Students live for Xbox Live

Mandi Noyes

Halo is one of Xbox’s best-selling games and is played by many college students.

Credit: Beth Rankin

Credit: Beth Rankin

Credit: Beth Rankin

“I see you. Come on red team!”

“Wow, I suck!”

“Oh, I got sniped!”

“I got your back, man!”


Four Kent students — sophomore Nick Collins, junior Joe Denunzio, senior Matt Lodge and junior Mike Negron — are yelling at each other through their head sets.

In two separate rooms.

The four players, in Centennial Court C, are self-proclaimed addicts for Halo 2 on Xbox Live. Halo 2 has followed in the footsteps of Halo — Xbox’s 2001 Game of the Year — and gained its popularity worldwide partly because of Xbox Live.

“Xbox Live is 90 percent of the reason why I like Halo 2 so much better than Halo,” said Collins, a justice studies major. “There is always a game going on that you can jump into and play anytime of the day.”

Negron said the original Halo was a big success at Kent State because of the game’s system link, which allowed various Xbox’s in the dorms to be linked so players can participate in the same game.

“We figured out we could plug the Internet cord from the wall to the back of our Xbox and play — we never had to leave the dorms,” said Negron, an aeronautics major. “That’s how we were able to play students from Terrace and Verder.”

John Semonin, manager at The Exchange on Lincoln Street, said Halo is popular on campus because the Internet allows players to hook up with anyone, anywhere and anytime.

“People want competition,” Semonin said. “There is always a game going on against people who like what you like.”

Lodge said he and the three others waited for two hours outside of GameStop at Chapel Hill Mall to be among the first ones to get their copy of the game.

“We wanted to play the game right there and then,” said Lodge, a marketing major. “We waited for two years, and we were ready to play.”

Dan Simms, assistant manager at GameStop in Stow, said a line formed outside the store four hours early with people waiting in anticipation.

“The line was winding around the corner already at 8 p.m. with not only students, but parents with their kids as well,” Simms said. “The game wasn’t scheduled to be released until midnight.”

GameStop had 600 copies of Halo 2 pre-ordered at $50 for the regular edition and $55 for the collector’s edition, earning GameStop $35,000 in the first 24 hours of sales alone, Simms said.

Shawn Bertke, assistant manager at The Exchange, said the hype from Halo, the two-year waiting period for Halo 2 and the Xbox Live feature contributed to the success of the game.

“When Halo came out it was monumental,” Bertke said. “Then Halo 2 came out with Xbox Live on top of all the hype from Halo, and I think that made the game even bigger.”

Denunzio does not own an Xbox, but he bought a headset to be part of the game.

“I can still communicate with the team” with the headset, said Denunzio, a justice studies major. “It’s a team effort, and I enjoy playing the game, so I bought a headset to play with the guys.”

Jeff Robinson, senior game adviser at GameStop, said he has a friend overseas in Iraq who has a copy of the game reserved.

“All he talks about is Halo 2. He doesn’t even want to see his wife first — he just wants to play,” Robinson said with a laugh.

Contact news correspondent Mandi Noyes at [email protected].