April 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Using Nintendo Streetpass in your Library

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Nintendo’s StreetPass is a transmission device within the 3DS and 2DS systems. When players pass each other on the street, their devices collect minimal personal data, and the players can then use that data to unlock promotions on their devices, access new features in games that they own, and obtain the Miis of users who walk past them. Players cannot communicate with StreetPassed Miis on a personal level unless they have passed each other three times, and even then they are limited to 16 characters and a profanity filter.

Nintendo’s website lists the shared data as follows: country, area, whether the person prefers dogs or cats, hobby (selected from a list), dream (selected from a list), Mii information (name, face, gender, color, height, weight), Mii’s birthday (if it has been set), creator (if “open to public” is selected), the most recently played software, and a personalized greeting, up to 16 characters (passed through a profanity filter).

Best of all, StreetPass does not require WiFi; an internal signal comes equipped in each system.

StreetPass as 21st Century Outreach Tool
This past December, I ran a gaming workshop for my member libraries, which included the purchase of a 3DS XL and the creation of a kit for my member libraries to borrow. The kit includes two devices (3DS XL and 2DS) and two popular group games: Mario Kart 7 and Mario Party: Island Tour.

Unfortunately, there was not much action with the kit; however, I had slowly become obsessed with my own personal StreetPassing (200 and counting!), inspiring me to think about what could be done with the stagnant devices. In June, I created a Mii on each one and began recruiting staff members to carry around the devices in order to acquire passes.

When a library Mii interacts with another Mii, the greeting “www.flls.org/sp” is generated. This specific URL directs StreetPass users to a unique page on our library’s website that can only be accessed by someone who received it from StreetPass. From there, I can track the number of visits to our website that have resulted from a StreetPass (or from reading this article). As of the end of July, the Finger Lakes Library Miis had reached 99 unique StreetPassers with an average of 14 visits with eight-minute view times—all since the program launched on June 20.

This exclusive form of outreach targets gamers directly and encourages connections to the library in an unconventional way. It also provides a talking point outside the library walls. One of my staff members reported that a gaming patron noticed her holding a 3DS and instantly wanted to know more about the website and how she could StreetPass at the library.

Programming With StreetPass
Before offering a StreetPass program, it is a good idea to become familiar with the software. Nintendo 3DS and 2DS systems have the exact same software, but the 2DS cannot be viewed in 3-D mode. All games made for the 3DS or Original DS can be played on both the 2DS and 3DS. If your library cannot afford a Nintendo 3DS ($169.99-$199.99) or 2DS ($129.99), talk to patrons who are carrying them. In my experience as a librarian and gamer, gamers are more than happy to show off their latest device.

Out of the box, the 3DS or 2DS comes with two StreetPass games: Puzzle Swap and Find Mii. Puzzle Swap allows players to literally swap pieces with the StreetPassed Mii to complete puzzles. Find Mii is a turn-based role-playing mini game where StreetPassed Miis can defeat monsters and unlock treasure.

There are four additional StreetPass-exclusive games sold separately through Nintendo’s eShop: Mii Force, an interactive space adventure; Flower Town, a surreal gardening experience; Warrior’s Way, in which users play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to battle opponents; and Monster Manor, in which players collect Tetris–style pieces to find the way out of a haunted house. Avid StreetPassers will have these extra games and will be looking for exclusive content from other players. Bundled, they are $15 and well worth it.

Some Nintendo 3DS cartridge-based games support StreetPass and have unlockable content only available through StreetPassing. These games are ideal for circulating gaming collections. If you purchase a system, it is important to keep your StreetPass Mii updated. So get out there and collect those rare puzzle pieces and funky hats.

StreetPass Resources
Finger Lakes Library System StreetPass Zone
GameFAQs StreetPass Mii Plaza
How To StreetPass Like a Champ
Official Nintendo StreetPass Resource
StreetPass Network

Programming ideas:
• Family Game Night—Bring your 3DS or 2DS to get some StreetPasses.
• StreetPass Meet-up—Advertise a specific day to have gamers come in to get StreetPasses and meet other gamers.
International Games Day—Yearly in November.
• StreetPass Zone—Nintendo’s official Nintendo Zone can be tricky to log into, but advertising your library as a StreetPass Zone can encourage users to bring their devices to the library during regular visits and programs.

Great 3DS games with StreetPass features to have in your juvenile or YA collection:
• The Amazing Spider-Man
• Angry Birds Trilogy
• Animal Crossing: New Leaf
• Brain Age Concentration Training
• Cars 2
• Crosswords Plus
• Disney Planes
• Fire Emblem Awakening
• Frogger 3D
• Harvest Moon 3D: The Tale of Two Towns
• Kid Icarus: Uprising
• Kingdom Hearts 3D
• Kirby Triple Deluxe
• Mario Kart 7
• Mario Party: Island Tour
• New Super Mario Bros. 2
• Rayman Origins
• Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
• The Sims 3
• Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
• Sonic Generations
• Super Mario 3D Land

Amanda Schiavulli (SKA VOO LEE) has been the Education and Outreach Librarian at the Finger Lakes Library System since 2012. Amanda also moonlights at her local Gamestop where she actively infuses videogames with literacy with customers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.