It used to be that a producer couldn't sit down at a hip Hollywood bistro without some aspiring waiter thrusting a screenplay in his hands. Nowadays, the unsolicited pitches may be coming through an Xbox Live headset instead.
Variety has an interesting piece on the rise of Xbox Live matches as networking opportunities for the young Hollywood elite. The author is part of a regular group of Hollywood insiders that gathers every Thursday night for Gears of War and Fight Night matches. The players say that Xbox Live provide a casual, fun way to make a lasting connection with a colleague. "I can't tell you how many times I have come out of a meeting, and while we're validating parking, we swap gamertags" said studio executive Jeff Katz. "But only if it was a good meeting and I want to talk to the person again."
Not only that, but the untamed wilds of Xbox Live can provide some good cultural research for screenwriters. Troy writer David Benioff says the profanity-filled chat channels during his online matches provide "an easy way to research the slang that today's 14-year-olds use when they curse." Thus proving that even the chocolate milk kid can serve an important social purpose.