In my ample spare time, I often fire up one of a handful of multiplayer first-person shooters that I’m familiar with, and play against opponents across the Internet. Perhaps you’ve done this too.

I frequently use a tool called Gamespy3D to help me locate the servers playing the game/mod/map I’m interested in. Of course, sometimes pinging this list of servers takes quite some time, leaving the ever-growing possibility that the ones pinged first are no longer playing the map they said they were N seconds ago. As a result of this, sometimes I double-click on a server, only to end up playing a different map than I intended, wasting up to a minute of my time.

What would be nice is if part of the “join” message that is sent from my PC to the server, contained information which declared “Here is the map I’m interested in playing, and if you’re not playing it right now, I don’t want to join”.

Of course, sometimes you don’t have the expectation that any particular map is being played, such as when you just want to join one where you know your friends hang out. So it should be optional. But when present, its value must be understood.

You know, something like SOAPAction (well, mostly), something that forms languages should support, because that server list inside Gamespy is a form.

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