I was never really interested in getting a game console until the first time I played Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC. I played it so many times that it was like an addiction for me, but what always bummed me out was the play speed. It seemed like it hung so bad sometimes that it was crazy. Then someone let me play it on their XBOX. It was all over, then.
At the time that I first got infected with the HALO epidemic, it was towards the end of the life on the original XBOX console, and I saw no point in going out and buying the XBOX, when the XBOX 360 was going to be on the market shortly. When I let people know that it was my intention to wait, I heard it from everyone. That I would have to wait a long time, and I might not see one for several months after the release date. What these people failed to understand was that my last game console was an Atari 5200… anf if I waited this long, I would be safe waiting a little longer.
About a month after the release, people were still saying that they did not have any in stock… and I was walking through Sam’s Club here in Bakersfield, and what do you know. They had two stacks of 360s. Not empty boxes, not displays, but the real thing. They were $459.99, for the premium edition, and there was a sign that said “One unit to a member.” This immediately killed my plan on buying five and putting them all on ebay and still waiting a little while for my own, so… I bought one for myself.
Now… Here we are, over a year later, and with the release of HALO 3 just a stones throw away, and the rage has still not died down. What amazes me though is not just the game box or the game, but the culture that the game has created.
I sat down tonight and watched all the little movies that they have made for the game… specifically I am referring to the “Believe” campaign. This has got to be one of the most well thought out and most well done advertising campaign that I have ever seen done. The most poignant part of it for me, however, is the emotion factor. I am ex marine, while I have never seen combat, I have spoken with people who have. I have had friends who have fought in several wars, from Korea to Iraq, and in all branches. When I hear them talk about the ones that they lost in battle, the friends, the family, those they never knew, it touches me. When I see these ads, I feel that they worked very hard to convey that same feeling in the spot, and it makes for a very moving commercial.
Is it foolish to get emotional about a commercial for a game? Yes… it is, but I feel that the marketing team that put these series of ads together has outperformed themselves on this go around. You watch these and walk away not with a feeling like you have watched a commercial for a game, but that you have just seen an ad for a new monument for a fallen soldier… or a battle that has yet to happen.
The commercials for this game should qualify for some kind of award in their own right. They are moving, thought provoking and leave you thinking.
To all my HALO friends out there! Game On!
Have a good one, and I will see you all on the ‘Net… hoping to do some fraggin!