Saturday, February 10, 2007

Get Free Stuff For Playing Your Xbox 360

Remember going to the arcade to play Skee-Ball when you were little? You would win tickets that you could redeem at the counter for "valuable" prizes (and by valuable, I of course mean cheap crap). But at least you were getting something. That all changed when video games came into the home, until now. Now, that home console of yours may just start paying you back.

Thanks to the power of corporate marketing, you can get some free stuff just for scoring achievements on your Xbox 360. Starting February 12, Microsoft and Old Spice (yes, the stuff your grandfather wears) will be offering the Xbox Rewards and Old Spice Experience Challenge program. Basically, it means if you score enough achievement points (experience), you get some free stuff (rewards) - I think they call that "synergy".

The program runs from Feb. 12 to Apr. 12, and you have to raise your score by at least 1500 points during that time. That's easier said than done for some people, but for those of us that live and die by achievements, it's just another day at the office.

So what can you get for your long hours, you ask? Well, it depends on what "level" you fall into. That means all you hardcore gamers are eligible to win more (including an Old Spice T-shirt and a copy of Fuzion Frenzy 2), while the casual gamers will have to settle for Contra on the XBLA and an Old Spice gamer pic. But hey, free is free.

Hit the Xbox Rewards page for more info on the program, and to register on Feb. 12. Remember, that's the only day you can sign up for the program, so if you're prone to blackouts on Monday's (you know who you are), be sure to have someone poke you with a sharp object and remind you.

I have to say, it's really nice to see something like this in place. Granted, some of the "rewards" aren't that hot, but remember, this is just a first attempt on Microsoft's part. A permanent achievement point reward system would be huge for the Xbox, and would really make gamers happy. For the first time in a long time, it won't just be about bragging rights - it'll be about the goods. Game on!

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