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A Gamer's Passport: The Pros and Cons

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 11, 2005

Microsoft is at it again. Its Microsoft .Net passport efforts tanked, so the Redmond giant is now working to create another type of a universal I.D.: a gamer’s passport.

Last weekend, I went to the GarageGames indie game developer conference in Eugene, Ore., where I talked with Greg Canessa, group manager for Xbox Live Arcade who demoed the new Xbox 360.

And Canessa says that Microsoft’s Xbox Live team has come up with a nifty new idea, of a lifetime gamer I.D. In some ways, it makes a lot of sense: Say, you buy the Hexic puzzle game from Microsoft and download it via the Web onto your console. Then, your little brother spills milk all over your console and it breaks. You will need to buy the game all over again, right? Wrong!

With a lifetime gamer I.D. assigned in your name, Microsoft will know that you’ve already purchased the game and will provide you with a copy for free. What’s more, the I.D. will track your game scores and your rep with the Xbox Live community throughout your life. It’s a sort of a gamer’s passport.

What I’d love to know is, do you like this idea? Or do you worry about invasion of privacy, which was a concern when Microsoft spawned Microsoft .Net passport, which didn’t end up going anywhere. Would you want Microsoft to keep track of your gaming experience?

Microsoft is at it again. Its Microsoft .Net passport efforts tanked, but the Redmond giant is now working to create another type of an I.D.: a gamer's passport.

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Reader Comments

Jason Renfro

October 11, 2005 06:48 PM

I have been a subscriber to Xbox Live from the very beginning. It is the best way to play online period. If they want to remember my purchases and provide them again to me for free should I need a new console I think it's great. If they invade my privacy and see what I like to play and make better games because of it I think that's great too.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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