The Xbox Butler Experience
It was a fairly low key event. Many of my friends were scared off by the possibility of being involved in a Microsoft marketing stunt, but after it was revealed to be a private event with no media coverage whatsoever, I managed to rope a handful of people back into attending! Plus we organised for the butler party to be on my birthday!
The first part of my prize was a professional cleaner (not a butler) sent to my house a couple of days before anything went down. He set about scrubbing my house top to bottom, uncovering an uncomfortable amount of dirt for what I considered a clean apartment… He even offered to iron all my shirts!
A few days went by, and then the day before the party there was a ring at my door. Internet, meet Harri the butler.
This dapper chap was to be my personal assistant for the day. We had been provided with a car, so I made use of him as my personal chaperone. As an ex-chef, there was no way I was letting anyone else cater for my party, so I had Harri drive me all over Helsinki shopping for ingredients. He drove me to every obscure Asian supermarket I desired, happily carrying my groceries and pushing my shopping cart about. He even took me to the post office to collect packages waiting for me.
After a long day hunting ingredients I sent him home and spent the evening preparing food – I decided to make a Korean/Japanese themed dinner. The following afternoon Harri returned before the festivities and assisted me in getting dinner ready. He was in costume, so I dressed up as well. Thanks to the guys from Warhorse Studios for the kickass Kingdom Come Deliverance hat by the way!
Harri assisted me with the preparation, wrapping and setting of the table and other general buterly duties. We paused for an obligatory selfie.
At this point, i got a call from one of my friends that they would be running late, as they had been held up at work. I was having none of this. I dispatched my butler in his car to head over to his workplace and to collect him and his girlfriend personally. Whats the point of having a butler if you cant send them to collect your friends?
In the meantime, I set up Le Fancy Butler Menu.
- Chijeu-Buldak (“Fire Chicken” and Tofu for our resident vegan)
- Sesame and Coconut rice
- Edamame (me style – Coated with sea salt, pepper, dill and fennel)
Harri soon returned with all my guests (all good butlers double as chauffeurs, don’t you know?) and I set him to serve drinks to our guests while I set the television to display the Netflix 4K film of a fireplace for that added fancy touch to the atmosphere and also ordered him to feed my cat – Because I can.
Shortly after we all had a chit-chat, it was time to eat. I prepared the food and Harri set it up as per my instructions. We all ate together and dinner was amazing if I do say so myself.
After we ate, we got to gaming while Harri the butler attended to our every whim. Delivering instant drink refills, clearing the table, putting the food away and photographing the fun. We offered to let him play a few rounds with us, but he was far to dedicated to his butlerly duties to be distracted by such improper behaviour!
We focused on playing 2 games. Firstly was Fusion Frenzy via the original Xbox backwards compatibility program and included as part of Xbox games pass. It looked amazing and ran like a dream. Most of us had played Fusion Frenzy when we were younger, so it was not only a fantastic party game to play, but it was a thorough trip down memory lane. I must confess, however, many of our opinions on the best minigames may have been slightly based on nostalgia. That said – Fusion Frenzy 3 when?
We also played a lot (and I mean a lot) of Black & White Bushido. A neat little party game by Good Catch (Who I have interviewed on the Party Chat Podcast). This game is simple but incredibly deep and skill based, with a focus on not only outplaying your opponents, but outsmarting them too. My throat was so hoarse from shouting by the end of it I could hardly talk. All of us were getting into character, shouting “NANI?!” when we died, sending out anime meme catchphrases such as “OMAE WA MOU SHINDEIRU”, impersonating Mr Miyagi and claiming that the opposing side lacked honour and discipline. Utterly hilarious.
Observe here everyone’s facial expressions. It got serious…
After some time gaming, we sent our butler on his way (he does need to sleep after all) and the party wound down after that. Overall it was possibly the weirdest and coolest birthday present I’ve ever gotten. For sure a story that I can tell to the grandchildren one day. I really wanted to thank Xbox for this whacky gift, as well as the production company who set everything up and of course Harri for being the most distinguished of gentlemen Xbox butlers.
This experience was a shining example of why I’m an Xbox gamer. Something like this simply wouldn’t happen to fans of any of the other gaming platforms. Xbox goes above and beyond for its fans and our community is the best there is. I am proud to be a part of it.
In closing, I will leave you with this one picture snapped by Harri. It perfectly captures my general mood of the night more than words ever could…