My good friend Nathan Fouts over at Mommy's Best Games has just released a new project on the XBL Indie channel called Game Type. However, it's not exactly a game, although it sort of is…

Let me explain.

As any 360 user knows, Microsoft recently updated the dashboard. However, rather than revamping it for improved functionality and ease-of-use, it seems the aim was to barrage the player with incessant multimedia advertising while kicking games squarely into second-class-citizen status.

For developers who create projects primarily available via the Indie channel, burying games deep under a mess of menus is bad enough. Adding insult to injury, Indies are buried even further in an unintuitive submenu titled "Game Type." With the average gamer barely aware of Indies to start with, deep-sixing Indies like this is basically a death sentence to their sales.

As a way of voicing his protest against this assault on XBLI developers' ability to earn a living, Nathan's Game Type is both commentary and criticism in video game form that puts the absurdity of Microsoft's new design front and center. There's actually a fun little shooter included with the critique as well, but the challenge (just like on the real dashboard) is finding it.

Unfortunately, in order for anyone to see this commentary or to play the shooter hidden within, players have to be able to be able to find the Indie channel in the first place. Given what a complete morass of stupidity the dashboard is, this is a tall order.

To check out what Nathan's done, here's what you do:

  1. Jump onto the 360's dashboard.
  2. Scroll over to Games.
  3. Pick Games Marketplace.
  4. Go to Games.
  5. Select Game Type.
  6. Choose Indie Games.

If you manage to find it, I guarantee you'll get a laugh out of it—and besides, anything calling attention to the new dashboard's shortcomings is a worthwhile effort.

Brad Gallaway
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