3DS Forum

Topic: Parental Controls

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ManicMommy

1. Posted:

My daughter has been asking for a 3DS since release but I waited to see what would happen (bugs, hiccups, typical stuff). Santa brought them for my niece and nephew but we have different "parenting styles" so my 8yo nephew was watching some questionable videos and I put my foot down about the whole thing. My daughter is older now (10) and we've hit a wall because the games that she wants for Christmas (Pokemon X and Y) won't work on her DS. If we upgrade, what EXACTLY does she have the potential to access?

I understand that parents should teach their children not to post personal information and actually parent. That's why I'm here. My daughter is highly intelligent but she doesn't have the same sort of self-preservation instinct that other people have (doesn't tell you that she's in pain, walks into things, etc.) and she has a knack for computers. She's worked around every parental control program for the PC, so we had to take the wireless hardware out of her system. I'm sure that she's building out from paperclips or something now.

So, what can this device do and how do the parental controls work and has anyone been able to get around those controls?

Any info that you have would be appreciated. I'm pretty sure that she's going to do something great in the future if I can just keep her from getting abducted.

MM

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Cipher

2. Posted:

First and foremost, Parental Controls on Nintendo 3DS are hidden behind a 4-digit PIN and a secret answer (you can choose from a number of questions). Now for the Parental Controls themselves:

  • You can set a limit to game's age ratings (e.g. picking ESRB E10+ will prevent playing of games rated ESRB T or ESRB M).
  • You can restrict use of Nintendo eShop and the Internet Browser.
  • You can also prevent the use of 3D imagery, the sharing of content including images, audio clips, videos and long text data.
  • You can restrict all online communication through gameplay.
  • You can restrict the use of StreetPass, Friend List registration, and DS Download Play.
  • You can restrict the viewing of distributed videos to only those suitable for all ages (this doesn't apply to videos downloaded from Nintendo eShop as these do carry age ratings).

I've just pulled all this from the Parental Controls menu, so I can't vouch for it in action.

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GuSolarFlare

3. Posted:

since I'm a young adult(no child I'm too young, in my opinion, to have one) I never used it but I'm almost sure the only way to workaround the parental controls is to discover the password... but don't worry too much the 3DS has the worst internet browser(SOOOOOOO SLOW and can't play videos at all) and the only questionable content in a 3DS game is usually violence(and maybe cursing) but games with those things are rated M and aren't made directly by Nintendo so it's easy to know what to avoid and lately Nintendo blocked completely the only Personal Message system the 3DS had...
but don't rest easy, young girls are hellish creatures when they want to break rules they are ready to destroy their own lives if they think it's what a girl at their age must do... <<<I have a younger sister, she went from the personification of perfection to a stupid rebel filled with teen angst in a matter of months..

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Gioku

4. Posted:

As far as I know, you can turn off the Internet Browser or Internet Functions completely, and also the StreetPass function (although, there's really nothing bad that could possibly be sent through StreetPass, so that one's fine to leave on), and you can restrict games of certain ESRB ratings (like, if you wanted to block M rated games, for instance). This doesn't effect DS games, though; only 3DS games have the rating programmed into them. There might be more, but that's all I remember ATM. Hope that helps! :)

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WaLzgi

5. Posted:

You can find all answers for parental controls in the site below:

http://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/landing/p...

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iphys

6. Posted:

There's a way to get around the parental controls now without knowing the password or calling up Nintendo. If your daughter is savvy she'll probably discover it. But being as Nintendo has crippled Swapnote, there's really little chance of your daughter sharing personal information on a 3DS. Nintendo is safer than safe can be.

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Turnip

7. Posted:

I bought a used Japanese 3DS not too long ago, and upon receiving it I discovered that the parental controls were activated.
I was able to discover a way to get around and disable the parental controls within a matter of minutes.

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Knubbsal

8. Posted:

You can just not connect the 3DS to the internet. And don't share your wireless key with your kids. You can update the 3DS yourself and then delete the connection again afterwards. I also believe a 10 year old should be old enough to have a conversation with about things that can happen when you share too much information with strangers over the internet, but of course I don't know your situation. At least if your child works her way around security all the time, it's better to explain why you're having the security in place. Just adding parental control isn't going to help otherwise, since she'll just find a way around it again.

ps: If you're getting Pokemon X/Y, remember to go to the eshop at least once to download a patch for the game, since it has a bug that can freeze your game to a point where you have to start all over again from the beginning.

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Cyb3Rnite

9. Posted:

GuSilverFlame wrote:

I have a younger sister, she went from the personification of perfection to a stupid rebel filled with teen angst in a matter of months..

That feel bro, I know it.
Really, though, she doesn't sound like the type of girl to play ridiculously masculine super violent games. Having just turned 15, the whole year I spent with my 3DS, not once have I encountered anything innapropriate for kids around 10, except maybe for some ecchi games (DoA and Senran Kagura come to mind), but those have Teen ratings at the least and can be blocked if needed.

Your daughter reminds me a lot of myself when I was 10, but you never know how long a simple 4-digit pin goes. I was almost never restriced as a child, only during special occcasions, and I'm pretty sure I turned out okay. Heck, look at me, I'm even using proper grammar and everything. So don't worry. That 3DS is the least of your problems. ;)

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theblackdragon

10. Posted:

@Knubbsai: That would only work if she was prohibited from bringing the 3DS along with her outside of the home — and also if the neighbors' internet was properly secured, and no one decided to run a hotspot off their phone while in the home.

@Cyb3Rnite: No offense, but the OP isn't asking about you. They're concerned with their own child's safety in this world where perverts hook up with children through Swapnote and get the whole service shut down. It's great that you turned out unscathed, though.

@ManicMommy: If you're planning to password-lock the system and you're serious about keeping your kid on internet-access lockdown, my advice would be to only allow her to play while at home or properly supervised (don't let her take it out to school or anyplace she could potentially get an unhindered wireless signal), and change the PIN every so often. There are tools out there to get past the PIN lock already (google them if you're curious, please don't link any here guys), and if she sounds mature enough over the phone Nintendo may accidentally be kind enough to do it for her (it preys off the idea that the parent or guardian may have genuinely forgotten the PIN and need access to the system again).

It really sucks that creepers out there can potentially ruin the simple fun of playing a doggone video game :( Best of luck to you, whatever you decide.

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ManicMommy

11. Posted:

Thankfully she sounds like a 6 year old on the phone. We have had extensive talks about why you can't share personal information and what can happen. My husband is a programmer and former military, I'm working on my master's to be a family life educator. We're not the kind of parents that don't pay attention, we're just not raising the average child. When she was 6 she exploited the neighbors' wireless by going through a backdoor on a system with a new os that he was tinkering with. Thankfully the neighbor was my husband's geeky friend and we were able to catch it quickly. I'm not trying to brag but it is difficult for most people to understand what we're working with. She did that one morning so that she could go to the iCarly website for a promotion that she read on her Happy Meal box because she was sure that she would win. It's hard to explain the impulsiveness and immaturity of a young child with the brain to understand anything that she reads and the ability to recall minute details from a conversation 3 years ago.

My primary concern is whether the device will make itself known when it's on and allow any roaming pervert with a 3DS or a laptop with a simulator to know that she's playing in the area. Will she be sending out a signal as we're driving to grandma's house or walking through the grocery store? If someone approached her and said "Are you <username>?" I'm not confident that she would sense danger. She doesn't get the creeped out feeling that other people have and she might use that big brain to find a way to play with her new "friend."

ManicMommy

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Gioku

12. Posted:

Hmm... well, while playing Pokémon Y, I had someone come over and ask me if a username was mine (which it was), but it was a girl I knew who was a few years younger than me. So it is potentially possible to do something like that if you're playing the same game nearby (with certain games).

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GuSolarFlare

13. Posted:

ManicMommy wrote:

My primary concern is whether the device will make itself known when it's on and allow any roaming pervert with a 3DS or a laptop with a simulator to know that she's playing in the area. Will she be sending out a signal as we're driving to grandma's house or walking through the grocery store? If someone approached her and said "Are you <username>?" I'm not confident that she would sense danger.

yes they can connect(I don't know if parental controls block it but probably do) and come personally asking if she's the "Mii name here" but only if streetpass is activated as long you deactivate streetpass and don't allow her to use the PC tools that unlock the parental control on the 3DS it's all safe.

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Gioku

14. Posted:

@GuSilverFlame: That and, as I mentioned above, in the Passersby section on the PSS in Pokémon X & Y you can see the names of those playing nearby.

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GuSolarFlare

15. Posted:

@Gioku what!?!?! it doesn't count as streetpass?(sorry I still don't have Pokémon X/Y....)

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Gioku

16. Posted:

@GuSilverFlame: If you've got StreetPass turned on then you get that, too... but StreetPass doesn't really do much in X & Y. You just get (very few) Pokémiles. But yeah; you can see who's playing nearby (and challenge them to a battle, or trade, etc.).

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ManicMommy

17. Posted:

That sounds like a deal breaker to me. Can anyone else confirm this? She wants it specifically for X and Y.

ManicMommy

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GuSolarFlare

18. Posted:

@Gioku Pokémon was always intended to have focus on multiplayer features(only trading and batling at first) so I think it'll become more and more social as the time passes... I sure hope those pervs don't mess with a game that made so many childhood memories to me, all those countless battles, meeting new kids at school and even before saying a word picking the gameboys and the link cable to start a match and the card battles too... but this thread is about Parental Controls so I'll stop talking about my childhood playing Pokémon...

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Tobias95

19. Posted:

She dosnt need to have streetpass activated for pokemon y

I am from Norway. Pleas have in mind my english might not be the best. but I am trying ;)

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Gioku

20. Posted:

@ManicMommy: Although I don't want to condemn the game for you, there's also the "game Chat" function that could potentially allow you to voice chat with random people over the internet... I turned it off, though, because the idea just really weirds me out... If you think your daughter would be able to just easily get around parental controls like that, though, that is an issue... Hopefully she can be given some sort of trust over the matter, though? That could be some part of the deal over getting it, is that she has to follow the parental controls to get to keep it? Because Pokémon X & Y is a truly amazing game; I'd hate to see someone who wants it have to miss out on it.

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