The Number One Thing Xbox Live Is Missing

Dear Xbox Live,

We have a problem. I don’t know if you know this, but your service has become a social strata, with its own rules and standards. When someone you actually care about (as opposed to the random friends we all have and ignore) messages you asking to Party up, or play a game, that comes with a level of social obligation to not just be a dick and ignore them. And if you get a whole bunch of messages back to back, or if you’re at a crucial juncture in “Baby Maker 2 Extreme” and can’t reply, you can quickly become overwhelmed.

We need a solution to this problem. Leaving voice replies is a whole process, and let’s not even get into typing out a textual retaliation. And no, before you ask, I will not buy one of those QWERTY texting pads you started selling. Owning that thing is like wearing sweat pants in public, you’ve just given up on having a life or appearing attractive. If a woman ever saw that in my house, she would tell all the other women, and the Allen line would not pass down through the generations. No, it just won’t do.

Fortunately, I have the solution we need! It’s simple, it’ll cost you nothing to implement it, Microsoft, and it just might be the single most helpful addition in XBL history. Hit the jump to see what it is!

Why not introduce a short menu of canned responses? They could either be hot-keyed to controller buttons, or just arranged in a sub-menu underneath “Join Party” and “Join Party and Game.” This way, when I receive a party invite, I could immediately select a reply and get back to that “My Little Pony” demo I was so rudely pulled out of.

But what would this sub-menu contain? Don’t worry, I’ve thought of that, too! I call it the “Sorry Menu,” or alternately the “Menu of Sorrow.” It’s a list of the most commonly occurring things I wish I could quickly say to someone without going to the trouble of messaging them. Here they are!

-”Sorry, I can’t find my microphone.”

-”Sorry, my microphone doesn’t work.”

-”Sorry, it’s not letting me join your party.” (with an optional follow-up of…) “My NAT is moderate, this tends to happen.”

-”Sorry, this is not actually [insert gamer tag here].”

-”Sorry, the party I’m currently in needs my attention.”

-”Sorry, this is a dialog-heavy game, I actually need to be listening.”

-”Sorry, there are other people in the room I have to talk to.”

-”Sorry, my Xbox is on, but I’m away from it.” (this would need to be set as an auto-reply)

-”Sorry, I’m playing ‘Call of Duty,’ and it’s blocking party usage like the massive tool it is.”

-”Sorry, people are sleeping in my house and I can’t make noise.”

-”Sorry, I’m really focused on the game right now.”

-”Sorry, I’m watching Netflix.”

-”Sorry, I’m going to be logging off in a minute.”

-”Sorry, I didn’t see that you messaged me earlier.”

-”Sorry, I don’t remember who the hell you are.”



i just wanted to have some hijinks

  • TheCrimsonKing

    Exactly, I was feeling the same way. It’s so hard to navigate it’s stupid clunky communication menus, but i figured it out! If i sell my xbox I’ll never have to deal with again and I get FREE money!

    • Andrew Allen

      Crimson, don’t be like that! Xbox Live is a genuinely good service! It just needs a little tweaking, that’s all.

      Frankly, would you rather go enter some friend codes on the Wii?

      • TheCrimsonKing

        No you’re right, I loved xbox live for the 4 years I shelled out for it. When I decided not to pay any more I finally put that controller down and picked up the ps3′s (month before psn went down…) and had no interest in going back, EVEN with all my childhood friends who populate live. The ps3 just “rubs” me the right way.

        Break has the keyboard and he’s MARRIED!

  • Matthew Nyquist

    …I have one of those keyboards. *tear*

    • Andrew Allen

      Yes, but you bought one AFTER you got married. For those of us to whom a woman has not legally pledged loyalty, it’s much riskier.

  • Brendan

    Or, everyone could just not be offended if someone doesn’t immediately take their party invite.

    Geez, do people really get their feelings twisted up over xbox live parties?

    • Andrew Allen

      I mean not with everyone, and not all the time. But there’s definitely times that someone is on, and clearly playing a game, and it’s like, “WTF. Reply to me!”