November 9th, 2010
The most recent release of the Call of Duty series marked our 3rd Midnight Release Signing event and had the Sea Snipers positioned at 8 locations across the country. These are their stories...

My store had a couple hundred people at least show up for this event. Over 800 preorders. I met tons of cool people, talked to lots of good gamers who wanted to know what it's like writing guides and working with developers etc. I talked to everyone young and old. A couple of great kids just getting into the series and even some moms and wives who were cool enough to head out and pick up the game for their sons, husbands, boyfriends. Thanks ladies!

I helped set up a tournament, picked maps and gave some players some tips too. The winner got a free copy of the game and we raffled off lots of stuff from COD posters and guides (Thanks Activision and Brady Games!) to SS posters and wallets etc. Everyone had a great time and I signed tons of stuff. Some great fans out there and lots of people I remembered from previous midnight releases at my store.

Private "Dal" from the National Guard was once again present and has been at the past 2 midnight release events. He was my bodyguard all night. What a great guy, super knowledgeable and one of the most dedicated men I've met. I gave him a signed SS poster and after the event, he presented me with his unit patch, I was floored and honored. Thanks Dal, hope we see you at the next one!

All in all a great event. Thanks to Ben Loomis and all of the GameStop employees who consistently make our midnight release events something that everyone wants to attend. Free Chik-Fil-A, drinks and tourneys all night. You guys always help put on the best show. Thanks!

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The Twin Cities was a great experience this year. I traveled from Elk River Gamestop to Lino Lakes, to Northtown Blaine.
Thank you so much to the managers at all locations for your enthusiasm with the Sea Snipers.

I had a great time meeting up with the die hard COD fans of all ages. It is truly interesting to meet fans in their teens to adults and maybe even grandparents who play COD.

I had a chance to meet with hundreds of people and discuss the Sea Snipers. Most people had questions about "What is the game like, is it good?", but there are plenty that asked questions about guide writing, the process, and what it is like to be a Sea Sniper.

I was happy to meet adults with their children who are interested in video gaming as a career. I did meet one mother and son at the Northtown location and was very happy to talk with him about his interests in the gaming industry. A very cool thing to see a young man inspiring to do what we do. Good luck to him.

I had some pretty cool mega gamers show up in full uniforms complete with gas masks. Some of the help on hand at Northtown were dressed up in Black Ops full black attire with watch caps and facepaint. These guys were great, I loved it.

It was such a enjoyment to have a customer ask me to sign his game who noticed I wrote [SS]Wally and asked if I was a Sea Sniper. He heard of us back on PS2! He was completely thrilled to meet a SS. That really made my whole evening.

I love sharing our ideas and having shop talk with other gamers, if you're not a gamer it's just not the same.

Good times, I had a blast, see you all again next time!

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[SS]Shooter & [SS]Showstopper
Showstopper and I had a pretty good release, probably about 300-400 people there. It was well handled by GameStop. There was a DJ spinning mp3's, a Monster Energy truck was out there handing out free energy drinks, sloppy joe's were being served too. We were next to some kind of radio station/podcast that interviewed us about the [SS] and our strategy guide work. We went through the crowd handing out candy and [SS] business cards. A lot of people recognized us from our 'Sea Sniper Tips' in the MW2 guide.

After he left with a sticker in hand, Show decided that the first guy in line (there since 2:30 pm) should get the Prestige Strategy Guide. I concurred we had made a mistake. SO the store guys knew him and they called him and home and he came BACK to get the guide and was so happy.

The [SS] poster was a big hit and many people commented on it. That was a great thing to give away and we should send them to all the magazines and game companies as everyone liked it. We gave one to Gamestop to put in their back room.

There seemed to be a hatred of MW2 and everyone hoped for Black Ops to be better. Gamestop people were nice as always. The little car was sweet, but I couldn't afford one...

You can see some of our booty. We had candy, an [SS] clock, some facepaints, some military pins, some bandanas, a bunch of [SS] stickers, bullet keychains, a bunch of [SS] posters, some release posters, and our stuff from Brady. Over 100 prizes in total!

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So I hit the ground running. They had 2 boxes of guides (40-60) from another GS waiting for me to sign. About 200 including the collector guides stacked behind me. Then later Jeremy (the Dist Mgr) took about 40 guides that I signed to another store and brought back 40 unsigned. *sigh* LOL That puts me close to 300 total guides signed.

Then <+>FISTYKraus walked in and was all "I'm in DK...." He got a poster. Shortly after that Jeremy comes back with my flash drive and 40 SS posters. FREAKING AWESOME!

I set up my laptop with our SS recruiting video while folks came in to get a number. This guy was having A LOT of fun with the Kinect demo that was setup just before the event. I then went out to hang with the Natl. Guard guys and gave each of them a SS poster and thanked them for their service. (I am holding a poster for their 4th who arrived later.) I also got their GT's so we can play with them sometime. They let me sit in the Hummer for some pics. Awesome. This is the gaming setup they have in the back of the Hummer. Folks were playing MW2.

The GS tourney was in full swing by now. A Natl. Guard guy on leave was also there. I gave him the Poster+thank you for your service treatment as well. Turns out this guy went to high school with my wife. Small world.

I finished signing the posters. The tourney was coming to an end. The winner had to beat me to win my Prestige Edition guide. He did. He also got a SS poster. 2-4th place all got posters

I went outside to rile everyone up with a raffle. We used their line numbers (written on their receipts) I raffled off 5 SS posters, the Black Ops posters, the big Black Ops cardboard standing sign for the store (at their request of course) and finally the regular strategy guide.

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Well I had about 150 to 200 peeps show up out of about 500+ preorders. Like Midnight weather played a big part in the turn out I think, it was around 35 to 40 all night. I signed everything from in store props for the game that they handed out, strat guides, game covers, a bunch of the SS posters, SS stickers, and mouse pads. I also took my laptop with me and showed a bunch of people the SS sites.

They didn't have any in store tourneys or military personal there, but it turned out great. There was alot of hardcore gamers there that knew about us and complemented on our guides for MW2 and Halo. The staff there was great, very helpful and treated me like a rockstar. They even asked me to come back for the midnight release for Assassins Creed, I told them we didn't do anything for the game but they didn't care they just wanted me to come back and hang out lol. Everyone loved the posters, especially the female staff, they kept asking me who the guy in the middle was with the great beard, you made some fans Boss. They also thought Show was Eugene Levy. Someone had a viper parked out in front of the store and I kept getting these young kids coming up to me asking if it was mine. The cop that pulled me over never showed, but I feel it was a good thing, he might have wanted my autograph on that ticket lol.

I had a blast and looking forward to the next one we do. Thanks again fellas for the opportunity to participate in this, one of my best birthdays ever.

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I got there around 8:40 and hung out with the guys running the store. The store manager Johnie, and the rest of the guys working that night were really cool. They put on a good release.

Showstoper's pic on the poster was a hit and Lexington couldn't help displaying its appreciation.

The fanboy pics are of this guy who talked to me or hung out at the table with me for a big part of the night. He won a legendary edition halo reach guide and then came back to get his Black Ops guide signed.

Johnie and Andy, the store manager and the assistant manager, sporting their [SS] shirts. Andy wore his over the GS Black Ops shirt all night, i thought that was cool and they liked the swag.

The raffle pic is when i signed the guides i gave away. GS gave away a couple of promo game packs and some puma bags. Lots of energy drinks and pizza, good stuff to keep everybody going.

I signed lots of things, ranging from the guides to game cases and the posters. It turned out to be an awesome experience and thanks for letting me be a part of something like this!

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So last night was a very new and exciting experience. I had lots of fun and so did all the fans who came out for Black Ops. Night started out with a line out the door and down the street(parking lot) for people finalizing their receipts for their pre-orders. The suggestion of a tournament worked out great, 40 people signed up for a first to 5 1v1 tournament. They needed an extra guy so they asked me to fill in, everyone was a little hesitant to let me play, but no matter how much I told them it was okay if I didn't play the put me in.

One girl... yes one girl showed up to play in the tournament and ended up finishing third in the tournament, she claimed to be semi-pro and wasn't all that bad. Her name is xXPrincessXx and she challenged me to a 1v1, if you want to know the results you have to ask her because I'm not going to brag about beating her and I'm not going to get shame for her beating me ha ha. I gave her a poster for getting third and two kids the guides we got from Brady for first and second:

The rest of the night I was signing all three types of packages, regular, hardened, and prestige. Also, when I told people who I was and what I was there for, about 15 or 20 guide were bought because of it.

There was this kid there with his mom, he was a really cool little kid who was very "star struck" by seeing me there and he was very excited to have me sign his gear. I told him a little about us and how we became, he's only 13 but we may have a future recruit here in about 8 years. I threw him a poster and he also won a raffle for a cardboard stand up which made his night.

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The GameStop I went to in San Francisco was for a combination of 2 stores. I had a raffle drawing for 3 prize packages. 3rd place was for a CoD: Black Ops poster, Marines t-shirt, a guide and a patch. 2nd prize was for an Army Ranger t-shirt, a guide, an Army to the Boonie hat, and a ranger patch, a paracord bracelet and a CoD Black Ops poster.

1st place got a limited Edition guide, a CoD: Black Ops poster, a Marines Lanyard, a Special Forces T-Shirt, an Airborne dog tag, boonie hat and an amo box that once held 20mm shells from 1974. Had about 250 people show up and signed items for about 2 hours.

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I want to thank the fans, Brady Games, Activision, Treyarch, GameStop and ALL of the Sea Snipers that put in their own time, money and effort in making these events the best they can be. Thanks guys, Semper Fratres!