We have a little poker tournament coming up, as Gabe mentioned. It was sort of a last minute thing, but playing games to raise money - for Child's Play, especially - just has a kind of symmetry to it that is hard to resist. I know Joel's Fünde Razor event in Brooklyn last year was well received, and he's got another one planned for this year. Fun scenarios where people get together and hang out, and then (by some not-wholly-understood process, amazing things happen for geographically distant children) could stand to be a much larger part of our annual effort.
Gabe doesn't really know how to play poker, making our immediate task difficult, so I have taken it upon myself to instruct him. "Instruct" is the word I have chosen to describe my precision industrial money extraction process, though a person could easily use "swindle" or "hoodwink" in its place.
I would also accept hornswaggle.
You have probably either seen the Next-Gen.biz story that discussed xFire's PS3 integration, or were blistered by the heat of a thousand forums discussing it. It's now known that Full Auto 2's network implementation uses Gamespy's middleware solution, while Resistance: Fall Of Man manages this via an unnamed method - and we were already aware that Untold Legends (which looks pretty fun!) uses xFire itself. I've said for weeks now that that Sony should enter into a dialogue with gamers about their service, and now that we finally have some information - almost none of it from the company - I understand why they haven't done so. There is literally nothing to say.
I'm not trying to be glib: what I mean is that it's difficult to discuss the ethereal, and it seems like the framework is pretty loose. What they are providing is apparently so subtle that companies - indeed, even companies they wholly own - must leverage third-party tools to gin up their basic internet functionality. The user experience from game to game is so dependent on how it's using what service that there isn't really a conversation to be had. As long as everything is designed to "play" relatively "nice," I doubt the precise methodology actually matters to most people. I imagine "most people" just want to play Madden. Right now, I think the Playstation 3 enthusiast's main challenge is trying to own the machine for less than two thousand dollars.
Aside from having to maintain separate handles for each service, the seamless xFire integration they describe in that article sounds great: in fact, it's similar to what Microsoft is rolling out over several years to integrate their PC, console, and mobile platforms. I just wonder how many games will offer a suite of functionality that robust.