Tied the Leader would like to introduce you to a baby named Hayden. There she is, all dressed up for Halloween. Hayden’s daddy is a TTL Gunslinger. That means that he has hundreds of gamers who have his back covered on Xbox Live. As it turns out, gaming clans are good for more than just boosting rank.
What’s that you ask? Why is Hayden on the cover of a magazine? That little detail, constant reader, is at the crux of our little tale. You see, Hayden won a contest. You could even say that she won an election…
Now, at TTL, we don’t traffic in politics. It’s written into the law that governs our great land. However, when Sunburned Goose told us that his daughter was a finalist in a contest named “Babies Gone Wild”, well, we just had to come to her aid. When posed with the question, it just so happens that the Halo Nation thinks that babies who come from good, solid gamer stock are the cutest.
You could go so far as to say that beauty is in the eye of the controller-holder.
In Hayden’s defense, she didn’t really need our help. Perhaps we contributed to her early momentum in primary voting, but she’s a charming young lady all by herself. She went the distance on her own power. Over 2,000,000 votes were cast to select the face that would grace the cover of the Fall Issue of Alabama Baby. Try as we might, the Tied the Leader Community would never be able to muster such numbers needed to overturn popular opinion of that magnitude. Yet, every successful candidate needs a strong base, and we were more than happy to play that role.
There is Hayden, surrounded by her campaign staff at ChicagoLANd 3.0. Any baby that can brave a LAN Party wins my vote. Ours was no cakewalk. The battle was hard fought and won. During the campaign, intelligence gathering brough to light a similar grass-roots movement that sought to support a rival baby on an Internet forum for dog-lovers.
What started out as an amusing way to pass the time between raiding parties into Halo 3 became an experiment in the power of gamer culture. Competitive spirits bloomed. The objective was painted like a target. War was declared.
When it seemed that we were contesting a battleground state, TTL activated the Good Game Network. Through our alliances, we were able to marshall honest votes from the Praetorians, the Buddies, O7AH, 8Bit Brigade, and even the Cavegirls.
Was this bias? Of course it was! All elections are decided by the bias of those who vote. Was this a misappropriation of power? Who is to say? The prospect of gaming communities inserting their influence into baby pageants is a very grey area of Election Law.
All we know is that, when all of the ballots had been cast, it was our girl who was sworn in as the face of Autumn in the Southeast.
Congratulations, Hayden. Here’s looking at you, kid. If those tiny little hands ever find their way to a controller, remember the Gunslingers that helped to make you famous…