A press release from Microsoft's game division hit my inbox today with a seemingly harmless title:
Microsoft and U.S. Army Present First Ever "Halo 3? Championship Tournament on Xbox LIVE
Ok that's fine and dandy that the Army decided to sponsor the event but read a little further into the PR and you'll see how far the rabbit hole really goes.
"To further ensure that players are trained to the top of their games, the Army is also hosting a Destination Experience blade on Xbox LIVE. When the program begins, gamers will be able to access the blade via their Xbox LIVE dashboard, gaining access to multiple videos and a Tips and Tricks section dedicated to providing the best combat strategies and advice the Army experts have to offer."
Well what do you know, the last paragraph of a fun press release about an upcoming Halo 3 tournament shows the true intrusive intentions. You of course have to sign up for this tournament and only then will the blade appear but I'm sure many will sign up regardless and then be greeted with the large unwanted "Army Blade" when it's released. Doesn't this feel like those checks you get in the mail for $4.99 that automatically sign you up for an expensive monthly service when you cash them?
Merry Christmas from Microsoft and the US Army!