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I think real names would help immensely. I know a lot of people like the anonymity of the nick, but we all know of the John Gabriel theory of internet anonymity.

Without the anonymity, you are tied back to "real life," and therefore can't behave like an ass. Well, you CAN behave like an ass, but there are instant real world repercussions for doing so.


i havent played XBL, so i will refer to WoW. The friends of friends thing works to an extent (like ICQ), but i know that i have ppl on my friends list that i added cuz we had a group that wasnt awful, and then they have been awful at a later date. I wouldnt want a friend to go thru my list, be referred to this person, and then have a bad time, cuz then i look bad. So then i was thinking, maybe you could review/rank people you play with - but then, someone gets kicked and pwns everyone's rating. Or maybe accomplishments (successful run, unsuccessful?) I dont know. Cuz people sure are jerks.
I try to stay w/in my guild, just because USUALLY you arent rude to your guildies (i am in a large guild cuz i couldnt find people to do stuff with).
It really is problematic tho, you can spend time putting a group together, and then have one person act like a jerk.
The rating system is all i can think of - so that you review and are reviewed. But again, i am concerned by idiots ruining people's reviews - and then i am sure when people sell their accounts (wait, that doesnt really happen, right *eyeroll*) you'll end up buying rating... it's problematic.


>Is there anything here that Xbox Live or Playstation Home can gracefully co-opt?

You can imagine there are lots of good discussions about this happing inside both companies right now :-)

Oh, and how come you aren't playing Scrabulous!? Enjoy it while you can because I'm sure hasbro is going to stomp them at some point.


GuildCafe is considering implementing a sort of online gaming CV/resume, which players can look at to see another player's experience and whether others recommend this player (to group with or whatever).

I use the GuildCafe Facebook app to display my Guild Wars characters, but it's never been anything but something cool (albeit nerdy) on my profile.

I find groups either in-game or through friends I know online or IRL. And yeah, it's difficult to co-ordinate playing times so that you have a bunch of cool, fun people to play with, since time zones and others' schedules make meeting up difficult at times.

Troy Goodfellow

Funny. I just posted a comment today about how Facebook was driving me crazy with all the extra apps.


I already have this happening a bit on Xbox Live because of the people I play with. About 2 years ago I started frequenting Gamerswithjobs.com and was amazed at how cordial everyone was in the forums! They had a major impact on my choice to buy a 360 because I knew I'd have a fun and friendly group of people to play with right away.

Now that I've had my 360 for a few months, my friend list has a few people on it that I met via friends on Xbox Live in games like Carcassonne and Catan. So I'd definitely have to agree with you that a friend of a friend kinda function on home or XBL would be a great addition.


The key to building a trust network is going to be the ability to track someone's trustworthiness around different games, sites, etc. What happens if you can see WoW players on FB, but LotRO only connects to MySpace and XBL to MSN? There are efforts underway to bridge the gaps between social networks, but it's an uphill battle.

OTOH, if you were able to track people across all these networks, how would we balance trustworthiness/disclosure against privacy? A panoptic meta-´┐Żber-social-net would probably help to reduce jerky play, but it would make us all that much more stalkable, as well.


First, the iTunes of games
Then, the YouTube of games.
Now, the Facebook of games.

(and we still dont have the first one)


Orkut actually seems to be the social network of choice for almost all the Indians I've met in grad school, so it's not just Brazilians anymore. (Data mentioned on this blog backs up my anecdotal observation. :) )


Wizards of the Coast is actually attempting a similar idea, sort of a MySpace for tabletop gamers, called Gleemax. The basic idea is that their traditional web forums are expanded by giving each member a personal profile and blog space, plus the search tools to find other tabletop gamers in your area, size them up, and potentially meet up for a few games. Gleemax isn't open yet (I think it's in closed beta?), but the merging of social networking with gaming makes it worth watching for.

Of course, there is a fundamental, functional difference between a networking site for tabletop games and another for online games: there's no rush in looking for people to play cards with if you're only going to meet up in a day or two, but if you're looking for a new Tank, you probably need him/her right now.

So I think that, for an LFG-type social networking site to be successful, the networking will either have to be integrated into the game by devs, or otherwise the third-party site will have to be really, REALLY streamlined. But I do think this kind of thing will become the industry norm some day, and a site like Gleemax sounds like a step in that direction.


Pretty nice ideas, but there have been numerous times where a friend of a friend has been someone I hated. In fact, very many times I don't get along with the friends of my friends.

I can, however, recommend Shadowrun when it comes to the sorts of people playing it. I can only imagine that all the jerks spend their time playing Halo and Gears of War, leaving Shadowrun to a community where the worst people to play with are the ones who DON'T talk.

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