Gears Midnight Launch! Pt.2

You all know the golden rule: school comes first. And with that I apologize for the tardiness of this overdue post! I hope you enjoy reading this anyways.

An Overview of the Night

Gamestop does a pretty decent job of keeping it's customers entertained. Last monday night there were three different giveaways of miscellaneous items including: the countdown display, MW3 shirt, a nerf ball, a clown mask, Battlefield poster... and the list goes on. ( I did not receive anything.) Even pizza, candy, and water were offered for free at the front of the line.

Not all of these prizes came free, however. The first round of prizes required contestants to answer rigorous questions about the Gears series. It started out that way until the employee got bored with the provided pages of questions and began to improvise. Questions ranged from 'What's my favorite weapon on COD?' to 'Who was the first emperor of Rome?"

One other thing that was popular amongst the slowly growing crowed was the Xbox stand that had Gears of War 2 hooked up. At first no one dared to approach it but after awhile people warmed up to it. Gamers were playing up until five minutes before midnight!

"You look like you're peeing when you play like that," - Brittany the Girlfriend.

The People

LaBonte's five hours of waiting finally pay off.
The most interesting thing about these events are the people that attend them. There were no cosplayers at my event but I'm sure there were easily found in the bigger cities. Regardless, the attendees were full of life and enthusiasm, especially the ones in the front of the line. LaBonte Doxey and Kirby Reed had stood in front of the shop with their pack of gatorade and a sack full of candy since 7 o'clock.

"I think I've had this pre-ordered since the first day it became an option," said long time Gears fan LaBonte. "I'm most excited for the servers that will make online play better and the conclusion of the series' story."

Although Kirby isn't as hardcore as his friend, he did make an effort for the night aside from showing up five hours early.

"Earlier today I went out and bought this just for tonight," Kirby said as he flashed his brand new Gears of War shirt.

There was another group of attendees that particularly struck my fancy - the girlfriends. Since I've never been one of the girls who just followed their boyfriend to the release party, I decided to see what made them want to come.

"Its better than just sitting back at home alone in the apartment," Brittany said as she watched her boyfriend play on the Xbox. "I do play video games, though. I just don't play much because my boyfriend Mitch hogs it,"

And that is one way a girl's journey to gamer-ness begins. Hopefully, one day she'll become a full-fledged gamer! For those of you boys out there with girlfriends like Brittany, remember, sharing is caring.

The Arrival

"Alright guys, make sure you are lined up. PowerUp card holders make your way forward!" said the man with the Gamestop tag. I think I'm the only one who started squealing and jumping around a bit, but there is no shame in that! It was 11:56 when we took our first steps into the glowing doors of goodness and took our place in the final lines. I was zipping around taking pictures (which you can view below) and before I knew it, they were handing out The Game.

LaBonte stood there at the counter, the very first one in line. As soon as he walked up to the counter the clerk began preparing his bags and LaBonte began joking around with him, hoping to get his hands on the game a bit early. The clerk played around but once it was 12:01, he made sure LaBonte was the first one with the game in his hands. Before he ran out of the store, I was able to ask him one final question: Was it worth it?

"Waiting these past few hours was definitely worth it. Now its time to go kill some Locust!" and with that said, he ran out the doors into the night.

Me geeking out a bit. 
Like everyone else I ran out of the store as soon as that game was in my hands. No sticking around for me! My accomplices and I hastily walked towards my car, cutting through some grass, not paying attention to a thing - bad idea.

"Did you really think you could go to a Gears of War launch event and come out unharmed?" My friend Eric asked me as he pulled me out of a hole. Yes, you read that right, a hole. It engulfed my left leg up to my knee. What's worse is that the hole was filled with warm water that smelled like fish.

With my boot ruined, my sock wet, and the game in my lap, I drove back to my dorm to fire-up the game I ruined my boot for!

Have any interesting stories from your experiences at launch events? Post them here!

Your's truly,


Gears Midnight Launch! Pt.1

Today, International Talk Like a Pirate day was overshadowed by a bigger phenomena: the midnight launch date of Gears of War 3.

As I type these words scores of fans are waiting outside their local Gamestops, Hastings, and other video game retailers all over the nation. It's 9:28 and I myself am waiting outside my local Gamestop.

The lights in the surrounding shops are off but the weather is pleasant. Unsurprisingly, I am the only girl who is actually purchasing the game in this line. There is one other girl, but she's just sitting here with her boyfriend. I'm about the tenth person in line and the glow from the gamestop window is calling my name.

I'll be honest. I did not pre-order the game, but from this I learned some interesting information: you can pre-order a game up until the day before the release date. If the store is holding a midnight launch, however, you can't pre-order it the night of the midnight launch BUT they will sell it to you. You just get to wait in line like everyone else but you won't receive the exclusive content for pre-ordering the game. It's not such a bad deal. I still go the 'I'm going commando' bumper sticker!

An employee just brought out one of the TV stands with the glowing Xbox 360 logo on it. Its time to get our game on!


Charitable Achievements

As I walk around my college campus, I often find myself reminiscing of the elementary school days of playing with shaving cream on our desks, listening to songs about onomatopoeias, and playing computer games that seemed to have more fun involved than learning. One other thing I recall were the  countless school fundraisers. We had various types: selling curly shoelaces, cookie dough, yoyo's, wrapping paper, and even cheeses. One of the more popular fundraisers among the students was a unique fundraiser called Jump Rope for Heart.

Jump Rope for Heart is program that gives the students the opportunity to raise money for the American Heart Association foundation. The students raise donations by getting others to pledge a certain amount of money for every time they skip rope.

This year, Xbox has partnered with the Children's Miracle Network to bring gamers a similar fundraiser. It is called G3, or the Gaming and Giving for Good Charity Event. The way you raise money is exactly the same way you would for Jump Rope for Heart. A friend or acquaintance pledges a certain amount of money and based on how much you play is how much they pay. The event occurs on the weekend of October 1st and offers participants a free Xbox Live Gold membership for the weekend. Full event details can be found here.

After seeing this announced I decided to research what other video game-based charity events there are out there and didn't find too much. Other than some expired events like the Complete-Game Completion Marathon, (A two day event in which participant's video game challenges are broadcasted while other gamers donate.) I found an awesome direct-donation type charity.

The Child's Play Charity has been working with over 70 hospitals around the world since 2003 to donate interactive toys, video games, and other electronics to children's hospitals. They do so by connecting contributors to the hospitals directly with an interactive map on their website. The donor has a unique option to purchase a requested item directly for their selected hospital or to simply donate money to the organization via text, Paypal, or sending money directly. And that's right, you can text a donation! If you text GAMERS to 50555 it sends $5.00 directly to them and will show up as a $5.00 charge on your phone bill.

Although I won't be participating in G3 due to required college events, I definitely plan on making a contribution to Child's Play! These unique ways to help others by sharing the passion of gaming is not only a great publicity for the companies who sponsor them, but also for the gaming society as a whole.

If you plan on signing up for G3 or have other experiences with video game charities, share it here!

Yours truly,

For more information about the Compete-Game Completion Marathon click here. For a direct link to Child's Play click here.


Ah, Politics

With the political storm of 2012 brewing, the paradise we call our video game world is getting sucked in like everything else.

Many of the political games I've found usually involve various presidential candidates fighting it out with special attacks relating to their campaign or personality. Political video games are nothing new. But as far as I know, this one is:

(Click above to see for yourself!)

When the game finally loads (it takes a few minutes), it opens to a  title screen that gives you the option to view the zombies that are included before you start your mission. There are a lot more than I had expected. Big names like Sarah Palin and Rick Perry are included with a few others who are simply alluded to. For example, there is the 'Factory Made Blonde Fox News Barbie Who Has Never Had A Problem In Her Life Zombie' ( aka Megyn Kelly of Fox News).

When you begin the actual game it gives you difficulty settings - something I was not expecting for this type of game. The controls are simple, but for those of you easily susceptible to motion sickness might want to lay off the right and left arrow keys when turning.

The levels are short yet satisfying. Every level moves you onto a new area providing different zombies that suit the surroundings. Between many of the levels, quotes found in articles from the Guardian, New York Times, GreenPeace, and various other groups are inserted to make a statement about the suggested wrongdoings of the Tea Party. These ideas are transmitted into the following level.

Once the zombies overcome you, you receive this lovely message:

Just to throw it out there, I did kill more than three zombies.

This game is good bit of fun. Personally, I don't like the real 'Factory Made Blonde Fox News Barbie Who Has Never Had A Problem In Her Life Zombie' and this is a wonderful way to get rid of that aggravation. But whether you a supporter of the Tea Party or not, this is an interesting look on the way media can be used to promote political beliefs and to poke a bit of fun at it all.

Of course the title and content have turned some heads the wrong way, and for every expected reason. A majority of the zombies in this game come from Fox News, who responded with an article of their own.

Give it a look. What do you guys think about this?

Yours truly,