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Encyclopedia > MSN Games
MSN Games
URL http://zone.msn.com
Commercial? Ad funded
Type of site Web Games
Registration Optional
Owner Microsoft Corporation
Created by MSN, Microsoft

MSN Games (also known as Zone.com - formerly known as 'The Village', 'Internet Gaming Zone', 'MSN Gaming Zone', and 'MSN Games by Zone.com') is an online games site devoted primarily to casual games, both stand-alone and multi-player online games. Games are available in free on-line versions, trial versions, and full feature pay-to-play versions. Stand alone games can be played on the Web, or downloaded to a personal computer or smartphone. Multi-player games require either internet or cell phone connectivity. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1800x716, 317 KB) Summary MSN logo, current. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (837x615, 262 KB)MSN Zone Games Website, 27th October 2006, http://zone. ... Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a technical, Web-related term used in two distinct meanings: in popular usage, it is a widespread synonym for Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)—many popular and technical texts will use the term URL when referring to URI; in strict technical usage, it is a subset... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... For other uses, see MSN (disambiguation). ...

The numerous multi-player games that are available encourage a sense of community as players interact in online game rooms, while playing games using Windows Live Messenger, and while on their cell phones when playing Windows Mobile versions of the games. Windows Live Messenger (WLM), formerly known as MSN Messenger, is a freeware instant messaging client for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Mobile, first released on July 22, 1999 by Microsoft. ...

MSN Games is a member site of the MSN portal, and part of the Microsoft corporation, headquartered in Redmond WA. For other uses, see MSN (disambiguation). ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ...



The first version of the site, which was then called "The Village", was founded by Kevin Binkley, Ted Griggs, and Hoon Im. In 1996, Steve Murch, a then-employee of Microsoft, convinced Bill Gates to acquire the small online game site, then owned by Electric Gravity. The site was rebranded to "Internet Gaming Zone" and launched in 1996. Between 1996-97, Murch worked on modernizing the site and adding—and sometimes remaking—new games. 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... This article is about the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

For the following 5 years, the Internet Gaming Zone would be renamed several times and would increase in popularity with the introduction of popular retail- and MMOG-games, such as Age of Empires and Asheron's Call. A massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) is a type of computer game that enables hundreds or thousands of players to simultaneously interact in a game world they are connected to via the Internet. ... This article is about the first game in a series. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


The Zone's first competitor was AOL Games. Today, the site competes with other similar free-game sites, such as Yahoo! Games and Pogo.com. Most sites offer a similar mix of free and premium games . Yahoo! Games is the games section of the Yahoo! website. ... Screenshot of Pogo. ...


MSN's competition with AOL Games resulted in the creation of a Volunteer Program for the Zone, which AOL also offered. The idea was to have volunteers moderating chat lobbies, hosting tourneys, offering tech support, and interacting with the gamers to collect general feedback. Volunteer Moderators for the Zone were initially designated as members of the "Zone Team", or zTeam, with assorted tokens assigned to five different teams: the Gaming Team (!), Helproom Team (+), Tournament Hosting Team (%), zStar Team (*), and Tech Support Team (?). AOL LLC (formerly America Online, Inc) is an American online service provider, bulletin board system, and media company operated by Time Warner. ... A tournament is an organized competition in which many participants play each other in individual games. ...

Because of legal complexities when AOL was sued by their volunteers—and the volunteers won the case—MSN Games reformed their policy by contracting a third-party company to manage the program. In 2001, Participate Systems won the contract and would continue to lead the program until its official disbanding. During the volunteer program's conversion to its new management, all previous token designations were replaced with a single "+" token and a new name, the "Member Plus", or MPlus program. Participate Systems was acquired by Outstart.com in November 2004. This article is about the year 2001. ...

Citing MSN's statement regarding the closure of CD-ROM games on the Zone on June 19, 2006, the Member Plus program will also be disbanded at that time, due to the removal of chat capabilities from game lobbies and the end of support for the ZoneFriends client.


  • In 2000, the site started to be a target of continuous crack attacks. Crackers, script kiddies for the most part, targeted the Zone software. In 2004, the worst crack attack occurred through the use of social engineering, giving the intruders access to the administrator tools. The intruders used their new-found tools to ban players and other site volunteers.
  • After the dot-com boom, web sites claimed difficulties managing their finances. MSN Games changed its market strategy and left the retail market to focus solely on free and premium games, a decision that finally culminated in their decision to retire support for CD-ROM games and lobbies on June 19, 2006.
  • Specialized programs, including the Fighter Ace and Allegiance teams disbanded during the Zone's transition to the Member Plus program, due primarily to the planned retirement of their associated games.

This article is about the year 2000. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into black hat. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... In computing, a script kiddie (occasionally script bunny, script kitty, script kiddo or skiddie) is a derogatory term for inexperienced crackers who use scripts and programs developed by others, without knowing what they are or how they work, for the purpose of compromising computer accounts and files, and for launching... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Social engineering is the practice of obtaining confidential information by manipulation of legitimate users. ... // The dot-com bubble was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1997–2001 during which stock markets in Western nations saw their value increase rapidly from growth in the new Internet sector and related fields. ...


  • Personalities such as Bill Gates and his friend, Warren Buffet, have played Bridge on the Zone. Garry Kasparov, Chess Champion, played in a Chess Tourney organized by Microsoft. The Sheik of The United Arab Emirates invited a few Backgammon players from the Zone to play in his "2nd annual Abu Dhabi Backgammon Championship".
  • MSN Games is credited for assisting with the introduction of new games on MSN Messenger (now called Windows Live Messenger) and the development of Xbox Live Arcade.
  • Writer Dorothy Rosengrans wrote a book about her experiences at MSN Games and her encounter with Bill Gates.
  • Several (of the best) players from www.vog.ru played several of the best from zone.com in an intersite team checker playoff in which "Team VOG" won.
  • Lily Sparkletoon also wrote about her experiences through poetry in some of her poems in Acoustical Poetry.

Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is a wealthy American investor and businessman. ... Contract bridge, usually known simply as bridge, is a trick-taking card game of skill and chance (the relative proportions depend on the variant played). ... Garry Kasparov Garry Kimovich Kasparov (Russian: ; IPA: ) (born April 13, 1963, in Baku, Azerbaijan) is a chess grandmaster and former World Chess Champion. ... Chess is an abstract strategy board game and mental sport for two players. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... UAE redirects here; for other uses of that term, see UAE (disambiguation) The United Arab Emirates is an oil-rich country situated in the south-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia, comprising seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. ... Backgammon is a board game for two players in which pieces are moved according to the roll of dice and the winner is the first to remove all his pieces from the board. ... Windows Live Messenger (WLM), formerly known as MSN Messenger, is a freeware instant messaging client for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Mobile, first released on July 22, 1999 by Microsoft. ... Xbox Live Arcade is an online service operated by Microsoft that is used to distribute video games to Xbox and Xbox 360 owners. ...


MSN Games announced in early 2006 the retiring of support for all lobby-based CD-ROM games, chat lobbies, the ZoneFriends client and the Member Plus program, scheduled for June 19, 2006:

"...as of June 19, 2006, we will be retiring our CD-ROM matchmaking service, along with the original versions of several classic card and board games: Classic Backgammon, Bridge, Classic Checkers, Chess, Cribbage, Euchre, Go, Classic Hearts, Reversi, and Spades. We’ll be sad to see them go! These games are like old friends: they gave us our start, and helped us grow from an innovative little entertainment site to a truly stellar online gaming experience. But over the years, it’s become more and more difficult to maintain the aging hardware and software that supports them. We held out absolutely as long as we could, but it was finally time to make that decision."

In a series of public chats held with various administrators and developers of the Zone, MSN outlined its plan to shift its gaming environment into Windows Live Messenger, a more frequently updated client than the outdated ZoneFriends messenger used on the Zone. However, due primarily to MSN's inability to provide a timeframe for the expected replacement of chat lobbies, tournaments, and its Member Plus volunteer moderator program, thousands of players appeared at each session to express their discontent, and began an online petition in an attempt to stop MSN's scheduled changes. As with previous changes, however, MSN has continued to stand firm in its commitment to the retirement of its services, citing outdated hardware and lack of economic viability for the old products. Windows Live Messenger (WLM), formerly known as MSN Messenger, is a freeware instant messaging client for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Mobile, first released on July 22, 1999 by Microsoft. ...

Although alternatives exist to the Zone for CD-ROM gameplay, many Microsoft game studios embedded Zone links and functionality into their games, including Angel Studios' Midtown Madness and Ensemble Studios' Age of Empires game series. Ensemble only began their switch to an in-game matchmaking system with the release of Age of Mythology, and are currently scrambling to find a solution to allow easy matchmaking for the thousands of players who continue to play their older games: Rockstar San Diego (formerly Angel Studios) is one of the development studios under the Rockstar Games umbrella. ... The CD case of Midtown Madness (reissued by Atari) Midtown Madness is a series of racing games set in famous cities around the world. ... Ensemble Studios is a Microsoft-owned company that has developed many computer games, including the famous Age of Empires series. ... This article is about the first game in a series. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

"We at Ensemble Studios were recently made aware of this and will be actively looking for possible solutions for this situation over the coming weeks."

Games as recent as Flight Simulator 2004 utilize the Zone's lobby system for matchmaking. For many such games, no replacement service has been announced. The first game in the Flight Simulator series to use in-game matchmaking will be the upcoming Flight Simulator X, scheduled for release in late 2006, leaving a gap of several months without MSN supported matchmaking services. Microsoft Flight Simulator is a flight simulator program for Microsoft Windows, marketed and often seen as a video game. ... Flight Simulator X is the next version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. ...

The alternative CD-ROM matchingmaking service GameSpy Arcade still supports most of the games which will be no longer supported by Zone.com. GameSpy Arcade is a game server browsing tool that allows both single players and communities of players to gather and play games. ...

It should also be noted, that as they have no replacement at this time, and as Bridge is Bill Gates' game of choice, it is still up and running on the old zone in the old lobbies. With no volunteers moderating the chat, it can be quite a free for all at times with extreme language from some along with vicious attacks on others brought about by nothing more than a simple request to refrain from the bad language.


  • Steve Murch failed to convince Microsoft to acquire the chat software ICQ. The software was bought by AOL instead and the Zone built its own internal chat software called "ZoneFriends". Later, the company created a direct competitor to ICQ, MSN Messenger. Many would say that this has become more popular than ICQ.
  • Members Plus originally utilised a Microsoft-authored program called ZoneCommander to access lobbies directly, bypassing web pages. This was later replaced by ZoneOrchestrator, a program written by two Members Plus which improved upon ZoneCommander by adding chat monitoring facilities and an enhanced user interface. Some years later, ZoneCommander was retired in favour of ZoneOrchestrator, which became the official tool of choice and remained so until the lobbies closed on 19th June 2006.

The ICQ Logo ICQ is an instant messaging computer program, owned by Time Warners America Online subsidiary. ... Windows Live Messenger (WLM), formerly known as MSN Messenger, is a freeware instant messaging client for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Mobile, first released on July 22, 1999 by Microsoft. ...


  • Playing Around: My Adventures on the Zone.Com by Dorothy Rosencrans, ISBN 0-595-29481-2
  • Acoustical Poetry: A collection of Writingsby Lily Sparkletoon,1598002619 which can be found at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1598002619

See also

Microsoft Ants is a free multiplayer game for 2-4 players on the Microsoft Gaming Zone. ...

External links



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