The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
There continues to be an increase in Aggies working in D.C. The PPIP program at A&M is one instrumental program for students to shape their careers. (Graphic by Ethan Mattson/The Battalion)
Why D.C. wants all the Aggies
Stacy Cox, News Reporter • April 22, 2024

More Aggies are calling Washington, D.C. home than ever with the aid of programs like the Public Policy Internship Program, or PPIP. The program...

Sophomore DB Jacoby Mattews (2) and sophomore DB Sam McCall (16) attempt to stop LSU WR Malik Nabers during Texas A&Ms game against LSU on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023 at Tiger Stadium (Katelynn Ivy/The Battalion)
2024 NFL Draft: Ranking every first round-graded pass catcher
Mathias Cubillan, Sports Writer • April 22, 2024

As NFL defenses have found ways to stifle scoring opportunities and keep the lid on big plays, a bigger burden falls on the pass catchers for...

Members of Aggie Replant pick up trash at Aggie Park on Feb. 5, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Mayra Puga)
Aggies come together to promote sustainability
Ayena Kaleemullah, Life & Arts Writer • April 22, 2024

As Earth Day arrives in Aggieland, talks about environmental action are growing. From planting trees to creating an impactful sustainable lifestyle,...

Texas A&M professor Dr. Christina Belanger teaches her Geology 314 class on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in the Halbouty Geosciences Building. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Opinion: Stop beating the dead [virtual] horse
Eddie Phillips, Opinion Writer • April 22, 2024

Snow days were my favorite days of grade school. I would wake up extra early to stand in my living room to peer through the glass toward the...

Coveting the Covenant

Right now, somewhere on campus, an Aggie has just died. Gunned down by his friend, this student’s death will go unnoticed by all but a few. The nature of the non-reaction may be due to the fact that the student is just one of thousands who will perish in the next hour. Perhaps it’s because his death is just a fictional act in a video game. Just don’t tell that to any of the hundreds of students who waited in line last Tuesday morning to pick up their copy of “Halo 2,” the video game sensation that is taking the nation by storm.
“Halo 2” is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2001 hit video game, “Halo: Combat Evolved” for the X-Box. Detailing the intergalactic struggles of Master Chief, a genetically engendered soldier of the future, “Halo 2” has struck a chord with gamers across the nation. Players are allowed to control the futuristic fighter in a first-person shoot-em-up campaign against the wrath of The Covenant, a massive alien war force. In the first day of its release, “Halo 2” sold 2.4 million copies with sales adding up to $125 million dollars, according to Microsoft Game Studios.
For Travis Roberts, a junior history major, and Adrian Espinoza, a junior sociology major, the draw of the video game was strong enough to pull them out of their beds and into a sprawling line outside Hastings as part of the store’s midnight release party. Ignoring morning classes, they waited 45 minutes for a game they weren’t sure they would be able to buy yet.
“We’re exactly two people behind the 22nd person,” Roberts said. “The manager said there were only 22 extra games.”
Neither Roberts nor Espinoza attempted to reserve their copy of “Halo 2.” Instead, the two students are content to wait in line for a chance at the game. For the two students, their wait was almost over.
“I’ve been waiting for two years,” Espinoza said. “I played the original all throughout my freshman year. The first one was so badass, and I heard the new one is a lot better. I have a paper due at 9:30 a.m., but I’ll play all night. I’ll probably wake up at 7:30 to write it before class. Probably.”
For parents who decry the game’s violence, Roberts said “Halo 2” can actually play a role in maintaining a student’s virtue.
“I never went to Northgate. I was too busy playing ‘Halo,'” Roberts said. “‘Halo’ kept us from drinking.”
“Except when we drink while we play,” Espinoza added.
Clarke Burkett, a freshman computer science major, read a novel while in line, content in the knowledge that he is first in line to receive a copy of “Halo 2.”
Burkett arrived at the store at 10:15 p.m. Monday night and has had his copy of the game reserved since arriving in College Station this fall.
“The original ‘Halo’ was the reason I bought an X-Box,” Burkett said.
Before he even bought the game, Burkett was planning ways to utilize the impressive multiplayer function of the video game – a feature that allows up to 16 players to battle it out at once.
“I’m going to get a tournament going pretty soon. I want to participate in the tournament at campus, but I haven’t found a partner yet,” he said.
Burkett refers to the upcoming “Halo 2” tournament hosted by the Triangle Fraternity, a social fraternity for engineers and architects.
“The original ‘Halo’ was way popular, and we wanted to capitalize on how fresh and new the sequel is,” said Browning Griggs, junior engineering major and president of the Tesxas A&M chapter of Triangle. “The fraternity plans to hold the event about 10 days after the game is released, and everyone who enters the tournament can play the entire time. We’re not having it so if you get eliminated, you’re automatically out of the game; you can stay in and play until the end. We’ll even let gamers have a chance to play after the tournament in a LAN party setting.”
The Triangle-hosted tournament will serve as a fund-raiser for the organization, but Griggs said the event will appeal to many people, despite its $25 entrance fee. tournament will be in the MSC November 16th at 7 pm.
As midnight arrives and the cashier rings up his order, Burkett eyes the shiny metal cover of the Limited Collector’s Edition game he has just purchased. The Collector’s Edition contains a bonus DVD that features several featurettes and peeks into the creation of “Halo 2.”
“I bought the Collector’s Edition because the metal case is awesome. I’m a big fan of special features, and I find them really interesting to watch because I plan to go into computer science and program games for a living.”
For Gabriel Robertson and Roane Bradley, sales representatives for Best Buy, “Halo 2” has consumed a large percentage of their work hours, but the game’s release is more then just a job. The two representatives, who are also gamers, have felt the anticipation for “Halo 2” just as strongly as, if not more than, their customers.
“Last night I bought a surround sound system just so I can play this game to the fullest capacity,” Bradley said. “I was up here at six in the morning to set up for the game’s release. I’m running on three hours of sleep, but as soon as I get off of work, I’m going to play this game.”
“This morning there was a guy camped out with a sleeping bag when the store opened,” Robertson said. “There was a line formed at nine, and the game’s been selling all morning.”
Robertson’s own anticipation for the game is evident as he attempts a sale to a potential customer.
“It’s the multiplayer that got me addicted,” Robertson said. “‘Halo 2’s replay value is largely due to peer pressure. Your friends will come over and ask you if you want to play a quick game of multiplayer, and you get sucked in.”
For Bradley, the addictive quality of the game is one he, along with many students, is all too familiar with.
“The original ‘Halo’ caused me to drop a whole letter grade (in a class),” Bradley said. “I may not make many classes this week, and I’m sure a lot of students are going to play this game a lot in the next few weeks. But eventually, most people will figure out it’s just a game,” Bradley said.
“I probably wasted a lot of time on the first game, but I’m older and wiser now,” Robertson said.
A sales trend Robertson noticed is the amount of the female population – or lack thereof – that has purchased the game.
“All the people buying the game have been dudes,” Robertson said.
Robertson’s associate Bradley is quick to point out two sorority sisters who purchased the game earlier.
“They were probably buying it for their boyfriends,” Robertson replied.
As students link up their systems to either duke it out among themselves in massive multiplayer skirmishes or team up to take down The Covenant, friendships may be put to the test due to in-the-game trash talking, but one thing is for sure: For countless students, “Halo 2” is not just a game, it’s the reason many parents are going to come calling as grades are released this winter.

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