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360 Avatars: 'You can't blow their heads off'

Xbox Mii-alikes only for E-rated games, says MS

Microsoft has detailed some of the rules and regulations for the use of 360 Avatars - Microsoft's answer to Nintendo's Miis.

Speaking at the recent Gamefest event in Seattle (via Develop), Xbox Live box Eric Kilgore confirmed that developers will be allowed to use the Avatars in-game, but only for E-rate titles (or U/5+/picture of spider-baby or whatever Europe ends up using after the BBFC row).

"We are still developing the final policies," said Kilgore. "The final guide we have this year is to think of them in an 'E10' context. That doesn't mean it won't change - but this Fall they won't be able to blow each other's heads off."

You won't be able to play as the office IT manager in Gears 2 then, but you will be able to slap your Avatars all across the web; Kilgore says the Avatars are designed so that they can be seen not just on the Dashboard, but on forums and Facebook pages just like Gamertag information.

"We think it's really important that these things can scale between in game and out of game, and how we can use them on the web," he said, adding that Microsoft is already speaking with developers to "understand how it can be integrated with your ideas".

Of course if you'd prefer not to use the Avatars at all, you don't have to.