Time Magazine on the third of the Halos. As popular as the games are, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in the manistream press splooge quite like this over them. Actually, let’s slow down there – this may actually be a good thing. For once, a game other than Mario is on the cover a major magazine, Time magazine of them all. That’s a pretty good step for our hobby. Yes, the author gets very deep and melodramatic about the game’s Gregorian Chants and phrases such as The Pillar or Autumn, things that I find more pretentious than actually tasteful. But again – its better than calling us a bunch of kids right?
No. This is not a good thing, in fact I think this hurts gamers. A few reasons why.
– The author compares Halo to such things as Austen, Wagner and fucking Piranesi. That’s ridiculous, but again, I’ll choke it down. But he mentions all of these things in the same paragraph in which Cortana is depicted as “a sexy hologram”. This just seems like a bad case of having one’s signals crossed. True, its not a bad description of Cortana, but it makes the rest of the paragraph seem almost joking. Were I not familiar with the games I don’t know how seriously I would take this stuff.
– The article considers Halo and its ilk to be “shoot ’em ups”. It would be very nerd-ragey for me to get mad at not using the phrase “first person shooter”, or for not realizing that ‘schmups are their own, very different genre. But shoot ’em up? That’s the kind of language they used back when Doom was all the rage. The author and his intended audience are completely behind the times when it comes to this industry. It reads like all this progress is a complete shock to them. If this is what they think of Halo, what would they say of many other games? If you need any proof of how little highbrow culture has given a shit about gaming, look no further.
– We could all think of plenty of examples of games deeper than Halo. I’m still going to bring one example up – Marathon. The Marathon games are much deeper story wise than Halo, by a long shot. Oh, and they were also made by Bungie. We won’t ever hear about them from Time however, because they are too damn old. Because of so very many reasons, some of the greats of gaming past will always be overlooked. And that just isn’t cool.
I’m going to pull my own fanboy card here – make a cover story about Bioshock or even System Shock. An interview with Ken Levine from an industry outsider would probably be something Time readers would actually be interested in. It could do wonders for impressing people on the potential of gaming. But while Bioshock will sell, it won’t Halo sell, and so something like this Time article has as much potential to be a gateway for nongamers to look into as it does to continue the big circle jerk that is our industry as people continue to ripoff Halo. It may also just make a lot of folks laugh.
What do you think?