Halo 3 for Free to Xbox Live Gold Subscribers Today

October 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Bungie's 2007 first-person shooter hit Halo 3 is now available as a free download to Xbox Live Gold subscribers as part of Microsoft's Games with Gold program. The game normally sells for $15. In the first half of the month Microsoft offered the puzzle-RPG Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes for free.

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Research: Playing Shooters Improves Motion Perception - While Walking Backwards

September 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new study by the School of Psychology at the University of Leicester comes to the conclusion that first-person shooters can help players better perceive motion... while walking backwards. The research was recently published in a paper called "Selectively enhanced motion perception in core video gamers" in the journal Perception.

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Bungie Shows Kindness to Young Liver Transplant Patient and Halo Fan

January 21, 2013 -

This Reddit thread reveals a grand and charitable deed that Bungie did for a very sick little boy in Seattle, as detailed by The Escapist. According to the Reddit thread, Seattle-based Reddit user fiscal_ reached out to Bungie asking them to send something to his five year old son who was in the process of getting a liver transplant.

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Halo 2 PC Servers to Go Dark in February

January 17, 2013 -

According to an announcement from 343 Industries community manager Jessica Shea posted on Halo Waypoint, multiplayer servers for the PC windows version of Halo 2 will go dark on February 15. So why would 343 Industries shut down those servers? Because, as Shea points out, nobody seems to be using them anymore:

"We're sad to report that the service end-date for Halo 2 PC Multiplayer will be February 15, 2013," reads the post.

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Microsoft Investigating Issue with Halo 4 Season Pass Holders and the Crimson Map Pack

December 10, 2012 -

Microsoft has indicated to the Xbox 360 community that it is aware of problems with Halo 4 season pass holders not being able to download the Crimson Map Pack that was released today. The company says that it is investigating the cause of this and working on a solution. Instead of being able to simply download the Crimson Map Pack, season pass holders are being asked to pay 800 MS Points prior to download. The season pass costs a flat fee enabling purchasers to grab all the downloadable content upon release for free.

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Xbox Live's Ridiculous Halo 4 Promotion

November 8, 2012 -

Hey kids!  Do you have absolutely nothing better to do this month than play Halo 4 every day for hours on end?

If so, Xbox Live's "Halo 4 Combat Tour Offer" might be right up your alley!

This month, you can earn Microsoft points by playing Halo 4 in multiplayer mode.

 

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Turns Out Sexist Talk on Xbox Live Won't Earn You a Lifetime Ban

November 7, 2012 -

Last week, GameSpot reported that Halo 4 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill and 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross had said "there is zero tolerance for Xbox Live players who are found to be making sexist or discriminatory comments against others, with a lifetime ban from the network as penalty."

According to Destructoid, that's not exactly the case.

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Fox News: Halo 4 May Keep Voters at Home

November 6, 2012 -

Election Day is finally upon us and you know what that means!

Yep, Halo 4 is now available at retail!  Of course, as a Nintendo fanboy, I don’t give a toss but some people are excited.  So excited in fact that Fox News suggests some may forego the polls and instead elect to stay home and play Master Chief’s latest adventure.

The evidence?  Halo 4 came out today.

Yeah, that’s it.

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Master Chief Calls Other Games 'Girly' at Xbox Event in Israel

November 6, 2012 -

Some poor guy that dressed up like Master Chief to give a presentation on behalf of Microsoft's Xbox 360 launch in Israel called games other than Halo - and no doubt other than Halo 4 which releases today in regions around the world - girly. Besides being a poor choice of words that will likely be construed as misogynistic and sexist, Master Chief may not realize that a good portion of the military in Israel is comprised of women. Oops.

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Play Halo 4, Get Rewards From American Express

November 2, 2012 -

American Express and Xbox have teamed up to offer "automatic real-time rewards" for playing Halo 4, according to this GamesBeat report. Players will be able to play Halo 4, complete levels and win rewards like cash back, coupons, and - if they are extra lucky - a trip to the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

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Microsoft: Halo Series has Generated $3 Billion in Revenue

October 31, 2012 -

New sales figures from Microsoft reveal that its ultra popular Halo franchise has generated nearly $3 billion in revenue since launch, with more than 46 million Halo games sold. Halo: Reach was responsible for around $200 million of that revenue in just 24 hours across Europe and the US, with Halo 3 managing to bring $170 million in the US on day one. Halo 2 was no slouch either; it raked in $125 million.

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Halo 4 Developers Say Sexist Behavior on Xbox Live Can Earn you a 'Lifetime Ban'

October 31, 2012 -

343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross and Halo 4 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill say that sexist and other anti-social behavior on Xbox Live is unacceptable and that they have a responsibility to tamp down or eliminate sexism in the industry. They also said that Microsoft does its best to monitor and ban players who abuse other players over Xbox Live. Ross and Wolfkill made their comments to GameSpot this week to promote Halo 4.

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Halo 4 Leaked, Microsoft Promises Investigations and Permanent Bans to Offenders

October 15, 2012 -

Over the weekend pictures and forum threads started to illustrate that players had somehow gotten their hands on early copies of Halo 4 - which isn't set for release until November 6th. Microsoft was obviously not very pleased with this news and promised that it would conduct an investigation into the early leaks of the game and would do so in conjunction with law enforcement.

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Microsoft Changes Game Content Usage Rules for Fan-Made Videos

October 10, 2012 -

Microsoft has added a single line to its "Game Content Usage Rules" (found over in the community section of Xbox.com) that restricts gamers from earning money from videos that contain footage of Microsoft games like... every Halo game every made (thanks Rpad.tv). So if you are one of those YouTube stars with a large following that may have benefited from ad dollars, the party seems to be officially over for you...

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Blame Game: Former White House Official Blames Video Games for Colorado Shooting

August 2, 2012 -

An editorial in the Baltimore Sun written by former White House and Pentagon official Douglas MacKinnon laments the "lessons lost" that could have come out of the Aurora, Colorado shooting about what the author calls "a culture that desensitizes us to violence." While his general sentiment that there are lessons to be learned about the shooting, what those lessons are or might be are up for debate.

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Halo 4 Needs 8GB for an 'Optimal' Multiplayer Experience

July 3, 2012 -

As is usually the case with every new version of Halo, Halo 4 will require a substantial amount of space on your Xbox 360. Halo 4 will need at least 8GB of hard drive or flash memory card space to play the multiplayer modes, according to Xbox.com. The description on Xbox.com also notes that using the hard drive is "highly recommended" for those who want an "optimal" experience.

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How Halo 4 Could Impact the Presidential Election

May 2, 2012 -

When Microsoft decided to pick November 6, 2012 as the release date for Halo 4, did they take into account that the date is actually pretty damned important to the future direction of the country for the next four years? Probably not - in fact the thought probably never crossed their minds - but by choosing that date have they given gamers in the 18 - 34 age group an excuse to be more apathetic about voting than usual?

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Microsoft Files Complaint Against Halo 4 Beta 'Phishing' Site

January 31, 2012 -

It was about two weeks ago that Halo 4 developer 343 Industries warned gamers that any Halo 4 sites offering access to a beta were fake. One such site, Halo4beta.net, is now feeling the wrath of Microsoft's legal team, according to Fusible.

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Bungie Publicly Proclaims its Opposition to SOPA

January 13, 2012 -

Bungie, the company who made a game series you might be vaguely familiar with (Halo) has come out publicly against SOPA. The company posted a statement on its official site highlighting its strong opinion about the anti-piracy and rogue web site bills being considered by lawmakers in Washington.

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Bungie IT Guy is Downright Dangerous!

August 12, 2011 -

Bungie's IT guy, Jeff Fletcher, is an information specialist for the Halo creators during the day, but sometimes he's a gun-toting vigilante, according to this report from Seattle news station KING 5.

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Follow-Up on Autistic Boy's Xbox Live 'Cheater' Punishment

January 31, 2011 -

As a follow-up to Thursday's story that an 11-year-old autistic boy (Julius Jackson) being banned from Xbox Live for cheating, Game Informer unravels exactly what might have happened and why Microsoft is not backing down from the action. Game Informer posits that the ban probably has something to do with the way the youngster acquired the Recon Armor in Halo 3. Game Informer came to this conclusion based on tweets from both the mother (Jennifer Zdene) and Xbox Live Policy Director (Stephen Toulouse).

Getting Recon Armor is not an easy task. You can either have it given to you by Bungie directly (which did not happen in this case for sure) or you can unlock a specific set of 7 achievements spread across Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST called Vidmaster Challenges. Some of those challenges are easy, while others are quite difficult.

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Halo Reach Credit Cheaters Get Rollbacks, Bans

October 5, 2010 -

Halo Reach cheaters and hooligans (you know who you are) are being put in their place as Bungie resets Reach credits. In a post on Friday Bungie announced that thousands of players who have exploited a glitch in the game will have their credits reset. Some players have earned bans too.

"We are in the process of applying credit resets to approximately 15,000 users who we have identified as the most egregious Challenge Reset abusers," a post on Bungie.net read.

More sweeps of questionable player activity are happening this week as well. The exploit in question allowed players to manipulate their network connections to play Challenge mode 20 or more times and earn buckets of credits. Naturally, some users say that they were unfairly targeted because they did not know about the glitch and did not use the exploit knowingly.

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Baseball Player Wants His Halo

September 14, 2010 -

A Chicago White Sox player was so excited about the release of Halo: Reach that he stood in a line at a Chicago store waiting for the midnight release.

Brent Lillibridge, a second baseman for the Sox, tweeted from his place in line that he was channeling his inner nerd, according to a story on ESPN:

"Most important night of the year Halo coming out at 12 tonight and yes I'm in a line to get it... Jokes please," Lillibridge tweeted at approximately 11 p.m. (CT) Monday.

Needless to say, teammate Mark Teahan wasn't amused and responded with his own tweet:

"Brent, get to bed. Take Gavin, Thornton & Putz with you. Halo will survive the night without you," Teahen tweeted, referring to pitchers Gavin Floyd, Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz.

Lillibridge was unfazed:

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Unauthorized Halo: Reach Players Get Permabanned

August 24, 2010 -

Gamespot is reporting that Microsoft is mass-banning individuals who are playing illegal copies of Halo Reach on Xbox Live. This report is based on a Microsoft policy document obtained by website MaxConsole. The story began earlier this month when a group of modders managed to grab an early version of Bungie's last Halo game via Microsoft's virtual marketplace. While this group of modders did not intend to release the game (allegedly), it ultimately ended up on file-sharing sites.

Now Microsoft is cleaning the barn; anyone caught playing the unauthorized version of the game will be banned. The language in the policy document is bad news for anyone that gets banned, because apparently it is permanent - though whether that ban is specific to Gamertag or system is not known. The most important thing from the document is the following:

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Iraq War Vet, Halo Gamer Succumbs to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

September 1, 2009 -

…another in an occasional series of reports about gamers who gave their all:

Jacob Blaylock wasn't killed during his tour in Iraq, but a pair of his close buddies were. After he rotated back home, Blaylock, like so many other combat veterans, struggled with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In a moving report, the Indianapolis Star chronicles Blaylock's troubles and eventual suicide:

Blaylock was known as a more than competent soldier in Iraq, a popular guy who smoked three packs of Marlboros a day and played the video game "Halo" to relax between the many missions logged.

After his death, family members came across a blog entry written by Blaylock:

I am well past gone. I don't care what anyone says, cause they just don't know. They don't understand, and I can't expect them to. I want to remember. I want peace. I want to be happy. All I want to do is live.

The New York Times has a much more detailed report on Blaylock's downward spiral, including gut-wrenching video footage.

GP: Why do we cover these stories? Because this generation of gamers has suffered war like none before it. We hope to honor their sacrifice.

27 comments

TV News Has Video Report on Sentencing of Teen Halo 3 Killer

June 17, 2009 -

Cleveland's Fox 8 has a video report (not embeddable, unfortunately) - including courtroom footage - on yesterday's sentencing of Daniel Petric.

The 17-year-old was sentenced by Judge James Burge from 23 years to life in prison for the 2007 murder of his mother and wounding of his father. The incident was apparently sparked over the parents refusal to permit their son to play Halo 3.

6 comments

Halo 3 Teen Killer Gets Life in Murder of Mom... Parole in 23 Years

June 16, 2009 -

Daniel Petric, who shot his mother to death and badly wounded his father after they banned him from playing Halo 3 in a 2007 incident, has been sentenced to life in prison by an Ohio judge. Under the terms of the sentence, Petric will be eligible for parole in 23 years.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that an emotional Petric  (left) tried to address the court but was unable to speak.

While delivering his verdict in the case in January, Judge James Burge seemed to blame violent video games:

This Court's opinion is that we don't know enough about these video games...

 

It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing...

 

The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

See our story from earlier today for more background on the case.

58 comments

Teen Halo 3 Gamer to be Sentenced For Murder of Mom

June 16, 2009 -

Daniel Petric, the Ohio teen convicted of killing his mother and severly wounding his father after his parents banned him from playing Halo 3 in 2007, will be sentenced later today, reports local news station Fox 28.

The case bears watching because Judge James Burge, who presided over Petric's trial and will hand down the sentence, was quite critical of video games in comments delivered from the bench at the time of the verdict. As GamePolitics reported in January, Judge Burge said: 

This Court's opinion is that we don't know enough about these video games. In this particular case, not so much the violence of the game because I believe in the Halo 3, what it amounts to is a contest to see who can shoot the most aliens who attack.

 

It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing...

 

The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

During the trial, Petric's attorney argued that the teen should be found not guilty by reason of insanity due to what was termed a claimed obsession with Halo 3.

26 comments

Utah Congressman Says He's Way Better at Halo Than Rock Band

May 7, 2009 -

Perhaps more than any freshman congressman in recent memory, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has a knack for getting his name mentioned by the media.

Here at GamePolitics, we've covered Chaffetz for his Rock Band duet with Stephen Colbert. The Republican Congressman is also an active Twitter user (jasoninthehouse) and just a tad to the right of Attila the Hun. After all, he is from Utah.

But his conservative rants got the best of GP yesterday and we couldn't resist sending him a jab via Twitter:

Will you be doing anything with Rock Band again any time soon? Otherwise I may have to stop following your updates.

Chaffetz is nothing if not a good sport. He quickly followed up with a private tweet and we couldn't help but laugh:

I suck at Rock Band. Best if I stick to Halo.

By the way, Chaffetz isn't kidding about his Rock Band suckitude. Check out that 24% score from the Colbert show appearance. In any case, it's reassuring to know that at least one member of Congress enjoys a round of Halo now and again.

21 comments

Judge Comes Down Hard on Video Games in Halo 3 Murder Trial

January 13, 2009 -

As GamePolitics reported yesterday, a judge in Lorain County, Ohio ruled that 17-year-old Daniel Petric was guilty of shooting his parents in a dispute over whether or not the teen could play Halo 3. Petric's mother was killed in the 2007 incident.

A comment made by Judge James Burge during the delivery of his verdict in the case of gamer Petric is getting wide play in both the mainstream and gaming press:

I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

Pretty negative toward games, right? But Burge's full remarks are much worse. GamePolitics created the transcript below from a video of the sentencingwhich is posted on the website of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

By way of context, Judge Burge explains that expert testimony during Petric's trial failed to establish an insanity defense, forcing him to find Petric guilty as charged. But the judge apparently believes that the young man is deeply troubled and that video games are a primary factor:

The Court must enter a finding of guilty on the counts set forth in the indictment. That being said, it's my firm belief as a human being - and not as a jurist - that Daniel does suffer from a serious defect of the mind.

 

This Court's opinion is that we don't know enough about these video games. In this particular case, not so much the violence of the game because I believe in the Halo 3, what it amounts to is a contest to see who can shoot the most aliens who attack.

 

It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing. The dopamine surge, the stimulation  of the nucleus accumbens - the same as an addiction. Such that when you stop, your brain won't stand for it.

 

The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

Burge's parting shot seems to indicate a belief on the judge's part that we haven't heard the last of Daniel Petric and his supposed video game issues:

But I believe there is hope here. I believe that it will start here and, uh, at some point when all is known about Daniel and what occurred here we will be able to achieve a greater sense of justice.

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james_fudgePlease use the comments section for bitching about specific articles :) We do read them, after all.07/23/2014 - 10:52am
Andrew EisenThat's unfair but thank you for the tip on the Reddit thread containing the Kickstarter message to backers. The article has been updated.07/23/2014 - 10:50am
SleakerHere's the message Areal backers recieved from Kickstarter: http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/2beqlc/areal_kickstarter_suspended/07/23/2014 - 8:52am
Sleaker@MW - I still think Cogent/Level3 hookups were lacking prior to the comcast switch, but I do think verizon is being dumb here.07/23/2014 - 12:06am
Andrew EisenOf course it's a question. It's got a question mark and everything!07/22/2014 - 6:43pm
Matthew WilsonHate to say it, but that poll is not even a question. there is too much evidence that points to Verizon. http://www.extremetech.com/computing/186576-verizon-caught-throttling-netflix-traffic-even-after-its-pays-for-more-bandwidth07/22/2014 - 6:23pm
Andrew EisenHuh. The new Battlefield has been delayed to early next year. Are you feeling okay, EA? http://blogs.battlefield.com/2014/07/bfh-will-launch-2015/07/22/2014 - 6:11pm
SleakerWest End Games - Areal developers just got their Kickstarter suspended. Might want to dump that 'fully funded' status.07/22/2014 - 12:08pm
MaskedPixelanteHas anyone who bought it gotten their Sims 2 Ultimate Edition upgrade yet? Still waiting on mine, especially since they're supposed to be out by today.07/22/2014 - 10:45am
IanCDynasty Warriors 8 for the PS4 finally has the option to turn off the OTT depth of field that made the game look like a blurry mess. Only a few months behind the JP version patch...07/22/2014 - 10:17am
NeenekoI see nothing in Section 111 that would exclude IP transmission. It even explicitly includes 'other transmission methods'07/22/2014 - 9:28am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/07/19/ruling_aereo_is_not_a_cable_company07/22/2014 - 8:13am
ZippyDSMleelul what?07/22/2014 - 7:53am
ZippyDSMleehttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/07/bungie-cross-generation-destiny-wouldnt-be-fair-to-low-res-players/07/22/2014 - 7:53am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/22/wii-u-update-adds-system-to-system-transfers/ The latest Wii U update allows you to do the system transfer between two Wii Us. Still not true accounts, but getting there.07/22/2014 - 7:39am
Papa MidnightSpeculation from PC Gamer. Don't hold your breath. http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/07/21/microsoft-job-listing-says-nice-things-about-pc-gaming-isnt-clear-if-it-means-them/07/21/2014 - 5:58pm
MaskedPixelanteI dunno, it's probably Vevo powertripping.07/21/2014 - 5:52pm
Andrew EisenMP - Makes you wonder what the intention behind the removal was. Stop the RickRolls? Yeah, like removing that one video is going to make a difference.07/21/2014 - 3:27pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.billboard.com/articles/business/digital-and-mobile/6165313/youtube-blocks-original-rickroll-video Moment of silence, the original Rickroll video has been blocked in many regions.07/20/2014 - 3:53pm
 

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