I really enjoy playing on Xbox Live with my friends. I thought I would give you a glimpse into what Xbox Live offers in case there are some people unfamiliar with it.

It’s not just about playing games. That part is obvious. The Xbox Live dashboard offers a wide variety of entertainment:

  • Welcome: Can’t figure out what’s going on? The Welcome section is here for you. Take a look and get tips on how to get started on your journey with Xbox Live.
  • Spotlight: This is where you will find all the latest news/deals/contests/whatever that Xbox Live is highlighting. There is always a ton of cool stuff here to keep you busy without even touching a game. Suddenly your friend’s visits to the bathroom before the game become less of a “Wow, did you take long enough?” concern to a “What? Oh. You were gone?” situation.
  • My Xbox: This is where you can handle your game data and account settings. Launch games, alter game data, create your avatar, and more! This is where you can troubleshoot if you are having connection issues as well. Nothing is more of a bummer than getting your buddies over, firing up the Xbox only to see you can’t connect. A simple ‘Test Connection’ can help you find and fix the problem quickly. Creating your avatar is always fun. Who doesn’t like making little computer-animated versions of themselves? I know I do. I mean, just look at that handsome gentleman.

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  • My Community: This is the place to go to find out what’s happening around you. From here you can access Facebook and Twitter. You can also find special promotions where you can play with a variety of people. From here you can get cool avatar accessories so people know exactly who they are dealing with!
  • Game Marketplace: You can find all things related to gaming here. This is where you can download expansion packs, indie games, map packs, and more.
  • Video Marketplace: Like gaming, but more video-y. Browse the Zune marketplace and watch videos. You can also link with your Netflix account!
  • Music Marketplace: Browse the Zune marketplace for all your favourite music, directly on your Xbox! You can see promotions for various artists as well.
  • Inside Xbox: Are you a story person? This is the place for you. View some lore of the latest games. You can check out some discussions on the games you love. You can also view strategy discussions for some of the latest games you’re stuck on. Hey, it happens to the best of us.
  • My Friends: This speaks for itself. Grab some friends, whether they are physical or virtual, and pull them in. Have a few games, and a few laughs.

Adam Wlotzki – Carleton University