Randy Guthrie – Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist
9:30pm – September 13, 2010: The doors open at the Microsoft Store at the Park Meadows Mall near Denver, Colorado and hundreds of Halo fans pour in to be the first to try Halo Reach, the newest of the Halo XBox game series produced by Bungie and Microsoft Game Studios. Those who had pre-ordered the game online were given raffle tickets for what would turn out to be some really cool prizes, from a complete game system (TV, console, Halo Reach game) to a life-size Spartan helmet to tee-shirts and limited-edition posters. Food, snacks and caffeinated drinks were in abundance, and a formal tournament was formed and managed by the super-friendly, super-excited store employees. As midnight approached, the raffle was started, and it concluded minutes before the big countdown. At midnight, the service counter was magically (and instantly) transformed into a high-speed check-out line so that the party attendees could get their hands on their very own games. I saw lots of big bags containing the coveted “Legendary” edition that includes a set of Spartan figurines. The crowd started thinning out as the check-out lines diminished; presumably because the attendees were rushing home for some serious game play. A great time was had by all, and by all means, the party isn’t over yet as my pre-order copy should be waiting for me at home tonight!