Thursday, December 30, 2010

Playing Games Online

Note:This is actually an old draft from 2007 that I never published. The links are still active, but my home online officially is

One of the reasons why I love my Xbox and Xbox 360 is the ease of getting online to play Xbox-Live enabled games. One of the reasons why I hate my Xbox and Xbox 360 is the ease of getting online to play Xbox-Live enabled games.

While online gaming isn't new to those who have played games on a networked PC, Microsoft's consoles brought online gaming to the masses. Now anyone with a broadband connection and $50 can get online and play games in their living room instead of hunched over a monitor. This great success is tempered by a pretty huge liability.

There are a lot of people online who take great pleasure in ruining your online experience. Using the Cloak of Anonymity the internet provides, people are free to put their manners on hold. For example, while I don't have a problem with friendly trash talking, I have no desire to hear in colorful detail how you just beat me. Racists feel especially empowered, I ran into one during the Halo 3 Beta with a gamertag "I don't like Asians". Then there are players who take advantage of glitches in games to inflate their stats. Smackdown VS Raw 2007 is an excellent example of this. Several moves in the game are 99% unblockable so that if you're matched up against someone with a character with any of these moves, they will spam you with the one move until you are unable to continue.

My personal favorite though, underage kids who get online and just act ignorant. Xbox Live is for those 13 and over. A while back when I played a lot of Project Gotham 2 online, one kid was being very very rude. Some of the other racers told him to cut it out and the kid started yelling. Then the kid's mother gets on and tries to tell us to stop picking on him. Every one of us basically told her that 1) she should pay attention to her son because he was acting a fool and 2) Xbox Live is not for kids and he shouldn't be here.

Now that I am done griping, let me get to the good part.

There are forums online where you could meet up with people who want to play games the right way. The forums that I am familiar with cater to older gamers, but if you go to you will find links to forums that may fit you.

If you're a more mature gamer try these sites:
  • Grown-Up Gamers - The first site I found. It's a small group, but very friendly and tight-knit.
  • Geezer Gamers - The site design is very very good and the group has the occasional meet and greet where you can put the face to the gamertag
  • 2old2play - I just joined this site because I read about it on It has tons of features, the only drawback, if you want to call it that, is that users should be 25 or older.
These sites provide a wide range of features for all gamers:
  • Gamertag Database - You can register your gamertag here and search for other gamers
  • Xbox Users Group - Very similar to the Gamertag Database but with a slew of additional features

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

World of Warcraft with Microsoft Kinect

Monday, December 13, 2010

Who is he and what is he to you?

There is an excellent interview on BitMOB about the HipHopGamer conducted by Dennis Scimeca. I have seen him in person at the PAX East Gamers Gone Wild party last year and wondered to myself who is this guy? I went to his website and learned a little and then saw an interview he did with financial analyst Michael Pacther over the summer for GameTrailers. You couldn't pick two more different people to put together for an interview, but it was interesting and fun. What they both have in common is a genuine passion for games.

What has me troubled are some of the comments that follow the BitMOB piece. I am not saying that people should universally have love for HipHopGamer and what he's trying to do. But the tone of some of the comments are disturbing. Just because he is passionate about gaming doesn't mean he is a paid shill. To the best of my knowledge, he has never lied to someone about a product. If people have a problem with deception in game scores, there are plenty of other targets these commenters can take aim at. In terms of being a distraction at industry events; I have never been to an E3 but I can safely assume that one man and his entourage can't be the biggest distractions at those events.

What also bothers me is the sense of elitism is the replies. Calling someone a blight or an ass-clown is strong stuff. You may not like how he networks with industry people, but that's between him and those people. You may not like his methods but he is as passionate as the next gamer. You may not think he is informing gamers, I disagree. He is informing gamers, just not gamers like you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jack is Back: You Don't Know Jack in 2011 for the PS3

This makes me really happy! It will be so much better sitting around the living room playing this instead of being hunched over a computer. Hopefully it will be Playstation Network Compatible? Sweet!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Top 10 Celebrities You Wouldn't Believe Had Their Own Video Games | SPIKE

The Top 10 Celebrities You Wouldn't Believe Had Their Own Video Games | SPIKE

This is an interesting list but Spielberg doesn't count since he helped develop games and didn't appear in them. The New Kids on the Block, yes those guys, had a game that wasn't even released. The Aerosmith Revolution X shooter should have been listed. And Gallagher the Video Game? Really?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

PlayStation Phone 'Zeus Z1' - Too little too late?

PlayStation Phone 'Zeus Z1' caught on video again, this time you can actually see it (update) -- Engadget

Engadget has video of a playstation phone prototype. Yay, I guess. Is the market asking for this? Between iPhones and DSes I don't see a compelling reason to pick up a PSP. If this were the PSP2, that would be a different story.

The only thing that would make this interesting is if carriers would give away phones to get people to sign up for service. Sony probably won't give up that hardware money though. I am pretty sure that you can't get an iPhone for free with a plan, but this latest version of the PSP is no iPhone.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Case against Xbox modder dropped - News at GameSpot

Case against Xbox modder dropped - News at GameSpot

Judging from the opening of this trial I can't say I am surprised the case was dropped. I think this would be a different story if there was proof of pirating software as in other case in addition to doing the modification.

OnLive begins all you can eat, $10 subscription

OnLive begins all you can eat, $10 subscription

This is something I could get behind, especially if they get more PC exclusives like Civilization V or the superior version of Dragon Age on PC also. I could even see myself demoing games that I would eventually buy on my Xbox since I wouldn't have to wait for a download.