Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 52° Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Halo 2 players meet for shootout

Ayisha S. Yahya Staff writer

In a volatile Earth threatened by an evil alien race, a super-soldier returns to save humankind. His name: Master Chief. His enemy: The theocratic alliance called the Covenant. His weapons: deadly guns – lots of them.

Welcome to the world of Halo 2, the Xbox game that has drawn a massive following around the world. Local aficionados will test their skills today in a Halo 2 tournament at the Spokane Valley Mall. On Friday, more than 100 players had already registered for the contest, sponsored by Trendz, a store that sells contemporary furniture and accessories.

Owner Tim Mitchell said he is aiming for 300 people at the competition. Participants can sign in at 9 a.m. and the games begin at 10:30. New players can register until 1:30 p.m.

“I’m a Halo fan and lots of my friends are,” Mitchell said. “I know there’s a market out there for the game.”

Depending on the number of players, Mitchell expects the tournament to continue well into the evening. Thirty-two televisions and Xboxes have been set up for the showdown.

The winner will get $1,000, while the runner-up will walk away with the new Xbox 360. Third- and fourth-place finishers will get a $500 Trendz gift certificate and Trendz “Shaggy Bag” chair respectively.

Gamers say Halo 2, which was released last November, is one of the most popular Xbox games ever made. Within the first 24 hours of its release, 2.4 million units were sold drawing in $125 million, according to the official Xbox Web site.

“It’s one of the best games they have for co-operative play,” said Stormy Holmes, an inventory control associate at Hastings Books, Music and Videos in Spokane Valley.

The game can accommodate several players at the same time. In fact, with the Xbox Live version, players can hook up with others from around the world. Last April, Halo 2 fans took part in a global tournament that drew more than 50,000 players.

Tournaments are held all over the nation, Holmes said, who was recently in New Mexico for one. Anyone who has an Xbox has probably played the game.

“It’s just something you buy when you buy an Xbox. It’s something you have to have,” Holmes said.

While women play the game, men seem to be the main fans, which may be due to the game’s format.

“It’s a first-person shooter game, which means you’re pretty much shooting everything that moves,” Mitchell said. “You feel like you’re inside the game.”

Mitchell, who’s had two smaller tournaments before, said he felt the tournament is a perfect marketing opportunity for Trendz.

“It’s a good way for my store to reach the demographic that doesn’t shop,” Mitchell said, referring to men who may not like shopping.

A majority of those who’ve registered for today’s tournament are men, Mitchell said. Players are coming in from as far away as Vancouver and Montana.

“It’s a guy thing. Everyone’s going like, ‘I’m gonna win this thing.’ Everyone I talked to is the best Halo player in the world,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said an entire family has signed up, adding that the game seems to appeal to people from 10 to 40 years old.

“With this game it’s so cool, everyone gets involved,” Mitchell said.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.