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Best Place to Hang With Gamers Phoenix 2013 - Midnight Release Launches at the Microsoft Store

Gamers, for the most part, are known for being creatures of the night. That's why you'll find them hanging out on Steam into the wee hours, participating in frag-fests at marathon LAN events, or staying up late at the Microsoft Store at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall for its midnight release parties. Hundreds of gamers from around the Valley wait in line for upwards of four hours or more to get into the affairs, which start at 10 p.m., to get their hands on whatever hot Xbox title — including the newest entry into Madden, Halo, or Call of Duty franchises — is about to drop. Attendees can preview and play the game on the store's networked Xboxes for a few hours before getting their copy when the clock strikes 12. Each party offers unabashedly nerdy fun, with some coming in costume celebrating the respective game (like the Stormtroopers who showed up for the Star Wars: Kinnect event) and local nerdcore rapper Mega Ran performing his Nintendo-inspired rhymes. The store also goes all out with the gamer fuel (read: pizza and soda), organizes tournaments, and gives away some primo swag. It's like a see-and-be-seen affair for geeks.

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umm...  Could we get a choice on this one?  There's some great places in the valley for gamers to hang out, but the midnight release at the MS store is honestly not much different from a gamestop midnight release. While the MS store does go all out on it's midnight release dates; those events are few and far between and mostly limited to XBOX players.

Rather, I would like to point out a number of gaming stores (Tabletop and VG) that also double as either hangout spots/rent systems/LAN gaming.  TheGamingZone in Tempe comes to mind for example for having arcades, a large "gaming zone" rentable console location, and a great selection of games to purchase from retro to collector's quality.