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XBox (Games) Entertainment Games

Gaming With An Opponent Who's 'Over There'? 40

Posted by simoniker
from the boxen-do-the-talkin' dept.
Thanks to the New York Times for their article discussing the US military's efforts to connect overseas personnel and their families via Xbox Live. This story, which expands on previous coverage of the scheme, notes: "For family members, playing video games with their relatives in the military stationed abroad brings a sense of familiarity to the interaction", and a spokesperson for Xbox Live is quoted as saying: "We're out there making sure that things are working for them... there's nothing better than having a person who can actually experience connecting to Germany or from Kuwait back with his family member or one of their best friends. It's great because they become wonderful advocates for Xbox."
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Gaming With An Opponent Who's 'Over There'?

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  • XBox? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cave Dweller (470644)
    Umm, I don't see how playing Halo against your family can replace simply talking to them on the phone (or better, video conferencing -- which would be cheaper than mass-ordering XBoxes).

    But then again, what do I know?
    • Re:XBox? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dark Nexus (172808) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @08:48AM (#7984309)
      Replace? I don't think it can.

      But it can add variety. I mean, talk on the phone with them one day, play a game with them the next day.

      Think about what any gamer will do with an old friend they haven't seen in awhile. They'll talk for a bit, then sit down and play *insert current game closest to what you used to play with that friend* with (or against) them (though probably continue chatting while doing it).

      It just adds another level of interaction that can be nice when you're already able to talk to them on the phone. I mean, there's only so much catching up and small talk you can do.
      • Yeah, you're probably right. Think of the possibilities -- they can talk _today_ about the games they played _yesterday_. ;)
    • Umm, I don't see how playing Halo against your family can replace simply talking to them on the phone

      Well with all Xbox Live games you talk directly to the other players using the rather funky head set you get when you sign up (and the new inbuilt dashboard I gather, which I've not used [I'm not sure if it's been rolled out yet]).

      It's actually cheaper to by an xbox do do this too it's just a shame there is not camera for the xbox as there is for the PS2 (at least there isn't as far as I'm aware).
      • * It's actually cheaper to by an xbox to do this too

        (By which I mean cheaper than buying a PC for VoIP, and ultimately cheaper than lots of long distance phone calls.)
      • The chat feature on the dashboard was rolled out in November, if I remember correctly. And, it works pretty nice, and saves on the long distance bills at the same time.
    • Sure, talking on the phone is great. But then again interacting with family...doing something recreational with them, is invaluable. Even when you are just separated by a hundred miles, it is great fun. Check out Penny Arcades post on this very thing the other day: http://www.penny-arcade.com/news.php3?date=2004-01 -15
    • And why Xbox, can't the same thing be done with the PC that most people have already?
      • Re:XBox? (Score:2, Informative)

        Then the questions come up, can both partie's computers handle the game, do you have voice communication set up, will the game run reliably on both machines even though one has the VIA chipset with the Radeon card that needs a BIOS update to run well.

        ... Unless they're both macs, in which case you'll have stable machines but less games.
      • Why the Xbox? Less equipment to haul around for troops in the field, less potential issues to fix, cheaper. PC's are bigger than Xbox's. Big as an Xbox is, a PC still has more stuff to lug around, which is more of an issue for the troops than their families back home - remember, they'll have to pack the Xbox's up to bring back with the troops, or to relocate to another area of operation with the troops. Also, with the Xbox, you know everybody can run the games, you know they'll be compatible with the onli
  • Cool Idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzybunny (112938) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @08:37AM (#7984255) Homepage Journal
    ...they could play America's Army together.

    Seriously though, I've made some good friends through online games (hey, we're coming to xxx, want to get beers?) I noticed that I don't really feel a sense of separation from friends if I have the possibility of using a combination of email, phone, postcards, games, letters, chat, cu-seeme, whatever.

    In fact, I enjoy staying in touch with people via short emails more than big massive long letters every odd week--those sort of drive home the point that no, you can't just pop down to the pub with them after work.

    That said, something like Xbox live shouldn't replace any means of communication between families, but if they're separated anyway, hey, why not?
  • by ajagci (737734) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @08:59AM (#7984364)
    The family that frags together, stays together.

    And remember: Uncle Sam is telling you that only a genuine Microsoft Xbox will do.
  • Why should it make a difference what someone's sexual preference is?

    Oh, wait...
  • It's great because they become wonderful advocates for Xbox.

    How un-Redmond of them to admit in the statement that their interest is in making these people Xbox buyers.
    • Yet an amazingly...poor choice of words, don't you think?

      I know it's a marketing scheme (nothing MS does isn't), but when a spokesman says "It's great because they become wonderful advocates for Xbox" when he could be talking about the next American casualaty and his or her family it borders on being chilling, or almost...callous. I realize the quote may be out of context, but, damn, it sounds like they are more concerned with selling units than actually using the technology they have put in these folks'

  • And while this would be great for me, I've already hacked my Xbox. :p
  • Hey, the connection between online shooters and a 3D IRC has been there since Quake.

    My brother and I used to save on long distance calls by meeting up on Phantasy Star Online.
  • Certain games may not work so well because of ping/latency issues.
  • Maybe... (Score:1, Troll)

    by gothrus (706341)
    Next time our soldiers should stay home and play Halo against the Iraqi soldiers "over there" and the loser of the tournament has to pay Haliburton and the other defense contractors 87 billions dollars. Then no one dies and the corporations who push for these wars get the money they so desperately need.
  • "When you care enough to frag your family."
    "I missile you."
  • Wouldn't lag be a problem for the gaming aspect of this? Iraq is pretty far away from the US...
    • by iainl (136759)
      It might be a problem on some games, but I've been playing Midtown Madness 3 and Project Gotham 2 against US people from here in the UK, while chatting with them over the voice feature (probably the most important part of the whole exercise, in any case) without any big problems.
      • Yeah, but there's still a hard line to the UK. Is there a wired internet connection to Iraq, or is it a sattelite connection? I know someone who's on a sattelite connection in Tanzania, and they have about 5 seconds of lag from my computer.
  • I wonder if they play Counter-Strike, and if so, who are the terrorists?
  • It's great because they become wonderful advocates for Xbox.
    Isn't it nice of M$ to admit the reason they think it's great is because it get's more marketing for the Xbox?
  • hah.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Suppafly (179830) <.slashdot. .at. .suppafly.net.> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @08:08PM (#7992668)
    So you get to kill your loved in iraq using your xbox just days before finding out they were really killed in iraq

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