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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tech Tuesday: Social media integration for gamers

Last week at E3, Microsoft announced they will soon (US Autumn) be updating the Xbox 360 dashboard to integrate with Facebook, Twitter and Last.FM. Some of the integration they’re talking about looks pretty damned awesome, including to most of Facebook’s photo and profile information (Natz will never leave my poor Xbox alone..), posting to Twitter from your ‘360 and, probably coolest of all for those of us that listen to music on our consoles, posting your music listening info to Last.FM. This all sounds really awesome, but while we wait for some console-based social networking goodness, there’s a fantastic service called Raptr that shares info in the other direction.

Raptr allows you to create a single gamer identity that pulls together identities on some of the most popular gaming services, including Xbox Live, Playstation Network, Wii, Steam and World of Warcraft . Once you provide your credentials, each of these services is monitored and when you start playing a game or do something interesting on one of them (such as unlock an achievement) this information is posted on any of a number of social networks. Besides allowing you to do a bit of geek boasting to any of your friends that may pick up on it, this has the added advantage of letting friends who might want to join you that you’re playing. It also acts as a microblogging social network in it’s own right, with the ability to post updates on the site and message other users.

Raptr also keeps track of your activity and does a bit of slicing and dicing, presenting you with an interesting dashboard view of your gaming habits. This information is also used to narrow down players that may have similar interests and might be of interest to you, and also new games that you may enjoy.

Finally, there is the Raptr PC client. In addition to monitoring your PC gaming habits to share them on your networks of choice, the client helps keep track of patches for games and ensure that you have the latest patches for your PC titles.

Raptr is well worth checking out for any connected gamer, if only to get a realistic view of your gaming habits (damn, maybe I DO game too much :p)



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