Posts tagged games

Undressing Halo Reach (Part 2)

Thanks for the shout-outs on Twitter! Feel free to hit me up at @QwerkySIntax, and follow me. It’s the only time you’ll be able to without a restraining order.


The packaging resembles one from ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence – the spies of 2552). Symbols sprinkled around the box suggest that its contents are classified. Once its opened, a smaller box is revealed, with this note on top:

It’s awesome that even the packaging is part of the fiction of Reach. Opening the second, smaller package unveils the standard game in its box,

and underneath is a note

Beneath that is an ever more secret parcel.

It is Dr. Halsey’s journal. Written by Eric Nylund, author of the first Halo novel, The Fall of Reach, which is Master Chief’s story during the same time period as the game. Halsey is the individual who created the Spartan program and….well, this is a lot of Halo information that I’m sure you could check out for yourself…I just know way too much.

The journal is amasingly detailed and a gorgeous work. It reminds me a little of 42 Entertainment’s Cathy’s Book and its sequels.

When I finish reading that, I’ll post an entry here for fans of Halo fiction, so most of you can skip that.

In Part 3, we get down to it and make sweet love. Sorry it’s taken this long, but you know, life gets in the way.


PRELUDE to Halo: Reach

September 13, 2010 – 23:22

Best Buy. At the door, I’m greeted by an ODST Helljumper. Next to him, a soldier of the retail variety, clad in blue and khaki armour (pretty crappy armour, actually). He hands me a grey beanie, a blow up Energy Sword, and motions me in. Gathered around TVs, a group of us eagerly await 0:01. White and black controllers gripped by the hands of Halo fans, blasting round after round of pistol and Assault Rifle into the others’ faces. All laughing, some sort of caffeinated beverage in hand, discussing their experiences with the other games. This, was a small group of the Halo Nation. This was what Halo can do. Bring a group of diverse people together (well, all geeks), and have them be able to smile and reminisce.

My hands sweat a little as I stand on line, pre-order slip in hand, ID in the other (it’s Best Buy pick-up policy). I am first to check out. Rocking the Noble Team beanie, I hoist my Legendary Edition (shut-up) in the air as the others tell me to enjoy and clap. Likewise peoples.

I return home.

This was it. The unboxing, like foreplay, slowly undressing piece by piece until you get to the core and bask in the majesty. Then just lay they afterwards, smiling, glowing.


Since the release Halo: Combat Evolved, I’ve been a huge fan. Because of the epic story, the badassity of the Master Chief, the co-op, multiplayer LAN parties through system link, Halo was this game that surpassed the game. It became a universe, through the various books (which I read, thank you very much), comics, etc. But also through the various people who bonded over it. It was this amorphous mass, much like the Gravemind, that grew and took gaming from this “in the basement, nerd” thing to a mainstream audience. And it helped Microsoft compete with their newly released X-Box.

So when I dropped almost $150 on what to many of my friends was a huge cardboard box, albeit awesomely designed, it was worth it. This was the last of Bungie’s installments. It was their swan song to all of the millions of players. To me, Halo was part of my life for almost a decade. This was worth it.


Part 2 Coming Later Today or Tomorrow! Full of review, who the hell I am, and other awesome saucery!


This thread is dedicated to my latest obsession, ARGs. I discovered my first, and only, ARG at Comic Con this year and it is based around the TV show, Dexter. For anyone who has ever played an ARG they probably understand why it would be impossible for me to describe this entire puzzle at this point (it’s been going on for almost 2 months and we have done A LOT). However, the most amazing, Angel, has done a wonderful job of recapping the ARG since the beginning. Check her shit out here: Angel Recaps F8.

For those who have never played an ARG before, ARG stands for Alternate Reality Game. Since I am new to this whole world, I suggest checking out Unfiction or ARGn for a full explanation. However, if you want a brief explanation right NOW I suppose I could provide that thanks to’s history page:

“Alternate Reality Gaming (also known as beasting, unfiction, or immersive fiction) is an interactive fusion of creative writing, puzzle-solving, and team-building, with a dose of role playing thrown in. It utilizes several forms of media in order to pass clues to the players, who solve puzzles in order to win pieces of the story being played out.

Clues can be passed through web pages, email, voicemail, snail mail, television advertisements, movie posters, campus billboards, newspaper classifieds… really, in any way that information can be passed.

Many times, the puzzles that must be solved cannot be solved alone. This genre of game almost requires participation in a group or community that works together to win past the more difficult hurdles.

Beasting is unique in that it wouldn’t be possible without the community-building and networking power of the Internet. Besides the obvious fact that there would be no web pages or email in which to hide clues, it would be nearly impossible for the diverse audience to coordinate the sheer amount of data, speculation, and solutions among players.”

While I have loved following the clues (even though I haven’t solved any riddles/games myself), I think my favorite part of this world are the people you meet and the community you form. The link below is to a Flickr page dedicated to the cartoons/artwork done by a couple of players in this game. In addition, Angel has become something of a guru with regards to the game thanks to her website (she was even accused of being the killer at one point) and I had a whole thread started about my avatar (shiny) being dead because I was gone for a week. It might be considered a time-suck but I absolutely love spending hours talking to these people online and getting a better idea of the wide variety of people out there that are “nerds.” Plus, there are TONS of sexy nerd babes in this game, and we tend to be the dirtier/more inappropriate jokesters in the game (hence the sex-dating jokes).

Please check out my friends’ art and consider checking out an ARG. I think it’s definitely going to be one of many new ways that entertainment companies advertise in the future.

Fun with Dexter ARG

PS – The wonderful term/joke “sex date,” came from one of the multiple spam threads that showed up on Angel’s recap page. It offered sex-dating to us early on in the game and we have not stopped talking about it since.

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