Whether you like to admit it or not, we are the minority. And by “we”, I mean those of us who scour the Internet for the latest gaming news and participate in online communities and web sites. Just think about it: there have been more than 66 million Xbox 360 units sold across the planet; how many of those do you think participate in the gaming / blogging world? The truth is that it is just a very small fraction.
Too often, “we” take for granted our knowledge of all things gaming, specifically on a technical level, and neglect to realize that most people just don’t know what they are doing when they first get a hold of these consoles. That is where the recently released My Xbox comes into play. Written by Bill and Christine Loguidice and published by Que, My Xbox aims to make the world of gaming a little bit easier for that majority who doesn’t know their way around the system quite as well as the rest of us.
You could sort of look at this book as “Xbox 360 for Dummies”, only without the degrading title and never treats you as a “dummie”. Bill and Christine go to great lengths to describe every aspect of the Xbox experience in excruciating detail, making it simple for someone without any console knowledge to follow along. While the book is aimed at those who lack the knowledge of maneuvering around Microsoft’s digital world, it can serve as a decent reference guide for the rest of us. You would be hard pressed to find an Xbox-related subject not addressed throughout the 340 plus pages. Details and general tips are offered on subjects such as:
- Xbox 360 model differences
- Hooking up the system with a variety of connection options
- Navigating the latest dashboard release
- Creating and navigating Xbox Live accounts
- Setting up and using common Xbox applications such as Facebook and Twitter
- Setting up and using Kinect
- Networking your console and integrating it with Windows Media Center PC’s
These are just some of the main topics; there are plenty more featured in the book. The best part about it is that each section takes you step-by-step through the various processes and procedures you will experience with your console and includes a variety of visual aids to assist with the instruction. There is just no way that they could have made it easier for the target audience.
The book’s greatest strength may also be its biggest weakness: its detail and simplicity. My Xbox is targeted towards a very specific audience and it is one that may be very difficult to reach by promotion on gaming websites and publications. The people that need this book aren’t the people reading these things; it is everyone else.
In case your wondering just what qualifies these two authors to craft such a guide for Microsoft’s console, know that this isn’t the first time either have approached the subject. Bill Loguidice is a critically acclaimed author and classified by many as a true video game historian. Not only does bill study the industry and hits history, but he is also an avid gamer and die-hard collector. He has co-athored numerous gaming related books over the past few years and is the cofounder and managing director of Armchair Arcade
. Christina on the other hand has traditionally focused on works related to the medical field but has gained interest in gaming thanks to her husband. She has started crossing genres in the past couple of years, blending her medical knowledge with her husband’s technical work for things such as Wii Fitness for Dummies.
If you are reading this website, the chances are that you aren’t in the target audience for this book. I can guarantee that you know someone who is though. The Loguidices have managed to do what many of us struggle with on a daily basis when dealing with non-gamers: broken it down in a manner everyone can understand. Many times I have struggled to explain something to my wife over the phone, such as launching and navigating Netflix on the Xbox, when she wishes to watch something with her friends. In doing things like that I have discovered that there is a lot of basic knowledge that we (there it is again) take for granted. My Xbox looks to fill in those gaps that we inadvertently leave out during these times.
A lot of us have witnessed people in our lives that haven’t traditionally been involved in gaming take the first steps to becoming apart of the culture. For example my parents, who are both well into their 60‘s, recently purchased a Nintendo Wii. I never imagined that they would be buying a video game console in this day and age (all Nintendo Wii jokes aside) but they are. We have all seen this over the course of the past couple of years and there is a good chance that many of those people who just recently took their first gaming-steps will be looking to “run” in the near future. If someone you know falls into this category and recently bought, or is looking to buy an Xbox 360, do yourself, and them a favor and get them this book.
If you know someone who is taking their first step into the world of video games, perhaps a Wii-convert, this is definitely a good way to help them ease the transition to a more mainstream system. The authors do a great job of explaining practically every aspect about the 360 experience in the simplest means possible. If you’re tired of explaining every little thing about the system to your non-gaming friends, get them this book... and browse through it yourself before letting it go. As far as traditional gamers go, you probably know most of the information here but there might be a surprise nugget or two hidden inside.
Rating: 9 Excellent