One of the fastest growing forms of communication these days has got to be instant messaging. It's been available in various flavors on your PC for years and now it's even available on cell phones. The one time it's not very useful? When you're in your favorite game.
Well, a little company called Xfire is changing that. You can download the free client at www.xfire.com. What makes Xfire any different than other IMs that pop up and interrupt your game? Lots. Xfire was designed specifically for gamers.
Xfire tells you when your friends are online, what game they're playing and what server they're playing it on! Not only that, but if the game uses the Xfire API, you can actually send and receive messages with your friend while they're playing. The messages display similar to in-game messages, for instance, as console messages.
Are you ready to play a game with your friend? Xfire lets you join your friend in-game with a single click! You don't need to ask for the IP address or server name. Xfire takes care of that in the background.
Additionally, Xfire sports some cool social features. Xfire users have automatic profile pages that keep track of your statistic as well as your friends' stats. Mining its database a bit on your behalf, you can play not only with your friends, but with your friends' friends. They're indicated in your IM console in a different color. Now it's not just who you know, but who is known by who knows you!
Xfire looks like it could revolutionize online gaming, making it easier to interact with friends and expand your circle of friends. Watch for online games to start supporting Xfire.