This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

My DS: Keeping Subway Time Productive And Less Creepy

I love my My DS, but probably for reasons not as common to the average suburban user.

My brother owns, without question, every gaming system on the planet. I am sure there are some I don’t know about, but his room looks like GameStop. He is back home in California, burbin’ it up, while I am a city dweller. He owns both a PSP and a DS and brings either one to family functions and when dragged to the mall by our mother, as a means of  avoiding human contact. I doubt he uses it to interact with other gamers or as a conversation starter. It’s basically a portable isolation device and this is a value we both appreciate, but for different reasons.

I ride the subway, on average, four to seven times a day. That’s a lot of tube time where I am vulnerable to three of my most hated states of being: wasting time, boredom and  vulnerability to pervs. In comes my DS and, like magic, I am simultaneously combating all three to a degree never possible with my smartphone, ipod or random reading material.

Now obviously, hardcore pervs will be hardcore pervs. They don’t care if you have headphones on, are carrying five heavy bags from Trader Joe’s, cursing softly to yourself, or frantically trying not to miss a train. They will zero in on a poor unsuspecting lass and do their best to distract her just enough to get their jollies off in whatever special way that works for them.

Thankfully, your average trench coat vibin’ gent doesn’t have the dedication required to overcome the obvious distraction that my DS is to me. There I am, earplugs tightly molded to my eardrums, happily and unsexily waving my stylus around as I navigate the levels through My French Coach, probably the most unsexy game over made.

When I was just listening to music, my first attempt to drown out lechery, I was still exposed to visual assaults. The smartphone is not so good as an isolation tool as it is pretty damn cool and invites regular people, not just pervs, to comment on it and disrupt my bubble of solitude. Books and magazines occasionally work but the quality of use is lowered. I can’t focus very well on reading because I’m so aware of everyone around me. I’m looking at shoes, I’m avoiding pervs, it’s all so visually overwhelming.

But ah, the DS! It commands 100% of my attention. Et j’adore pratiquer le français tout le temps! My French Coach, along with games, comes with built in flashcard sets, a dictionary, cultural guide and more. It’s already saving me tons of bag space – I no longer need to lug around my paper versions of these things.

I would never call myself a true gamer. I probably play real video games (although arguably My French Coach is a game and I use that every day) less than once a month. My favorite games is still Super Mario Bros. – the old one.  8-bit still works for me, although Mario Galaxy is pretty amazing. The graphics are amazing and the levels are a lot of fun. I don’t even own a gaming system although I may get a Wii so that I can play more Mario Galaxy, Guitar Hero and interact with my brother back at home.

Or I may just stock up on other ubisoft language titles for my DS and continue having ultra productive subway rides, free (for now) of Peepers McBoner and variations of that specialness.

1 comment

  • Tina Russell

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Tina Russell

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