Social Networking for Gamers

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Oct 30, 2009 in PC Gaming, PS3, XBOX 360 |

I like most of you, use twitter, facebook and occasionally pop on to myspace to see how many bands want to be my friends.

Anyway, on the 4th of October, through total fluke read through a twitter conversation, and noticed a load of twitter entries from @squ1r3ll, with updates on his gaming status….linking to a site called raptr.com.

Being a bit of a gamer I’ve tried for months to get my gamertags, achievement, out to my friends and virtual friends, but the only way I’ve found to do this is manually.

I tried a number of facebook apps, and had varied success, they would either change my status to “Darren is playing…..” after a couple of hours of gaming, or just not bother at all. The achievements would post to my feed, however this was a manual process, I belevie the app is called “Xbox 360 Live GamerCard”.

Anyway, raptr.com, what is it…well let me tell you, it’s fantastic, and what I’ve been looking for, for ages. You sign up (using Facebook connect if you like) and add your gamer profiles, eg Xbox Live, PSN, Steam, Warcraft, etc etc, what it then does is monitors and reports on your gaming activities, eg which game your playing, on which platform, and records how long, and any achievement you may get.

Xbox live is monitored through the feed that Microsoft so kindly provide, and updates almost in real time (can be a 5/10 min delay), PSN tracking is currently broken due to Sony putting a restriction on their data. Everything else is tracked by the client.

The client is a custom messenger type client that can also run your msn, gtalk, aim, yahoo, xfire and icq, however this is the key to tracking the stats on your PC/Mac. On initial install it will scan your hard drive for games, and add them to your collection (both on the client, and on the website), any new games installed it will pick them up and also add to your collection.

When your ready to play a game, just start as normal and this will change your messenger stats to “Darren is playing xxxxxxx”, as it does with your online raptr status too, and logs the time played. When finished, it calculates the time you were playing and adds this to your tally on the website.

With the site you also get the option of a couple of signatures with varied information, all updating in real time, varying from currently playing to, the last/most played with you longest played 6 games.

Raptr Forum Signature

Once you start to build up your friends, it will give you a ranking out of your current friend on a particular game (bases on the number of achievements you have), you can also compare achievements on a game with upto 3 friends at a time.

Finally one very cool feature of Raptr, is that when you get an achievement, it will tell you what percentage of Raptr users who have that game, have gained that achievement, giving you an idea of how hard it was.

The only downside with Raptr, is that it is unable to check your PSN stats, now this is through no fault of their own, it just seems Sony is being a little protective about their data. You can update your playing time, but this is manual, hopefully some day in the future, they will allow this.

From googling the PSN issue, I stumbled on a number of other social networking for gamer sites, GamerDNA, Playfire and Giantbomb.

I haven’t used any of the sites as much as I’ve used Raptr, however they all seem to be kinda tracking my stats.

GamerDNA, does seem to track PSN stats, and pull through the trophies, but there seems to be around a 2 day delay

Playfire, Love the layout, but again doesn’t pull through the PSN stats/trophies, doesn’t track time, and also about a day behind.

GiantBomb, I only signed up for this last night, but it’s already tracking my Steam, Warcraft and XBL, but again, no PSN.

All in all, it’s good to more and more of these sites popping up, I remember the day when gaming was deemed as geeky, however seems every man and his dog is doing it now, and it’s now socially accepted.

Personal recommendation, give Raptr.com a try, it just works 🙂 and if you do, feel free to add me as a friend

My ID’s for the sites are as follows

Raptr

GamerDNA

Playfire

Giantbomb

and no, Raptr isn’t broken, I’ve actually spent that much time playing Borderlands 🙂

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