This is an older post, that I thought I’d copy over to this blog.

I was inspired by the notion of fiddling with the 3DS Street Pass feature in Manhattan and the nice weather that the city experienced today, to the test the feature out. I took a subway ride from my humble home to enter the concrete canyons of the midtown area, beginning my ride at a station and pondering what path I would walk to attempt to maximize my actual footprint, to reach as many 3DS owners as I could.

The first stop seemed obvious to me, Nintendo World. The store is located around 48th Street, so I could make a nice walk south to further destinations. I decided to hop off on the E Train at the 7th Avenue Subway Station, taking the stairwell out and making a wrong turn pretty quickly. I quickly fixed my internal compass, a point of pride for this New Yorker, walking down the crowds of Madison Avenue, until 48th Street. With a few quick turns, I found my way to Nintendo World.

The 3DS demo units were occupied, but I had mine. It was time for a moment of truth! I had found 3 people. Then almost immediately 2 more! After those, I had found 2 more. My first Street Pass had been a crowd. Nintendo World was crowded. Parents were buying games for their children and at the corners, the kids you would expect to be the standard social outcasts in an academic institution were playing their systems, mostly it seemed the new 3DS. A discussion was happening between two, about which games were worth getting. They dismissed Rayman and Pilot Wings for reasons unknown, but were quick to praise Street Fighter and Steel Diver. The two joked about Nintendogs + Cats, deciding that one of the three games was all they would need. I saw on the floor, giant AR cards, but decided not to try and see if I could trigger a monster battle; it seemed floor space was very restricted. Almost as quickly as I came, I left. My Street Pass army had just received the first seven troops and I was itching for a few more.

Times Square! I decided to head to “Crossroads of America” for my next stop. They had a Toys R Us with a big video game section, which might be a place to check for anymore. I walked, earbuds playing the rock music I adore, as I carefully thread past the tourists, locals and strangers. I wasn’t exactly sure of the address of Toys R Us but I found it without making a wrong turn. The streets were crowded, Broadway Plays were being promoted, it would seem like a bad day for theatres with so many tickets for evening showings still available. Toys R Us was a continuation of the external madness, crowded with endless rows of families off to purchase or examine toys. I made a quick stop over at the basement, where the video games are. I found that my Street Pass had found two more Mii, my Mii army was slowly expanding.

My exit was still swift, I didn’t feel compelled to buy anything and the crowds weren’t making for an easy to appreciate scene. As I left, I continued walking South, now on 7th Avenue, trying to decide where to go next. The Times Square crowds were letting up and I found myself able to walk much more freely. I found my savior in the form of Spider-Man, who I could also see at Broadway for 40% off that night. Midtown Comics seemed like a place to try. I’m not much into comic books, but there seems to be a fairly large overlap of communities, so it would be worth a try. Unfortunately, I found no new recruits for the grand Mii army that I was assembling at Midtown Comics and I headed down further South.

As I walked 7th Avenue, I had decided where I would go next. I would swing past Union Square on my way to Chinatown and St. Marks, where I could visit the more underground videogame stores and see if anything was available. I was feeling confident about my Mii army.

The walk from Midtown Comics to Union Square produced no new members for my Street Pass army, but provided me with a reminder of the eclectic daily life in Manhattan. I saw a romantic couple, two men, forming a checkerboard pattern with their clothes, orange hat for one and an orange jacket for the other, going with a brown jacket or hat. I saw good looking girls, bad looking girls and ugly looking things. I saw homeless people and I saw pranksters. They tried pointing to an object on the ground to the unsuspecting to get a good laugh. When it came my turn, I just stared right at them, passing by with no incident.

My Mii army had not grown and I made my way to Union Square, the weekend Farmer’s Market was closing and with it some of the assembled were leaving. “Hey!” I saw a familiar face saying, but my earbuds had stifled it. I ended the music and greeted the friend that I just saw again. We chatted and decided to hang out for a little bit, I did a final check of my Street Pass, this time like in life; I had encountered one more person. This would be my last virtual encounter for the day; I had made another sort of Street Pass, and felt the need to reconnect. I decided to try and snap a 3D picture of my friend, to impress him, he commented my DS screen was looking weird and I decided this wasn’t the time to educate him, I wasn’t interested in videogames at that point.

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