Last Man Standing

I have always been a firm supporter of the underdog in almost any situation. Across almost every form of media, I am always cheering on the least likely winner in the hopes of a glorious stand-off between dull, tedious predictability and sexy, exciting unexpectedness. This is why I love almost every war film ever created, non-squad based first person shooters, and why I refuse to ever stop supporting Scotland in the Six Nations.

On May the 11th though, I found myself mourning for underdogs within a genre I never would have predicted. The UK General Election? No, anonymous voice asking me conveniently placed questions in my blogs, Xbox Live. At approximately 7am GMT, on May 11th 2010, the final player left on the original Xbox Live servers signed off after surviving 25 more days than he ever should have.

Originally 12 brave gamers left their original Xbox consoles burning to cling onto the final connection to Halo 2 that would ever be, and throughout their entire campaign I was rooting for them. Microsoft wouldn’t disconnect them, Bungie offered them Halo: Reach BETA codes for their dedication (and possibly to draw them away from Halo 2…), and I watched on in admiration and awe that a group of people could have so much love for a simple piece of entertainment. The truest last stand I have seen in the world of gaming, and I respect any last stand made by gamers.

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.

Well, okay, almost any last stand (I’ve spent too many hours in the Call of Duty franchise to not make that painfully obvious joke). I do, however, love what these merry band of Halo gamers achieved. It showed us what the true gaming community is about in the purest sense. It may sound a tad sappy, even sad to some people out there, but it gives me a small amount of hope that there are human beings out there who can love something, anything, this much.

“Not for competition, not for a prize, but for the love, and memory of Halo 2.” The few, succinct words of one of the now legendary ‘Halo 12.’

You all gave a send off which surpassed anything I could imagine to one of the origins of the community of gaming which we have today. I shall not miss Xbox Live, but I will remember that it was what started the online experience I enjoy almost every single day now. To the original Xbox Live, the Halo 12 with APACHE N4SIR, and Halo 2 itself – thank you. Now, I offer a friendly salute, to the last man standing on the original Xbox Live.

I salute you, APACHE N4SIR. You make me proud to be a gamer.
I salute you, APACHE N4SIR. You make me proud to be a gamer.







2 responses to “Last Man Standing”

  1. Laura avatar

    Well said, Duncan. Well said.

  2. Simon avatar

    Wait! He’s joinable? Let’s do it!

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