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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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March 7, 2008 3:53 PM

Bungie unscrews Xbox 360 gamer

Posted by Brier Dudley

The Xbox group (current and former) may fumble things now and then, but they seem to go overboard trying to make things right.

First there was the $1 billion commitment to extend warranties on red-ringed consoles.

Now there's the story of Nathanial, an uber fan who gathered signatures from game industry personalities on his 360. When it broke, he was nervous about sending it for repairs and called to be sure the case would be left intact. Xbox support said it would, but he still attached a note asking for it to be preserved, according to the initial writeup last week by game blogger Hawtie McBloggy.

But sure enough, someone at the repair center scrubbed off all the artwork and sent back the bare console. McBloggy's writeup -- "Another gamer screwed by Microsoft" -- was picked up by bigger blogs and created a stir.

A reader pointed it out to me and I asked the Xbox team last week for a response. On Tuesday a spokeswoman said they were working with the customer directly:

"We are disappointed this happened, especially when it comes to personalization of the Xbox which this gentleman went to great lengths to make. We are working closely with our friends at Bungie to make this right,'' she said.

It turns out several Bungie team members had jumped on the situation, even though they're not technically part of the Xbox group anymore.

The result is the gamer's all better after receiving a big box full of Halo goodies, including a Master Chief helmet autographed by the Bungie team. McBloggy's update -- "Bungie unscrews previously screwed gamer" -- has photos here.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.