Thursday, May 11, 2006

Your console speaks

(via The Guardian). Big Brother is watching you. Actually, Microsoft is watching your Xbox 360, and getting all sort of gaming stats from their users about the amount of time they spend online, what games they are using and how much do they spend in each one. This information is then relayed to Microsoft in XML format as a "Gamer Card". Privacy rights advocates can pause here to have a heart attack.

What is perhaps scarier is that some people are using an online service to show this information to the world. is a blog created by the Xbox, telling the world what their owner has been up to. It can be sort of cute. Some Xbox posts:
- Overburdened didn't play any games yesterday... big loser...

- WhitePhantom87 likes to game, I like to game, this is a match made in heaven! It takes a gamer score like 4361 to be as cool as him. He played G.R.A.W., PGR 3, DEAD OR ALIVE 4, and almost cried with joy. I have that affect on people.

- Good thing I have access to Major Nelson's entire MP3 collection streamed off his computer. It keeps me busy on days like yesterday when he never shows up to game.

- Pick it, pack it fire it up, come along, lets get Karl89's gaming on! Gamer score is 2338. He played Battlefield 2: MC, and laughed with joy and glee the whole time. I like making people happy.
Weird? Creepy? The surveillance society gone mad? You decide.

UPDATE: The Xbox360 does have privacy settings.


Zoltak said...

All of the online presence from Gamerscore to games played and such can be turned off from public view.

I know that means that MS probably still has a way to track that information, but it is not public knowledge at that point.

I think that this is innocent enough though and I actually use as well as

Andres Guadamuz said...

I still haven't taken the 360 plunge, I still use my old trusty Xbox.

I will probably not buy the 360 yet, but I will probably turn off the gamer card when I do.