A post on the official Halo 2 forums
shows the dedication of a slowly-vanishing small group of Halo 2 gamers who have kept their Xboxes running and connected to Halo 2 after Microsoft recently shut down the Xbox Live service.
Throughout the past week, a small group of dedicated Halo 2 players kept their Xbox's on so that they could enjoy the game for a while longer. (As long as we don't turn off our Xbox's, or lose connection, we can stay online. Our Xbox's have been on for nearly 14 days straight!) Each day the amount of people decreased, at a rapid rate.
A lot of us became really good friends, and it's almost like we're family now.
For a while, we had 'T0 Be Continued' Live streaming all of our games, until her Xbox regrettably froze while playing custom games. Then, 'Mr7ankjump' did a live stream, but he lagged out only 4 hours later.
A noble tale - but more importantly it's a crucial reminder of the difference between a closed platform gaming environment like Xbox Live or Infinty Ward's IWNet service, and an open, dedicated server model where the game can more or less live forever.
One day, whoever is in control of that system can simply pull it down when they want you to buy their next shiny version - and your game will effectively almost unplayable online instantly. Compare this to games like Quake or other dedicated server based games - you can still play them online today and almost certainly always will be.