Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wi-Fi? Why me?

I love video games, although, I wouldn't classify myself as a hard-core gamer, even though I have plenty of systems. (I still have yet to complete Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.) However, I am pretty addicted to my newest handheld device, the Nintendo DS.

I bought the DS about a year ago in order to play Pokemon Diamond. I've since bought a few other games for it, and now it goes almost everyone I do. (Especially class.) My most recent purchase was the next installment in the Pokemon franchise, Pokemon Platinum.

Now if you have never played a Pokemon game, the simplest way to describe it would be to say it is a role playing game in which you take on the role of a kid who travels around collecting and battling Pokemon. There is a storyline weaved in the background, but that is the basic tried and true gameplay setup of Pokemon games since the original Red and Blue. You are given a starting Pokemon, and use it to battle and capture others.

Since I'm a veteran of quite a few Pokemon games, I really had hoped to play this new game with a team of Pokemon of my choosing. I had all the baby Pokemon ready to trade on my Diamond game, when I realized that without a second DS, I couldn't trade anything. (Both games have to be on at the same time to trade.)

I tried to think of a solution to this predicament. The first thing that came to me was simple: ask someone online to breed up a batch of Pokemon for me and trade them to me via the Wi-Fi connection. I found a couple of generous souls who were willing to help me out, and so all that was left to do was to find a Wi-Fi spot. Being on a campus, there were several. So I made my way over to the library so I could pick up their Wi-Fi signal, and communicate with these other Pokemon trainers via the library computers.

Unfortunately, that plan went awry. My little DS wouldn't pick up their Wi-Fi signal. I did some research and found out what the Wi-Fi antennae looked like, and managed to track them down. I'm sure many people gave me odd looks as I wandered down the corridors of the library scouring the ceiling for the elusive white antennae, DS in hand. But even as I stood directly underneath one of the antennae, the signal was still not being received by my game system.

Having given up on the school system (I believe it was password protected), I planned my next move: Mountain Dew Girl and I would go to Panera Bread with her laptop and my DS. (They had free Wi-Fi!) I could talk with the trainers via the laptop, and then we could set up to trade with our DS games.

However, this plan, too, did not fare so well in the long run. I was able to connect to Panera's Wi-Fi connection, but the signal was far too weak to maintain any sort of connection. Not to mention, after about an hour of sitting in the booth with two cups of condensation-covered lemonades, only one person had bothered to reply to my posts for assistance. When the connection didn't even work, we decided to call it a day.

But then I remembered that Mountain Dew Girl's roommate had a DS. I realized I could just use her DS to play both of my games at that same time and trade the critters to myself. And wouldn't you know, that worked perfectly? (And it only took about 15 minutes, too!)

And as I sat in bed that night, finally playing my video game with the coveted Pokemon, I wondered why I hadn't just thought of that earlier instead of messing around for several hours with ridiculous Wi-Fi connections?


Why me, indeed...

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