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Another Portland Blog

Friday, January 30, 2004

 

Confessions of a Halo junkie

Halo is a drug and I'm addicted to it.

From afar, the Xbox's flagship game seems bland. It's just another first-person shooter. You play a space marine, you mindlessly shoot things, blah, blah, blah; it's the same drip-feed hackery that game companies have been dishing up for their addicted clientele for years. Then you begin playing and it hits you like a rush. Gorgeous graphics, perfect game play, cocky aliens that shout insults at you before you mow them down with a space-aged machine gun. It's better than Samus, it's better than Mario, and better than (dare I say it?) even Link. OK, maybe not Link.

When I had to return it to the video store, I immediately went into withdrawal. I didn't just want Halo, I needed it. I drove to the nearest Target and bought the last copy in stock along with a desk lamp. In certain chain stores, the registers now require employees to enter the birthdate of customers attempting to purchase video games over a certain rating level. The machine didn't like my b-day for some reason. After five minutes of toil, the clerk finally bagged my stuff and I was on my way.

A few hours later, I couldn't find Halo I searched the house, the car the driveway...no space marine game. I broke out in a cold sweat and began inspecting every bit of carpet. It had to be here, it just had to be. After tearing up the floorboards and knocking down the walls like Gene Hackman at the end of the French Connection, I decided to retrace my steps. When was the last time I actually saw the game? Then I realized what happened. The clerk never put Halo in the %&%&^! bag.

I drove back to the Target this morning and stormed to the electronics’ department for my fix game. A sleepy-eyed clerk conducted a half-hearted search and then shrugged. I walked out the store angry, empty-handed, $30 poorer than I was the night before and running late for work.

Somewhere, in the dark basement of his parent's Lake Oswego homestead, that clerk is playing copy of Halo. And he's laughing.

This is my woeful tale. Learn from it. Don't play video games. If you do, duct tape them to your hands before leaving your favorite retail chain. You never now when some shifty-eyed Jesuit High brat will conveniently forget to bag your smack game.

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