Black Box Flight Recorder

Do you remember a heavy duty black box that used to sit below your TV? It was a games console like any other, without much hope of toppling the mighty PlayStation franchise.

There was nothing special about the Xbox, until one day those beautiful games were released with Xbox Live monicered across the top. Suddenly the Xbox was connected to the entire world, and everyone loved it.

Ah yes, Xbox Live breathed into that ridged dark brick and gave it life. Whole communities appeared as the people threw on headsets and talked to new friends from Sydney to New Orleans. Games became a place to be in their own right.

With Halo 2 a fully functional gaming community blossomed into groups of dedicated gamers, school kids, parents, husbands and wives. The community was full and I loved it. It was like what gaming should always have been, robust and full of real people. Hell yeah – this was good!

Then the new baby arrived. Pristine, white and curved; the 360. Surely this is the machine to set this new community on fire. With it came a new level of games. The community hunted as a pack from one release to the next, buying each title they could afford. My community became spread ever more thinly, and our cohesion of the past became fractured.

So we pinned our hopes on old faith-full, Halo 2. Now emulated, this surely would keep the community backbone strong. But 360 Halo2 still lacked any new ‘player matches’ and with failed loads and map problems, it was soon getting dusty back on the shelf.

The bottom line, my Live experience was watered down. No longer was it a place to find friends evey night, but simply somewhere to see what the next big game had become, and wonder if I could save up in time before the next title hit.

Are we ready for Halo3 in my clan? Damn right, we are shouting for it. We’re hoping that Live can again be somewhere to hang out. That a body of players can grow around a game that keeps them coming back for years not just months, games that last and evoke an ongong following.

We miss what has been lost and yearn for its return; TrUe GaMiNg CoMmUnItY.

Richard Robertson

7 Responses to “Black Box Flight Recorder”


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