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Pictochat exposed!

Your definitive guide to Pictochat

You must have heard it, the news that Pictochat will soon be able to be used online and as a proper chat room system.  So what is Pictochat?  Why does this concern me?  How will it benefit me in the future?  well, read on and find out the answers to these crucial questions!

  • What is Pictochat?
  • Will Pictochat be online?
  • How does it work?
  • What can you do with it?
  • Are there downsides to Pictochat going online?
  • FAQ
  • My personal questions about it being online.

 

What is Pictochat?

Pictochat is a chat room applet.  For those not familiar with internet or computer related terms, it's a small program( applet) which is used to communicate with other people who are using the same software.  As you know, you got this built into your Nintendo DS console when you bought it.  If not, you have pretty much been sold a console off the back of truck and I recommend you complain to the shop in question immediately.  Now, Pictochat isn't just any chat room applet but one that allows wireless communication with someone nearby in range and you are not just able to write sentences but to draw pictures as well.  This is where they got the Pictochat name, Picto meaning drawing and chat meaning.. well guess.

Will Pictochat be online?

Yes, with a couple of games like Mario Kart DS!  But personally, you won't find me chatting online but using Mario Kart DS online!

How does it work?

That picture above is a basic diagram of what's on the two screens when you use Pictochat. The bottom screen has a keyboard, a drawing  area, tools at the left side and options to send, delete and paste.  To send, you draw or type something and hit send to send it to someone if they are playing at the same time as you.  You can paste the previous picture by hitting the copy button on the right.  The left has arrows for viewing all messages, an eraser tool and options to change line thickness.  It's quite a sophisticated applet!

Are there downsides for it's online use?

There are, admittedly, some problems for using Pictochat online.  These include:

As usual there may be fear that young people get caught up in these activities, but these are in all chat rooms and using services like AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger etc.  My only concern is that Pictochat is totally unmoderated!  No staff view the sent messages and control behaviour using the service.   But this is a problem with AOL Instant Messenger, MSN messenger, Yahoo Messenger etc.  And hey, maybe Nintendo has thought about this after all!

FAQ

What is Pictochat?

See the first section.

Is Pictochat moderated or messages viewed before they arrive at someone else's DS?

Not at all.

Is it currently online?

No, the use of Pictochat online isn't here yet.

Have you got any questions?

Yes, plenty.

Questions

Here are my personal concerns about using Pictochat online.  Please feel free to e-mail any more questions.

Two people with identical names

The name you use is Pictochat is determined by the options when you start your Nintendo DS console.  But, there is no limit to what name you can use.  So what if two people, use the name, say, Bob Smith and then decide to chat to each other using Pictochat.  What happens?   How do you know one Bob Smith from the other Bob Smith?  or even worse, all sixteen people in one chat room have the name Bob Smith?  Then what happens?  I know, sixteen people with the name Bob Smith call themselves Bob Smith and decide to all meet in one chat room to talk, but what does happen?  That's my only concern.