Op-Ed

Op-Ed
Xbox Live: Harder, Faster, Dumber

Russ Pitts | 5 Oct 2006 14:09
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I had hoped that this was just a bad dream. A rumor masquerading as news. Gas that felt like a heart attack. But sadly, it's true.

Somebody made a device that will attach to your Xbox360 controller and play up to five pre-recorded audio clips at the touch of a button. Audio clips that are pre-recorded "from any audio source".

It's called the SmackTalk, from Digital Innovations, and it costs $29.99. This is one of those things that no one ever knew they needed, but now will have to have. Like airhorns at ball games, trunk-rattling woofer cabinets and ringtones "personalized" from insidiously catchy television theme songs, there is no purpose for this kind of thing, other than to allow people to "express themselves" by aping the worst-ever contributions to the social meme. Which means that it will sell like hotcakes.

At 30 bucks it's priced-to-move in the gamer market, and its plug-and-play ease of use will make it the must-have stocking stuffer this holiday season. I write this, knowing it's true, but dreading it nonetheless.

I sincerely hope that Microsoft introduces a switch or inhibitor into future games or Xbox Live "zones" which will prevent the use of these devices. I'm not sure if anything like that is even possible, but I do so dearly hope that it is. For as much as I love both games and audio clips from porn movies, I'd prefer the option to keep the two separate.

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