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A Universal (Citywalk) Obsession

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Last night at 12:01 AM there was a collective gasp among all obsessive XBOX owners when the game-to-end-all-games, Halo 2 was finally released to the public.

Well, the small percentage of the public who felt driven to wait in a line for hours just to get their hands on a copy before the rest of the (sleeping) public.

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Halo 2, produced by Bungie and Microsoft has been said to be one of the most expensive video game sequels ever to reach a home video game console and is predicted to make over $80 million dollars in just the first day of sales (today). The sequel to the "Game of the Year", Halo -- the first person shooter laid the groundwork for a new generation of technology and opened the door to the chaos that occurred last night at Universal Citywalk.

The event, which began around 9:00 PM (although people had been showing up and waiting in line all day long) was a joint venture between EB Games, Power 106, Mountain Dew and Microsoft -- giving teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 and adult males who have nothing better to do at 9:00 PM on a Monday night the opportunity to: scream for free promotional CDs from mediocre Power 106 pitch men, play Xbox games that have yet to be released on the XBOX Game Truck, pre-order the game itself (in preparation for 12:01 AM when it was legally available to buy) and most importantly -- take polaroid pictures with the costumed main character of the game (Master Chief) like a drug-induced trip to Disneyland.

And LAist was there. (Hey, we do a lot of things for you people that go above and beyond the call of duty.)

Face facts: the video game industry makes more money each year than the golden-boy film industry, hitting all the demographics (well, male demographics) that the Hollywood studios wish they could snag. And when you couple that interest with free pizza and mini-cups of promotional Mountain Dew served by women in tight leather pants, well... you can get quite a crowd. Filled with baby-toting game freaks and kids whose mothers obviously didn't know where they had disappeared to, even the legitimate media (ABC 7) showed up to document the curiously-dedicated crowd.

LAist must tell you this: although sitting in line for hours just to get their hands on the most desired piece of software technology this holiday season our thoughts turned instead to how ridiculous of a place Universal Citywalk really is. Between being inundated with more food establishments than twenty-two shopping centers and a large plasma screen pitching the latest in entertainment from NBC (owned by Universal) the Citywalk is a garish experiment in overloading ones senses with cotton candy, tacos and little frozen pebbles that turn into ice cream when you put them in your mouth.

Sure, it may be fun in a freaky kind of way but it will never change you life. At least, not like "the sequel to the game of the year" will.

That stuff is the juice, baby. The juice.