A lot of people don’t know that today (July 22nd), MSN Messenger (or Windows Live Messenger as it is now called) has turned 7. In those 7 years, the MSN Messenger network has brought millions of people together. I’ve been using MSN Messenger for about 5 years, since the days of version 2.
In that time, I’ve changed my MSN e-mail address about 6 times. I remember the second version when MSN Messenger was very simple; it did very little – it was a bit like what Google Talk is today. I’ve never really used any other IM system or network for an extended amount of time (though I had a brief stint on ICQ before I found MSN.
As annoying as Messenger can be sometimes, there is no doubt that it has saved me a lot of hassle and pain. Homework collaboration and sharing resources is a lot easier as is checking arrangements for events.
Through MSN Messenger you can play a lot of games with your contacts and you also get a ranking table for each game comparing your wins and losses with your contacts. You can launch Games by clicking on the Games icon at the top of conversation window. In Windows Live Messenger, this is indicated by a chess piece and a card.
The games you can launch will vary depending on your region; for example people in Denmark get tons of games from Sporkle. The games you can get in the UK are pretty poor but you can launch games which are only available in other territories in the Mess.be Games Launcher (click on Games Launcher in the left hand nav; you’ll need to use IE).
The most addictive game is probably 7 Hand Poker. It’s slightly different from normal poker and of course because it’s being played over the internet, it can be easier/harder to bluff. I’ve set up a little poker launcher which will let you launch the game really quickly. It’s really easy to get the hang of – the "Help" button pretty much explains it all. I played a few friends and now it seems like everyone is addicted. I’ve won about 60% of my 110 games so far.
Other great activities include Hexic, Checkers, Cubis, Mozaki Blocks and Bejeweled. Messenger games tend to require you to think so they can work as a pretty good workout for the brain.
You can get some additional third party games at World’s Best App. Sudoku Sniper is really nice.