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I have an Xbox live gold account. If I sign in and start a Halo online matchmaking game will my son without a good account be able to join in?

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Yes, in Halo games on the Xbox 360, if you have one player signed in with Xbox Live Gold, up to 3 other people can sign in as "Guest" and play online at the same time in splitscreen.

Most multiplayer Xbox Live games allow for this mode of sharing Gold status.

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Also, I don't know how many other games you play with your son, but I heard the Live Family Pack was a pretty good deal. Something to keep in mind if you run into a game that doesn't allow it. –  Fluttershy Dec 27 '11 at 4:34
    
Thanks. We still monitor what he plays pretty closely so we're not quite ready to give him his own gold access yet. Playing with him online withm y gold account is the first step towards that. –  cori Dec 27 '11 at 5:27
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