Your 3DS on Campus
High schools students, unfortunately, are too image-focused to proudly carry around their systems. College students, on the other hand, love portable gaming. You're more than likely going to catch another 3DS while carrying around your portable in your backpack walking from class to class.
DO Take your 3DS to Geeky Conventions
Geeky conventions are a goldmine for video gaming get-togethers. Regardless if it's a convention for comic books, electronics, or anime, there's almost a guarantee that there will be several 3DSs wandering around the convention.
I recently attended Monsterpalooza, a movie special effects convention in Burbank, California and was able to pick up three StreetPasses within my 3-hour stay there. Not too shabby!
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With upcoming super-geeky conventions like Anime Expo, E3, and Comic-Con in the horizon, you're bound to fill up your Mii army with plenty of StreetPass opportunities. Just make sure to put away that fanny pack, and you'll be fine.