Guests: The Stars Shine for Xbox

Hollywood's Hooked On Halo

There's an addiction running rampant through the community we mortals like to call the famous. But, it's not what scandal-lovin' entertainment junkies might think. It's the same thing gamers everywhere await with bated breath—Halo® 2. Stars spanning the galaxy of entertainment, from Justin Timberlake to Julia Roberts, are among some of the biggest Halo and Xbox® fans. (And, you just know they've got suh-weet home theater setups to boot.) That's why Xbox created the Halo 2Council and Playaz Club, an exclusive club that will host all sorts of star-studded events.

Who are the gamersin the celebrities-only Halo 2Council? The elites, if you will. This title is reserved for only the most feverishly hooked Halo celebrity gamers. TheHalo 2 Council consists of seven hand-picked members (and a lot more individual gamers, since bands count): Aisha Tyler, Wilmer Valderrama, Linkin Park, Jeremy Shockey, Ben McKenzie, Incubus, and Hoobastank.

Fear not, these hardworking famous people aren't going home empty-handed for their efforts on behalf of Master Chief. These high-profile Halo players have been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to take part in the making of Halo 2. Each council member has been offered VIP tours of Bungie Studios (to meet with game creators and developers), voice-over recording sessions for game integration, access to Halo 2 during the development process, and their very own personalized Halo 2 Pelican Case.

The members of Linkin Park and Incubus helped drive the creation of the Pelican Case, named after the very popular UNMC dropship. TheH2PCis the ultimate portable Halo 2 kit. Only seven exist in the entire world. Each kit contains an Xbox, a flat-screen HDTV, a pre-release copy of Halo 2, and Xbox controllers, all sleekly concealed in a portable briefcase. The H2PC was designed because the council musicians wanted a portable Xbox that they could take with them on tour—it's hard to find time to play Xbox when you're on the road, whether you're in a band or going on location.

Who’s the Top Player on the Council? That’s a difficult question in any group of seven gamers, let alone when three of them contain multitudes, so to speak. Wilmer Valderrama or Incubus might think they are the best players, but Aisha Tyler and Linkin Park would definitely give them a run for their money. Reports indicate many gamers are easily duped by Aisha for obvious reasons, and she's stunned the competition more than once.

Tyler's Halo-themed birthday party was attended by approximately 100 people, including celebrity guests like Sharon Stone, Sarah Chalke, Rick Yune, Nicka Costa, and Samantha Ronson. Guests were invited to play an advance version of Halo 2, which was set up in multiplayer mode via various plasma screens located throughout the suite. Tyler even got a personalizedHalo 2 birthday cake, though reports that a glowing purple hologram with a killer haircut jumped out of the cake could not be verified at press time.

Celebrities, industry executives, and press all attended Xbox’s exclusive Halo 2 E3 2004 preview event on Saturday, May 8, 2004, in Beverly Hills, California. A private home was transformed to replicate the stunning futuristic world of Halo, complete with camouflaged marines and roaming Cortanas. Celebrity attendees included many members of the Council, Joe Reitman (Clueless), Jolene Blalock (Enterprise), Andrew Keegan (American Pie), Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious), Bai Ling (Star Wars: Episode III), Ben Foster (Six Feet Under), Kelly Hu (X-Men II), Kyle Boller (Baltimore Ravens), Laura Prepon (That 70’s Show), Brad Bufanda (A Cinderella Story), Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls), Breckin Meyer (Road Trip), Luke Walton (L.A. Lakers), Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious), Chris Masterson (Malcolm in the Middle), Danny Masterson (That 70’s Show), Rick Yune (The Fast and the Furious), Good Charlotte (band), Ryan Phillipe (Cruel Intentions), Gregory Smith (Everwood), Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie), Taryn Manning (8 Mile), and Tara Reid (American Pie).

The Xbox Playaz Club is a bit like the American Express Black Card for VIP Xbox fans. The Club consists of 50 celebrity Xbox fans and has included such stars as Britney Spears, Charlize Theron, Hilary Duff, Jack Osbourne, Jimmy Fallon, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, and perhaps the most recognizable face in the room, adult-film star Jenna Jameson. The initial Playaz Club Kit included 20 games, an Xbox console, an Xbox Live™ subscription, and an Xbox DVD kit. Members periodically receive new games and accessories and have the opportunity to call Xbox directly for all of their needs.

In other famous gamer news, Xbox headed to Miami's trendy Sagamore Hotel for a star-studded spectacular on the weekend surrounding MTV’s Video Music Awards (August 28–29, 2004). The event featuredHalo 2 multiplayer gameplay on four plasma television screens along with two additional screens set up for Madden NFL 2005 via Xbox Live. Gaming up a storm at this event were Bam Margera, the Beastie Boys, Good Charlotte, Jet, Jimmy Fallon, JoJo, Juvenile, Lala Vasquez, Lil' Kim, New Found Glory, Paris Hilton, Steriogram, Tony Hawk, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Lucky celebrity players also got their game on at Los Angeles' legendary Chateau Marmont, the site of a recent two-day celebrity event where Hollywood's elite had a chance to play an early version of Halo 2. Members of Hoobastank and the cast and crew from the hit HBO show Entourage got in on thefestivities.

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