Halo 3: taking over students’ lives one console at a time

Michael Plourd

The door burst open and three smiling faces tore into the room as happy as five-year-olds on Christmas morning. The way they handled taking the game out of its case may as well have replicated handling a bomb that would self-destruct with the slightest nudge. Two T.V.’s were waiting for them on their return to maximize the amount everyone could play without interruption.

The much-anticipated release of Halo 3 made this a frequent scene across the Quinnipiac campus just past midnight on the morning of Sept. 25. Skipping classes, losing sleep and missing work were also recurring themes in the days that followed.

“This is a fantastic day. I don’t think I’m going to be going to classes for a while,” said junior psychology major Phil Maddalena, who got two hours of sleep the night Halo 3 came out.

Maddalena is just one of the many who had been waiting for the release for almost three years now. The final chapter in this epic trilogy has caused such a wave of excitement that more than 100 people waited in line for the midnight release outside of GameStop in Hamden. Offers of replica characters and weapons from the game, and Halo-themed X-Boxes and controllers filled the store contributing to the building expectations of the line outside.

Some may find it hard to imagine a video game taking over so many different aspects of daily life, but Halo 3 has been able to catch the attention of many different types of people.

The game, which consists of a one-player campaign mode as well as a massive on-line multiplayer option, which allows people to play anyone from around the world, is especially appealing to college students. Headsets allow them to talk back and forth with the rest of the people in the game, making trash-talking another appealing aspect to students. For some, however, this appeal has become more of an obsession.

“What is there not to like?” said junior public relations major Eric Roland, who missed two classes following the day of the release. “It has a great story combined with an awesome multiplayer and no other game has been able to provide that.”

Some students struggle to find time to get their work done when Halo 3 is calling them to come and play. Its addicting quality makes it difficult for many students to put the game down. For some it is the newest and most technologically advanced drug available.

While Maddalena was playing for the first few hours, his normally quick-witted demeanor fell apart. His mouth gaped open in shock at any new discovery in the game and his responses to questions became simplistic. The world could have fallen down around him and he wouldn’t have even noticed.

Just before the game began, Roland turned to Maddalena, shook his hand, and wished him a “Happy Halo 3.” Of course the happiness might fade once all the work they missed catches back up to them in a few days, but for now it’s time to spread the Halo cheer.