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I have a link from Microsoft that is pretty helpful. When I get back home, I'll try to post it.
The best bet is, go to the thread with all the gamertags on it and add a few to your friends list. You can either type this in at xbox.com or through your console. I found it easiest to plug a USB keyboard into the Xbox and do it that way.
You could navigate through your Xbox dashboard, but the fastest way is to hit the big button on the center of your controller. This will bring up a blade menu and the first screen shows how many friends you have online, how many messages you have, etc.
Go to your friend list within that menu and you'll see the option to add friends. If you've alrady shared your gamertag, I probably have sent you an invite. This would show up in your messages. You just go to your messages, find my invite and accept it. No need to send me an invite back (the Wii does something like this).
Once friends, you can see who is online via the same menu. If you are online and then I come online, you will get a notice that I am online via a pop-up notice. All this should be included in the free membership.
To see what games I either have or have played, you can find my name in your friends list. It will allow you to compare games and you can scroll down and see what achievements I have accomplished with each game.
For me personally, I don't have all the games on my list. A lot were borrowed or rented. However, I do have most of the Kinect games on my list.
To play together, which require the paid subscription, each game is a little different. Usually there is an area to play a multiplayer match, etc. Just go to that area and you will usually have an option to play someone on your friends list or someone random.
You also have the option to send a chat invite to people on your friends list. You can chat with them, even if they are already playing a different game. There is also something on there called a party. This allows for several people to chat together, even if everyone is playing different games.
The other things you can do together is video conference and watch Netflix or Zune movies together. For the Zune movies, you both have to rent or buy the movie from the service. For Netflix, you both have to be Netflix members. I happen to do this on a regular basis with another friend of mine. We are watching through a TV series together and it is fun to be watching it together and being able to chat about it as we are watching it. Almost like being in the same room.
So, I hope this helps a little bit. Feel free to ask any more questions.
KINECT for Xbox 360
Kinect to Fitness and Health - Team Leader
(using the Xbox Kinect to achieve fitness goals)
About Me: about.me/ryandejonghe
I believe there is a team called Spark and password Spark. Last I saw there were still 6 openings left. I do not know if it involves a specific game. I too am a newbie (and injured) and my kinect has been hijacked several states away until I can use it. Good luck.
I'm an xbox gold newbie. What happens when we share gamer tags here? Do we then invite people to become friends on xbox? I'm guessing that's the case.
Then what happens next? Do you invite someone on line to play a game? Does it show what games people have? I have no clue how it works. I'm on the one month free trial period to xbox live gold right now and want to figure out if it's worth keeping after the trial period.
Kay from Tennessee