MIT pranksters give Harvard the Halo 3 treatment

New Microsoft Xbox 360 video game at root of MIT gag

Massachusetts Institute of Technology pranksters celebrated this week's debut of Microsoft's Xbox 360 Halo 3 by transforming the statue of John Harvard in Harvard Yard into the Master Chief character from the much anticipated video game.

The statue was outfitted with a helmet and toy assault rifle under the cloak of darkness the night before the release and removed by around 8 a.m. that morning. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Master Chief character's real name is John. See a picture of the hoax here.

While you might think conducting any prank that involves a gun -- real or fake -- would spell immediate trouble with law enforcement, MIT officials say they are working with students on a pranking code of conduct.

Recent MIT pranks have focused on such things as the release of the last Harry Potter book. Among other things, students set up broomstick parking spaces.

While it might have seemed like another MIT prank, Microsoft earlier this week acknowledged some Halo 3 discs that shipped were scratched. Microsoft said it will replace discs of its Halo 3 Xbox 360 game that came scratched.

Meanwhile, the Halo 3 flu was a concern among tech-savvy employers this week, as video game enthusiasts were expected to call in sick to set upon the game.

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