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Byline: Kim Peterson
BC-PLG-XBOXLIVE:SE _ entertainment (1190 words)
It's a brutally cold day in Stalingrad and in the past 15 minutes I've been killed a dozen times _ shot down in my tracks, blown to bits with grenades and picked off by snipers.
I'm playing with six people from around the world, and though we could talk to each other no one says anything. The violence is too intense and fast-paced for socializing.
I'm on Xbox Live, playing the World War II shooting game "Call of Duty 2." The aim of this level is simple: Kill everyone you see. The level ends when 15 minutes have passed or if someone gets 25 kills. The game is heartless, savage and bleak, but my bloodlust demands I continue. The experience is thrilling.
Microsoft launched Xbox Live in 2002, and since then has been a favorite of the hardcore-gaming crowd, the players (mostly male) that just wanted to whup the virtual tar off of each other in shooting, driving and sports games.
That's more of a niche audience than Microsoft was hoping for, and so with …