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

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