Halo: Reach was released in the U.S. at 12 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, and the Xbox Live networks were swamped with gamers within hours, all of them eagerly trying out the newest game from one of the world’s top-selling series.
Bungie – the game’s developing company – reports that one week after the game’s release, a tally was done of the total number of hours spent online since the game’s online component was activated. The final number? Over 5,901 years had been collectively spent on the game.
The Halo craze is once again sweeping the gaming nation, and it is infecting more people each day.
Senior youth ministry major Clayton Acker went to a midnight sale of the game in Georgetown with a group of students from the youth group he assists with.
“There were three of us from our group that went out to the sale, and we just hung out with the other kids that went,” Acker said. “There were probably 250 people at the GameStop in Georgetown for the sale.”
Acker said he picked up the game at the midnight sale so he could spend some time playing it online with the youths he works with.
“Halo is a fun series because it is what the kids like, and it’s tailored to a different type of crowd,” he said. “I actually skipped my morning class Tuesday so that I could spend time playing the game with them.”
Freshman Christian studies and psychology major Robbie Storch attended the midnight sale at Belton’s Gamestop to purchase the game.
“There was a pizza party with sodas and a DJ playing music,” Storch said. “I like the Reach game because its multiplayer offers a more level playing field than other video games.”
Bungie reports that 13 hours after the game’s release, more unique users had played the game online at some point than had played Halo 3 the entire week prior to the release.
In fact, Bungie didn’t find the same number of players on Halo 3 until they had tallied 45 days of logs.
“I’ve given up a day before to play Halo 3 when it came out, too,” Acker said. “After we got the game at the midnight sale, we all went back to our church and just sat around all day playing the game.”
Because video games are coming out with more coherent storylines and better looking graphics, various reports state that they are becoming more immersive. Video games are even taking the forefront in the news in rare instances.
Yahoo News commonly runs updates on current video game trends, and is now even running videos with tips on how to perform better in games.
A lot of the science in video games is not so far-fetched, either. Halo: Reach allows players to use jetpacks as a mode of transportation, and this mode of travel could be in the not-so-distant future, according to numerous scientific reports. This level of realism in current video games is part of what makes them attractive to many people.
Freshman Ian Oosterbaan voiced his opinion on what he thinks drives people to give up a day or two to play video games.
“Gaming today is just so realistic, it’s almost like having a separate life,” he said.
Hunter Hodges and Ethan Mitra contributed to this story.