- New anchor of Xbox Canada's new Xbox News XBL video series
- Laura Niven is similar in name to Larry Niven, author of the Ringworld novels, to which the Halo ring theme is connected.
- Join the discussion at Xbox forums
- This series of events is most likely not an ARG, but another campaign for the Xbox Canada community leading up to Halo Reach launch events in Vancouver and Toronto, as revealed at http://www.xbox.com/en-CA/reach/event.htm
Phase 1 - Covenant Invasion
Covenant Invasion Events
On August 21st 2010, Toronto and Vancouver became the hot spot for a Covenant "attack" wherein followers of @UNSC_INTEL were directed to any one of a number of GPS coordinates where Covenant contacts would be 'located'. These contacts distributed UNSC dogtags, and took contact information to be entered in a special exclusive drawing for a Halo: Reach Xbox 360 console and Legendary edition of the video game.
The dog tags grant their owners the right to VIP access to Toronto's Sept 4th Halo Reach event, and Vancouver's August 28th event. They will be preceded by a game of laser tag at the drop coordinates of the UNSC obelisks.
Toronto invasion event photos
Phase 2 - UNSC Control Point Defense
<< 0914210 -^=1300-34*3- REMEMBERREACH.COM * COVENANT THREAT UPGRADED TO LEVEL 5 * 1300 VANCOUVER CONTROL POINT LOCATED BY COVENANT * JOIN THE FIGHT TO DEFEND REACH 0828210*106^=>>0.10.2012:^.419.0*-+:> @UNSC_INTEL
- UNSC_INTEL tweeted on August 24th indicating that users should check in to the UNSC Control Points in Vancouver and Toronto between 8pm and 10pm, on Foursquare.
- On checking in to the Toronto venue, an encoded tip is available:
- Decoding the base64 string produces:
RSVP to event at Xbox Canada Facebook page. Post "REACH" as comment on the event page. First 5 get line bypass with proof of check-in
- The Vancouver variant required "COVENANT" to be posted to the associated event page.
<< 0914210 -^=2400-34*3- 0* COVENANT HAVE LOCATED UNSC CONTROL POINTS IN VANCOUVER AND TORONTO. FURTHER ATTACKS EXPECTED ^34*3*JOIN THE UNSC TO DEFEND REACH HTTP://XBOX.CA/REACH -^08282010*1400-^2200*@UNSC_INTEL
<< 09142010 -^=2400-34*3*THE COVENANT IS COMING*PROTECT HUMANITY*HTTP://XBOX.CA/REACH*ATTACKS ARE IMMINENT IN VANCOUVER*08282010*555 WEST CORDOVA ST.*4PM - 10PM*@UNSC_INTEL
<< 09142010 -^=2400-34*3*PROTECT HUMANITY, DELIVER HOPE*-CCWJ2-T4MQR-QQVJW-CH96J-MV7CW*ATTACKS ARE IMMINENT IN VANCOUVER*08282010*555 WEST CORDOVA ST. 4PM - 10PM*HTTP://XBOX.CA/REACH*@UNSC_INTEL>>
<< 09142010-^=2400-34*3*UNSC IS CALLING ON ALL THOSE WORTHY OF TAKING ON COVENANT FORCES*FOLLOW @UNSC_INTEL ON TWITTER TO LEARN MORE*PROTECT HUMANITY, DELIVER HOPE*ATTACKS ARE IMMINENT IN VANCOUVER*08282010*555 WEST CORDOVA ST. 4PM - 10PM*HTTP://XBOX.CA/REACH*FIREFIGHT BATTLE TRAINING STATIONS=MTCC**08.27.2010*1600-2100*&*08.28.2010*1000-1900*&*08.29.2010*1100-1800** @UNSC_INTEL>>
Control Point Defense: Vancouver
Reports coming in from the Vancouver event describe it as less than stellar, though the laser tag was quite enjoyable. Some responses can be read starting here.
- Photos from Necro2607 are available on flickr, and video available below.
Some significant points:
- Arrival at 4:15 still meant 1.5-3 hour wait to get in, even with first access
- Getting a t-shirt was not guaranteed, even for those with first access
- Halo: Reach was not playable, only Halo 3 and ODST
- The laser tag was very fun
- Players played against the Xbox team (the Covenant), with the goal of reaching and activating the UNSC obelisk
- People who pre-ordered were allowed to play a 2nd game, as the Covenant defending team
Xbox Canada, instead of making me even more psyched for the game, actually put me off the series and their entire brand with a weakly-executed "bait and switch" so-called ARG.
regardless of my complaints above, the laser tag was pretty fun
On the laser tag, GaussianMist says:
We got to play a round of laser tag. It was about 6 of us, against 6 "Covenant" troops, which were just the Xbox street team members. We had to tag them out, (they had 10 lives, we had 5) and then activate the generator, which was the "obelisk" from last week. The Xbox team didn't really try, it was an easy victory.
All in all, it was pretty fun to play laser tag, but not exactly worth the 3 hour wait. Unless you get there early, I wouldn't really bother going at all. But, it could be different in Toronto.
- Toronto control point defense is Saturday, September 4th, 2010
Vancouver laser tag Video
- Considered at this point to be a hoax - the Twitter user @LauraNiven appeared and got a lot of attention, but was quickly denounced as being related to Xbox News, and most likely someone playing a prank and playing off the attention of the video series.
Control Point Defense: Toronto
Reports arriving from Toronto's event are favourable, with laser tag and Halo: Reach playable. With lineups beginning at noon through to the events conclusion at 10pm, it was a non-stop laser-fest, light show , and firefight exhibition.
- Photos from thebruce are available at Flickr
More reports coming soon...