Halo 3: The Detroit Launch Party

Today the media beast that is Halo 3 was officially unleashed upon the world.  Gamers everywhere are scrambling to their local Best Buy/WalMart/EB Games to snag a copy.  I heard that you could even buy the game at 7/11 convenience stores.  Crazy.

While I’m a PC Gamer primarily, I had the opportunity to attend the Halo 3 launch event at Microsoft’s Detroit office in Southfield, MI.  So after work, a coworker and I hopped in our cars and headed out.  After getting a little bit lost because Google Maps is dumb about directions in Detroit we headed up to the Microsoft offices on the 19th floor.

Before I get into the event itself, I should state that I was expecting it to be largely gaming focused, and filled with college students and 20-somethings since it was a corporate event, and the game is M rated.

We got there and the first thing I noticed was that there were a lot of small people, and then there were a lot of middle-aged people, and only a few folks in-between.  The kids probably averaged around 14 or 15 in age, brought in by their parents who had the invites.  Then the older folks sat comfy around the 35 mark.  At 25 I felt both very old, and very young at the same time… depending entirely on who I was standing next to at any given moment.

One myth that was disproven that night was that people are more obnoxious on XBL chat because they’re safely hidden away from the people they’re trash talking.  This is not so.  They’re just as obnoxious in person.

Overall, the event was a good time.  I played a few rounds of Halo 3 Multiplayer (got my butt kicked every time (curse you console controller!), a handful of rounds of Guitar Hero 3, and a race or two of Project Gotham Racing 3.  I didn’t participate in the tournament because I’m so laughably bad, but that’s OK, it’s a lot more fun to watch a good tournament than it is to play in it if you suck.

There was good food, free beer, and a lot of interesting folks to talk to.  While light on game chatter, I did get to hear about Silverlight, and the CodeToLive project they have going on Channel 9.  There was even a raffle for some goofy to cool prizes (starting out with a copy of Kameo, and working up to a Halo Edition Xbox 360).  I didn’t win anything, but one of the guys I knew picked up a Halo 3 watch.  I’m told it’s going on eBay today.

At the end, I got a goodie bag with a free t-shirt (they didn’t have my size… that’s what I get for being less pudgy than the average geek) and ball cap with Halo 3 branding, a Halo 3 poster, and some Silverlight sticker.

All-in-all, for my first Launch event, it was pretty good.  Hopefully I’ll get to jump in on a few more of these things as they come up in the future.  Maybe for a PC game next time  ;-)