I spent an inordinate number of hours this weekend on Gears of War. The blame for my lack of productivity over this weekend can be placed, in part, on Jorge who writes up the Programmer's Alamanac. Anyway, it's a really cool game, and if you play it live, you'll hear some pretty nutty things... not all of it was trash talk.
It also makes you wonder if live online console-based gaming is a potential new area for online predators to exploit. In a few of the online sessions I was playing you could hear kids (some of them were discussing what grades they were in, and often it was junior high up to early high school) chatting about all sorts of stuff ranging from experimental drug use to sexual (in)experience. On more than a few occasions, these kids would exchange information including their e-mail addresses and their MySpace addresses.
Many parents out there are probably aware of the dangers of online chatting, etc... but I would be willing to bet that there's a number of parents out there who are not aware that the XBox360 or whatever console system they purchased is basically a computer.
On a lighter note, I think that XBox360 Live should allow you to filter gaming sessions based on age groups. This is because it is really, really, sad that these 13-year olds kick my ass in the most ridiculous manner. A teenager with a virtual chainsaw is a serious threat to your online survival.