I’m a little late to the Game Center party, because I was waiting to jailbreak 4.1. But now that I’ve arrived, it doesn’t feel like much of a party. Apple’s much touted Game Center app is supposed to be an “out of the box” focal point for all your iPhone (3GS/4), iPad, and iPod touch (2G-4G) games.

Compare your scores with friends, see how you rank worldwide, and try to achieve game goals to earn bragging rights (or to let people know how much free time you have to waste). You can also challenge friends to matches or play strangers in a multiplayer matchup.

Game Center does everything advertised above, so why am I not having any fun? Because this is what I was greeted with upon logging in:

After getting over the initial shock that Apple was basically telling me I’m a loser, I realized that I would have to request my friends to be on my Game Center list. I can understand this. In the Facebook-privacy era of the internet, nobody wants to be on a list without permission.

What I don’t understand is this: why Apple won’t find my friends in my phonebook that are already on Game Center. Instead you have to manually search by email or username (which is custom-created, and we know how people like to make up weird handles).

Plenty of other apps use your phonebook to find users: Tango, Loopt, Gowalla. Does Apple not know how to utilize their own software? Are they too stubborn to hook up with Twitter or Facebook to search for friends? (I know what your answer is, Ping).

Perhaps it’s more complicated because those apps search for other users by phone numbers, and no doubt Game Center has plenty of iPod Touch users, but still. Do the work for me, Apple. Not because I’m lazy, but because it’s more fun. I don’t know which one of my friends has 4.1 installed or has a 3GS or iPod Touch 2G or later. But you do!

Overall, I love the app for its simplicity, and it seems like it can be a lot of fun. But I thought that Game Center would be a great way for casual gamers like me to instantly link up with friends and have fun. Instead it feels like you have to be a pretty hardcore, dedicated gamer to go hunting for friends that care enough to create an account, receive your email request, and then accept it.

Or maybe I am a loser. After all, some people have too many friends.

What about you iDB readers? Do you have plenty of friends on Game Center, or do you have a bunch of pending requests? Has Game Center been all the fun you hoped it to be? And help me feel more popular by adding me: ALLTHINGSMATT, and ad Sebastien too: SEBASTIENPAGE.

  • Alastion

    0 friends, and I’m proud of it

    • Lol, I like your attitude!

    • Celinda

      add me lindy360

  • caek

    If anyone need a system to tell them who their REAL friends are… true enough, you are a loser.

  • MFCH

    On it

  • I think it’s great for certain things, unfortunately many of the requests I have sent to friends have fallen on deaf ears. Most people don’t understand why they should care about Game Center yet.

    For the few friends I do have, I think it’s great. It’s nice to see what they are playing, invite them to a game with you that supports that functionality, and of course brag about achievements and high scores.

    There is also a cool feature in some games that allow you to send a challenge to beat your high score to a friend.

  • Dracossaint

    Add me on game center foo’s dracossaint

  • SillyBear

    What’s a game center?

    • Burge

      Have you got a 3GS or i4 or iPod 2/3/4 ..? And need to be on 4.1…if not no game centre … Sorry SillyBear…

      • Casey

        How do I know if I’m on 4.1? I have no game center app on my phone.

  • Burge

    I’ve got one friend on game centre ..and I’ve played against some girl/woman on a online game….I sunk her battle ships ……haha….

    • Burge

      Make that 2 friends …thanks Matt

  • Andy_Mars

    They wouldn’t dare do this, as people use their phones for more than just gaming. You don’t want people you want to do business with knowing you have dozens of games on your phone, the implication would be that you do no work.

    I do agree that Game Center is rubbish though. There’s no unified achievement score (ala your Gamerscore on X-Box live) and very little reason to ever open it. They need to bulk it out so it is more akin to the aforementioned social gaming network.

  • Vik071

    Wait a minute, now! You guys are not on GC?!? Then why the hell should I update my 3GS to 4.1 if I can’t whoop iDB readers ass in golf or soccer? 
    Jeez!

    • Andy Mars

      It’s called football! 😛

  • rizo g

    add me on my email address riazbapoo@gmail.com, or my username which i think is riazbapoo

  • DomPerignon

    lol… Game Center? I have the Game Center icon in the folder of almost “never use apps.”

  • My gamecenter ID is iphoneglance, you can add me sebastien, or anyone else who wants to.

  • fredstyle

    I thought I can get gamecenter and HDR on a JAILBROKEN Iphone 3G?

    • Burge

      Try this repo to turn on game centre for 3G iPhone – repo.woowiz.net…

      • Burge

        Sorry try this — repo.woowiz.net/ — I missed the forward slash at the end ..

  • hit me on the Gcenter !! BABZILLAN

  • luis

    0 friends and counting

    • Martin

      Hahaha 😀

  • iKing

    Add King SITM 24
    If u wanna get dominated lol

  • Nikki

    Hiyas! I’m a ‘Billy No Mates’ too!

    Add me: HIPPINIKKI

    Fankoooooooo! 

  • corey

    i have gamecenter to add me im coolcorey1

  • Aussiegrimm

    Add me for gamecentre friend too – AussieGrimm – need some more buddies for gun bros !

  • jlo2006

    Add me : jlo2006

  • Austin

    Add me plz I’m board
    GC: viper544373

  • Amy

    Same… Add me! AmyL~