Halo 4 Promotion Rewards Unhealthy Gaming Habits

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Halo 4 Promotion Rewards Unhealthy Gaming Habits

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Spending six days of your life playing Halo 4's multiplayer could net you a whopping 600 MS points.

How much gaming do you do? Be honest. What percentage of your waking life have you spent gawping at a flashing box; your thumbs dancing across various d-pads as your skeleton fuses together until you resemble the giant extraterrestrial pilot discovered in the opening scenes of Alien? Since you're reading this on The Escapist, I'm guessing your answer is "a lot," but even the most dedicated gamers might balk at the challenge Microsoft has set budding Halo 4 players.

Here's the skinny: If you play 35 hours of Halo 4 multiplayer by November 30th, you'll net yourself a smooth 100 Microsoft points. 70 hours gets you 300 points and 140 hours will earn you 600 points.

Halo 4 was released yesterday (November 6th). Assuming you picked up your copy at midnight, and ignoring the fact the game's servers went down on day one, that gives you 24 days to rack up the required 140 hours of playtime. That means you need to be teabagging your fellow players for roughly six hours a day, every day, for the next three weeks. That's going to be harsh on the old beanbag, armored or not.

While heavy gaming sessions are nothing new, that's 42 hours of gaming a week. According to NPD figures, the average Core gamer usually spends around 18 hours a week gaming. What's worse, Microsoft is pushing for gamers to get through their 140 hours as quickly as possible; The company is only giving out a total of 10,000,000 points on a first-come, first-served basis.

"So hurry and get your share!" reads the promotion announcement

Spending 1500 or 3000 MSP on Halo-themed downloadable content - including Avatar items, themes and other knickknacks - will net you 100 or 200 MSP respectively, which counts against the 10,000,000 total.

Thus far, the Xbox Live Rewards program has been harmless, if unimpressive, but encouraging gamers to risk their health in a competition to win the equivalent of three quarters of a copy of Double Dragon Neon strikes me as rather bad taste. By most accounts, Halo 4 is a brilliant installment in one of gaming's most successful franchises, it really doesn't need this kind of nonsense to make it sell or to fluff out its multiplayer figures.

Source: XBox

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Many people where going to do it anyways, I may get the lower time prices and getting free points is allways good, so i don't think it's that bad.

Play games, get free stuff!

Don't see how this is a bad thing, health be damned!

I'd say this is more to promote "not buying Call of Duty" than to promote bad health per se.

Let's face it, MS tracks how we all play anyway. I'd wager that a certain percentage of gamers did exactly what this promotion will reward them for without the perks during the last big Halo release.

Basically I find this pretty inoffensive. I am a bit of a Halo fanboy so I may have trouble seeing it objectively, but at the end of the day marathon gaming sessions are happening with or without the rewards. So why not throw a little back to the most dedicated among your fanbase.

Like Credit toward a new avatar hat.
So are the days of our lives

i see no issue here, most Halo players where gonna do that anyway, hell I do it with Vindictus on a dull week

they are giving us 22 days to rack up 35 hours?

it's nice of them to assume we have lives...

nooooo, i dont like this one bit. 6 hours a day is a lot for a college student and the idea that microsoft is encouraging that is not cool by me. dick move guy, dick move

At first I was like:

6 hours a day for 3 weeks playing the SAME game? You outta your mind!?

...Then I remembered when WoW was brand new and I'd lost my job a while earlier...
1 months of nothing but eating, sleeping and gaming.

This behaviour is in no way good for you so shouldn't be rewarded, but I don't think it's "balk at" material.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH! MS! This is the fifth brain hemorrhage I've had in two days! Stop acting like idiots when it's clearly proven you're not. Most of the time. Then again they did try to do some shit this week earlier that I can't remember at the moment. Oh, the issue with spying on consumers[1].

I can see Fox News getting up in arms about this:

"Microsoft bribes Halo 4 players to play for 6 days each week! Gamers are evil! OH NOES!!"

Call me back when Fox News starts embracing gamers. Oh wait...

[1] I fucking call it if they actually get away with it (hint- they won't).

Maybe this will kill off the asshole Halo players who make everything bad for everyone with their constant stupidity.

I don't see this as a bad thing. I look at it as passive eugenics.

Lunar Templar:
i see no issue here, most Halo players where gonna do that anyway, hell I do it with Vindictus on a dull week

pretty much exactly this. the time frame is strict though, so it is entirely possible this will make players play more than they were going to at not-insignificant health risk. I think it would be better if they added say, a week to the time limit.

and man, i love vindictus, but i just never feel the urge to play it. whenever i start, i get a person to level like 20, then stop because i just dont feel like playing it.

when i do its fun as hell though. wish i could stay with it for more than a couple weeks.

Juan Cantu:
Many people where going to do it anyways...

That sounds about right to me. How long is the Mountain Dew, Doritos promotion going on by the way? I mention that because when you add the two promotions together you have a potential health hazard to some players.

I can't see free things being bad so there's that. Of course Microsoft could have just encouraged 343 to release Halo 4 for $50 instead of $60 and made everyone happy without making players jump through narrow hoops. Hell, they could have likely made more money that way since the only reason I didn't buy new is because I'm waiting for a price reduction (and as we know: I'm never the only one)

ZZoMBiE13:
I'd say this is more to promote "not buying Call of Duty" than to promote bad health per se.

That'd be it,

I would be really surprised if people did this for the reward. Isn't 600 Microsoft points $7.50?

My thoughts?

130 hours for 600 MSP?! Are you kidding me?! I would rather pick up fruit all day in the fields with illegal immigrants then do that. 35 hours for 100 MSP?

Seriously Microsoft, if your going to really try and make everyone play Halo 4 with benefits, actually have the benefits be worthwhile. Heres what they should have done.

6 hours = 400 MSP
12 hours = 800 MSP
18 hours = 1600 MSP
24 hours = 3200 MSP

I guarantee you would have players playing your game for hours on end with that set-up. But no, instead as usual, Microsoft are too cheap to actually give out a real rewards system, especially for that much dedication.

I remember Microsoft tried to do something similar on rewarding the players that have had an xbox live account for a long time, and the reward was basically 100-300 Microsoft points...are you freaking kidding me? Thats it? Wow way to show your appreciation for your consumers Microsoft.

Is Microsoft trying to kill us!?!? I'd say half those hours and give us more time! We have lives ya'know! I'd rather just buy those points.

6 days straight combined with a diet of mountain dew and dorritos..

if that doesnt kill someone i dont know what will

Six hours a day? Is that unusual? I mean, I wouldn't be able to do it for Halo, but I've been doing it with Valkyria Chronicles 3 for at least two weeks now.

Do I get a reward? Because I'll take menu translations over PSN credit any day.

Quazimofo:

Lunar Templar:
i see no issue here, most Halo players where gonna do that anyway, hell I do it with Vindictus on a dull week

pretty much exactly this. the time frame is strict though, so it is entirely possible this will make players play more than they were going to at not-insignificant health risk. I think it would be better if they added say, a week to the time limit.

maybe 2 weeks, just for health reasons, but a month? i could do that easy

and man, i love vindictus, but i just never feel the urge to play it. whenever i start, i get a person to level like 20, then stop because i just dont feel like playing it.

when i do its fun as hell though. wish i could stay with it for more than a couple weeks.

the story doesn't pick up till the 60s ether :/ which means there's not a lot going on till the sewers and on ward, aside beating the crap out of things.

i suggest trying to get to 40 at the very least and get your trans :3 being able to rip threw an even leveled boss like a wet paper towel once an hour adds to the enjoyment

Grey Carter:
that's 42 hours of gaming a week.

It could be that. Or it could be 2 minutes of loading the game up followed by a solid 6 days of getting on with your life while your console eats electricity. Are they actually checking to make sure people play? Is this why they filed that patent?
Microsoft Patents In-Home Consumer Monitoring System

Keepitclean:

I would be really surprised if people did this for the reward. Isn't 600 Microsoft points $7.50?

People will apparently still buy used games from certain retailers to save about 3$, so I can definitely see others going out of their way for $7.50

You know what? I get paid more by the hour at work so I'd rather live healthily (kinda) and keep my job, thanks anyway MS.

With this deal on top of the Doritos and Mountain Dews, no shit Microsoft is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.

This is going to be a huge clusterfuck for MS. They're going to run out of points, and it's going to explode in their face.

Roander:

Grey Carter:
that's 42 hours of gaming a week.

It could be that. Or it could be 2 minutes of loading the game up followed by a solid 6 days of getting on with your life while your console eats electricity. Are they actually checking to make sure people play? Is this why they filed that patent?
Microsoft Patents In-Home Consumer Monitoring System

I willing to bet it counts the time played from the games that are played. If that's the case, it will take longer than six days, because then you have to add in the time waiting in between games that wouldn't be counted in the time played.

No. Not cool, Microsoft.
If someone dies from malnutrition or something, this time it will actually be your fault.

I'm going to put in my opinion before this becomes a bashing thread.

They've done worse (like make us pay for an advertised ridden online servie). I can't imagine that many people doing it, and as others have said, it's just a "Don't play CoD, play the game we published" move. I wonder how the actual devs would react to this.

How much actual money does 600 points equal?

Anyway, I foresee a whole lot of idle characters moving from match to match over the next weeks, just standing around at the spawning points. Simply leave your console running.

Skeleon:
How much actual money does 600 points equal?

For me, as a Microsoft-blessed sales rep? Two bucks and about five minutes of my workday to tell Microsoft how awesome I think Kinect is, or whatever they want me to pitch. (My "expert" discount makes the 1400 point xbox cards the EXACT SAME PRICE as the 2800 point ones. It's hilarious. And I don't even own one of their consoles!)

For regular schmucks? Nine bucks, plus tax.

6_Qubed:
.... as passive eugenics.

Sounds about right. Never hurts to kill others gently

Thanks for making games enthusiasts look bad, Microsoft.

Anyone who seriously considers letting their health suffer over a mediocre 1000 MS points (that's what, 20$ worth? Maybe 40?) probably deserves whatever they get.

There are gamers who will do this of course. Hell I'm sure there are gamers who have been playing it since release all of 2 days ago and haven't stopped yet. If they can handle it more power to them. If not, they have only themselves to blame.

MS dangled the carrot, it's your fault if you decide to chase it and regret it later.

35 hours in 6 days? thats less than 6 hours a day. this is far from unhealthy.

Personally i spend around 2 hours per week on gaming. work + studies = fak.....

Formica Archonis:
For regular schmucks? Nine bucks, plus tax.

So even for non-"sales rep" schmucks: That's pathetic.
If you work for 1 to 2 hours per week carting around beverage crates or whatever, you earn more than an entire week's multiplay. Especially consdering that a week's play squarely removes the "fun"-part of it. At that point it becomes work.

I heard about this promotion, but I didn't realise you had to play that many hours within less than a month.
That's craziness, and really, is it worth it?
I know my eyes ache after about 4 hours of gaming- I very rarely go over that number, but I guess some people were gonna play the game that much within the first month anyway, so good for them.

The game is rated M. The target audience is responsible adults that are capable of monitoring their own health. Does anything more need to be said?

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