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It Was Like Magic, But With An Xbox

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To: Ashcraft
From: Totilo
Re: I Am In America

Welcome back to the U.S. of A.

May I tell you a story about people traveling in the U.S.?

The scene is downtown New York City. The day is two Saturdays ago. New York, as you know, is in the U.S. Lots people here speak English. So this "thing" we have in America is that if a person is a lost, all they have to do is go up to someone and, usually in English, say the following: "Hey do you know where such-and-such is?" Though you fill in "such-and-such" with the place you're going.


This usually works.

But two Saturdays ago, I was downtown in New York and I overheard some American-sounding tourists pleading to someone — anyone! — nearby: "Does anyone speak English?" I was sure they were lost. And I am sure they needed directions. But, really, when you're in America, you can assume that most people do speak English. At least in downtown New York City. So just ask your question and get your directons. These people didn't know that. I guess someone told them that the native language of New York is swahili. But: It's not!


Anyway, I wanted to tell you about this nearly magical experience I had. I am a judge for the Independent Games Festival. Crecente is too. And usually that involves downloading a bunch of un-finished PC games, praying that my laptop will run them, playing them and giving them scores. At least that's for the first round.

This year I said I'd be willing to also judge XNA games. What I didn't realize is that the IGF folks would hook me up with an XNA Creators Club membership and that that would allow me to download a person's game on my PC and then zap it to my Xbox. I got this application on my PC and one on my 360 and the two sniffed the machines out and connected them. No wires. Just engineering magic. Then I was able to transmit some of these games to my 360 and play them on the console.


This is sooo pedestrian to experienced XNA developers. But for me it was brand new and really cool to know that I was playing some amateur developer's game on my regular retail 360 through this system. This was even more raw than playing Indie/Community Games. I was on the frontier on my 360! Added bonus: Some of the XNA games are very good. I'd pay for them. But I'm not sure I can mention them yet. I need to find that out.

See anything magical in your world lately?

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