I was stuck. I was playing a DS game called Trace Memory, a not particularly difficult adventure game, but here I was, well and truly stuck. I had a rubber stamp on one screen and a piece of paper on the other. Clearly I had to use the stamp on the paper, but I couldn’t figure out how. Fed up and frustrated, I started to put the DS away and then it dawned on me – closing the DS brought the two screens together and applied the stamp to the paper. When I reopened the case, the puzzle was solved.

And this is why so many people consider the DS to an invaluable part of their gaming lives. It gives us a tactile way to interact with the game world on the other side of the screen and invites us to play in ways that other platforms simply can’t. Blow on the microphone to snuff out a candle. Mark key locations on a map by drawing on it. Practice your Japanese by recording your voice and playing it back. The DS doesn’t completely remove the wall between player and game, but it does make it a lot easier to peek over it.

This week’s issue celebrates the Nintendo DS and its unique impact on our lives. I’ll be using mine tonight to practice my kanji. I’m pretty terrible.

Share and enjoy,
Susan Arendt

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