I have a secret. Wanna know how you can become fast tracked to a Promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in the Halo 3 Beta without really trying?
No. I am not talking about cheating. You take your Xbox to a LAN Party, and you let your Halo Clan [filled to the brim with gamers who are far more dangerous than you] play on your gamertag non-stop for two straight days and nights.
Well, maybe not “non-stop”. Our most recent LAN, after all, was at the beach. This past Memorial Day Weekend, the TTL Gunslingers – and the allies that love them – gathered on Florida’s eastern seaboard for what was officially dubbed [drumroll] The AtLANtica!
Following up on a tradition of staging events that are as equally heavy on the Party as they are on the LAN, we descended upon an obscure beachfront resort for the purpose of breaking down the final barrier that keeps us apart on Xbox Live.
Over twenty Gunslingers dealt themselves in on the experience. Faces were put to names. Bread was broken. War stories were shared. Lead was dealt at an even exchange rate.
In planning this extravaganza, our biggest fear was an announcement that the Halo 3 Beta would coincide with the event – separating us from precious testing time. As it turns out, that was the most interesting component of the experience – or at least, the gaming part of it.
After some troubleshooting and a strongly-worded phone call to tech-support, we managed to punch a hole in the firewall of the hotel network. The game must be allowed to flow, and under all circumstances!
Throw into the mix a projection screen large enough to induce vertigo on a jump from the man-cannon, and you have a spectacle that fills the room. An added bonus was the chance to game with our fellow Beta Testers. They made their appearances on the screen 4 by 4.
The Testing Station became a portal to the Gunslingers who could not make the trip. They were kind enough to tolerate our antics as the noise in the room [Guitar Hero] kept the team-chat channel open long after we were done asking “Who put a trip mine in the front yard?!?!”
In a rare move, our propaganda is being outsourced to our guest from the Halo Nation… Foo Mo Jive, recorded hours of audio for a Podtacular cast…
To be quite honest, the details from the event are hazy. When you plan a weekend to be a collision between sun, sand, surf, and gamer culture; the hardest thing can be keeping all of the memories straight. Say thankya that someone thought to record media for the sake of posterity.