This from XP Help and Support
Managing computer memory
When your computer is running low on RAM and more is needed immediately, Windows uses hard drive space to simulate system RAM. This is known as virtual memory, and is often called the paging file. This is similar to the UNIX swapfile. The default size of the virtual memory pagefile (named pagefile.sys) created during installation is 1.5 times the amount of RAM on your computer.
If your friend looks in Help there is more info.
I'm not a gaming expert, but 256 Ram is a little low.