Xbox LIVE 101
Like many parents that have recently purchased an Xbox 360 for their families, you may be wondering what Xbox LIVE is, why your children want to use it, and how you can manage the service if your family decides to join. Read this quick Q&A to learn more about Xbox LIVE and find out how you can help keep your children safe when using the online service.
What is Xbox LIVE?
Xbox LIVE is the online entertainment service for your Xbox 360 console, connecting you to an ever-expanding world of games, movies, TV, music, sports and ways to be social with family and friends.* Whether it’s transforming your living room into a movie theater, your couch into a stadium seat, or your TV into a jukebox and virtual photo album, Xbox LIVE lets you enjoy your favorite entertainment with the people you care about around the world. Xbox LIVE is a community of nearly 40 million active members in 35 countries.*
If you choose to purchase an upgraded Xbox LIVE Gold Membership or an Xbox LIVE Gold Family Pack Membership, you can play games against other people online, share pictures of yourself or your friends, access Facebook and Twitter, use your Netflix account to stream movies, and stream music from Zune or Last.fm*. To learn more about the benefits of the Xbox LIVE Gold Family Pack membership, please see below.
How do I get started on Xbox LIVE?
To use Xbox LIVE, you must have an Xbox 360 console, 256 MB of memory, a broadband Internet service connection and an Xbox LIVE membership. You can choose from an Xbox LIVE Free Membership, or you can purchase an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership or an Xbox LIVE Gold Family Pack which will give you access to the latest Xbox LIVE entertainment experiences and access to multiplayer gaming including text, voice and video chat.*
Hint: If you’re planning to purchase an Xbox LIVE membership for more than one family member, we recommend the Gold Family Pack. The Xbox LIVE Family Gold Pack offers up to four 12-month Xbox LIVE Gold memberships for less than the price of two regular Gold memberships. It also offers access to additional conveniences and services including the new Family Center, Activity Monitoring reports on Xbox.com, the ability to purchase and gift Microsoft Points Allowances to other Xbox LIVE Gold Family Pack members, and exclusive discounts on family-friendly content.
For more information about getting started on Xbox LIVE and to choose the right membership for you, please click here.
What is a Child or Teen Profile and why do I need one?
A Child Profile is an Xbox LIVE profile for children ages 13 and under, while a Teen profile is an Xbox LIVE profile for children ages 14-17. These accounts are managed through your own Xbox LIVE account or Windows Live ID and password, including the secret password that allows you to manage what your children can and can't do when using the service. By setting up a Child or Teen Profile, you can manage who your child interacts with over the service, the type of content they are allowed to access and play on Xbox LIVE, whether or not they can access Xbox LIVE features like Facebook, Twitter and even some of the new Kinect features like Video Kinect and Kinect Sharing.*
To learn more about creating a Child or Teen profile for Xbox LIVE, please click here.
How do I protect my children if they’re using Xbox LIVE?
Xbox LIVE Online Safety Settings allow you to block online access entirely, manage and approve your child’s Friends List (who they play with online), block specific online users and even block the visibility of your child’s gamer profile to other people online. Additionally, you can restrict or block the type of communications your child can engage in such as text chat or Video Kinect, block the ability to send photos to KinectShare.com, or even restrict the type of content kids see with Family Programming.*
For more information about Xbox LIVE Online Safety Settings, please click here.
What Family Settings are available to restrict access to Internet Explorer on Xbox?
With the addition of Internet Explorer on Xbox, we know there are safety and content concerns when it comes to your kids being online. That is why we have built in new Xbox LIVE Family Settings to let you choose to block or allow access to Internet Explorer on your console. By default, access to the browser is blocked for all child accounts. For more information on Internet for Xbox, please click here.
Xbox LIVE Lingo: What is an “Avatar”?
Xbox 360 Avatars are computerized representations of Xbox LIVE users that are created by customizing body shape, gender, facial features, hair style, and clothing. Users can then display a head shot of their Avatar on their Gamercard, or user profile on Xbox LIVE.
To see what an Avatar looks like and to visit the Xbox LIVE Avatar Marketplace, please click here.
Xbox LIVE Lingo: What is a “Gamertag”?
A Gamertag is the universal name for a player's username or “nickname” on Xbox LIVE and how they are identified to other people when playing games online. Gamertags also contain avatar images (or "gamer pictures"), often associated with certain games or game characters. Remember that you can block your child’s Gamertag information from other gamers using Xbox LIVE Online Safety Settings.
* Games, add-ons, and media content sold separately. Xbox LIVE Gold membership and/or other subscriptions and requirements may apply for Xbox LIVE features. See www.xbox.com/live.