Nintendo DS® and Wireless Communication - Privacy Questions
The Nintendo DS®'s wireless communication (including PictoChat) offers a fun and unique way to communicate and play with other Nintendo DS® owners. To help ensure your privacy and your family's privacy, do not give out personal information, such as last name, phone number, age, or address, when communicating with others. For additional information, please take a moment to review the information below.
Interacting with others through the Nintendo DS®'s wireless capabilities
The Nintendo DS® features wireless communication in two different ways:
Using the built-in PictoChat software, Nintendo DS® users can communicate wirelessly with other Nintendo DS® users within a range of approximately 65 feet. Up to 16 users can chat with each other through one of the PictoChat "chat rooms." In addition, some games may also have similar chat features programmed into the game. For information on how a specific game uses wireless communication, please refer to the instruction booklet for that game.
With the Nintendo DS®, gamers can link up for multiplayer action, all without the use of cables. In fact, some titles are designed so that only one player neeDS® a game in their system - everyone else simply downloaDS® it from player one. Current games allow multiplayer action with players within approximately 65 feet. Future games could allow for other types of
Things to consider when using the Nintendo DS® communication features:
Parents should be sure to educate their children on these issues as well.
Nintendo DS® wireless communication, including PictoChat, is not monitored. This means PictoChat does not block messages from strangers. However, it is also important to understand that:
- Users must choose to activate PictoChat and enter one of the four available rooms to send or receive messages.
- Users will not receive PictoChat messages while they are playing games on their Nintendo DS®, and there is no automatic notification that other DS® users are using PictoChat nearby.
- Anyone a user chats with must be within the range of the Nintendo DS®'s wireless signal (approximately 65 feet).
- When you are in a PictoChat room, you can see when new people enter the chat room as their user names appear on the screen.
- All users who wish to play multiplayer games must coordinate with each other in order to set up the game.
- Simply playing games (multiplayer or otherwise) on a Nintendo DS® does not by itself enable PictoChat, or allow other users to communicate with each other unless all users have coordinated to set up the game.
When participating in chat rooms, there are a few things you will want to keep
- Up to 15 other users within range of your Nintendo DS® (approximately 65 feet) may be able to view your nickname and messages within a selected chat room at any time.
- Whatever date you choose to enter as your month and day of birth (year is not asked for), an "It's your birthday" message will be communicated in the chat room on that date.
- Any user can change their user name at any time. As such there is no guarantee you are chatting with the person you think you are.
As with any communication device (telephones, walkie-talkies, internet chat rooms, Instant Messaging, etc.), there is always the potential of information being viewed or heard by individuals other than the intended recipient. Some things we recommend to help protect you and your families privacy include:
- Similar to unmonitored internet chat rooms, children should be warned about receiving messages from, or communicating with, strangers.
- An adult should assist children with the system setup and instruct them not to use personal information and not meet strangers or give personal information to anyone as it could be read by a stranger.
- Do not give out personal information, like last name, phone number, address, or school name.
- Be sure children know how to identify when someone has entered the chat room. (See the Nintendo DS® instruction booklet, page 16.)
- If you feel that your children should not use the chat feature, you should instruct them not to use it. PictoChat is not functional unless it is selected when the system is turned on.