Game mode? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I would like to suggest in a future version that One Care be improved to include a gaming mode that would temporarily make it a simple one click affair to turn off real time scanning and set the firewall to accept requests automatically to open ports on demand during the gaming session. Ideally it would offer to keep these ports set permanently upon exiting the game. It should present a list of ports allowed and what program requested/used them after the game exits.


    I know some other suites offer something like this although I do not know the specifics of their implementations.


    As it stands now, I have to bother with a new game to  open One Care, wait... open settings, turn off the real time scanning, close that dialog then close one care's window, start the game and on first run let it come up, usualy NOT be able to respond to the prompt about approving its internet access without risking a crash or issue minimizing that game, thus making me quit, approve and restart the game again.


    Obviously, that is not an ideal situation for someone who enjoys playing a lot of online PC games. Yes, the firewall approvals are a one shot deal but it is still a hassle and the scanning ideally needs to be turned off every time to free all possible resources for a given game and to prevent potential conflicts, reduced frame rates, etc.


    Some attention to this and solution would be a wonderful addition to the product as many home PC users are also PC gamers. I know I am.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:12 AM

All replies

  • Not aware that some game sites are notorious purveyors of malware huh? That's exactly what they hope you'll do.


    Sorry, buI I have to disagree that this is an extremely bad idea. The workarounds currently available are sufficent to allow what you need, but still protect those without a clue to some extent.


    At least now you have to make this decision to take a risk at each site. A global opening to the world of gaming would be exactly that in reverse, just begging for them to 'play' with your PC.



    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:45 AM
  • Apparently I was not sufficiently clear. I am not talking about game site and yes I know about them thank you.


    I am talking about firing up something like say, Microsoft's own Halo 2 and having to jump through so many hoops before i can just play it. It can be better than it is about handling locally installed 3-D games such as the entire library of Microsoft branded Games for Windows for example. I hope those aren't full of malware are they? I mean running games from retail boxed editions, not the world wild web.


    The people who make Zone Alarm (checkpoint) have this feature now in their suite and it is not bad, you still have a firewall running all the time but it knows to approve the game when you tell it I am starting up this game I own now. It stays open bugging you to click a button to fully re-enable the firewall as soon as you finish.


    If what I suggest is not ideal I can accept that. However I am sure it is possible to handle the case where someone plays PC games better than described above. I am sure the design team could come up with something that maintains reasonably safety running known trusted games with less difficulty and inconvenience. After all, I am most certainly going to click YES anyway just as soon as I exit and restart the game. I am just saying I'd like to not have to do that and no, I do not need real time scanning when I am playing Halo or Gears of War or Unreal Tournament.


    You have to recognize users are not all idiots and do need some ability to make convenient informed choices as they use their own applications and games. THe above scenario which I have to go though every time I play a new game is most certainly not convenient. And it is not stupid nor misinformed to ask for better.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:54 AM
  • Ah, I did misunderstand that you meant locally installed games. I guess that's because I know that all any developer has to do for their applications to be allowed immediate access is to digitally sign their executables that require Internet access.


    Unfortunately, this won't solve the problem for existing old games that were produced before this became a common requirement. However, some popular applications have also been given a 'free ride' by including them in the OneCare firewall database that is downloaded along with the other detection updates.


    I don't know what the criteria for inclusion in that list is though, so I'm not sure why relatively popular games wouldn't already be included, other than it might possibly massively bloat the databse if there are dozens of versions.



    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 6:27 AM
  • That is an issue. For example, the wildly popular World of Warcraft is regularly patched, and therefore ought to trigger an alarm since it is not the same exe formerly approved. Of course, it may well be that a major player like Blizzard would digitally sign their patches so it becomes a non-issue. But so many retail games are patched numerous times and there are so many games released constantly that keeping a running, current database of non-conformists to the new signing would likely not be feasible.


    I am happy to hear about the new digital signing and the intelligence that lends One Care in not bugging me needlessly for well known signed retail applications and games. That is a good standard and I am glad to hear of it. Perhaps down the road if everyone adopts this standard universally annoying popups in security software will be greatly minimized. That would be very nice.


    Meantime, I guess I am likely stuck having to work around a good deal of what I already have which is not the end of the world really. I understand where I think you are coming from. There is a security trade-off in what I proposed depending on implementation I guess, that is not ideal.


    Ultimately I'll choose secure over convenient within reason any day. But I am now curious about just what Game mode does in the Zone Alarm suite and what degree of exposure the option creates as well as how and if they even manage that exposure alternatively. That's all nice and interesting but for the time it would take me to discover that I could have told the firewall about all my unrecognized games, etc. Also, while there are times for the most demanding newer titles I might want real time scanning temporarily off, for most of what I own it isn't necessary to bother. The next PC I buy that issue will likely become irrelevent with more processing power and memory so...


    Nevermind... lol


    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 6:56 AM
  • Yes, WoW has come up before relative to its constant updating and the fact that the code changes each time requiring re-registration of the software with the firewall.


    The digital signing isn't new, it's how OneCare has always done things, but hasn't been discussed heavily since the original beta two years ago. Digital signatures have been around for several years, but only the largest developers used to bother. Now though we're seeing many more programs include signed core components to allow their code to be identified, in no small part due to OneCare and others now using them I'm sure.


    Concessions to security are made by protection software all the time in an attempt to appease customers. This has, as you guessed, led to reduced security in many cases which is obviously bad. That's why I spoke up in the first place, to help everyone understand the risks of making your own life simpler.


    I'm gald you recognized the risk and understood what I had to say. Hopefully it will help others do the same, so it was a good set of questions.



    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 10:11 PM