Xbox 360 offering free Gold weekend, paired with Black Ops 2, Far Cry 3 double XP

If you own an Xbox 360, and particularly if you only own an Xbox 360, the Gold requirement for online play and services can be a pain. This weekend, Microsoft is offering a cooling salve, in the form of free access, so you can join those with disposable income in watching movies and hearing preteens shout racist epithets at you for stealing their kill.

The free weekend was announced on the Major Nelson blog, which also highlighted a few events going on this weekend to make it extra-special. Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed 3, and Far Cry 3 are all offering double XP for a limited time, so you can play online to rank up this weekend. In addition, Borderlands 2 has a SHiFT code for a Golden Key that's only active during the free weekend. The Netflix original series Hemlock Grove also debuts today, letting Netflix subscribers actually access their paid membership without an additional Microsoft-mandated paywall.