Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Halo2: Non-Partisan Blood Bath After All

It looks like the issue that James Lileks raised regarding the political implications of Halo2 have been cleared up:

Clearly, there are political and religious dimensions to Halo 2 that were absent from the first game. ''You could look at [the story] as a damning condemnation of the Bush administration's adventure in the Middle East,'' admits Staten.

And with that statement, all desire I had to play the game – which, believe me, was substantial – just drained away. So the Covenant is the US Military, then?
I don't really know what he is talking about here (being a Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights fan, I never got into Halo) but it does sound rather depressing for a video game to get all PC (as it were).

However, it looks like the true culprit here is (surprise!) biased reporting. Michelle Malkin has the scoop:
Staten cleared things up by posting a note on Free Republic. An excerpt:

Let me be really clear about this: there is no intentional political message in Halo2, anti-Bush or otherwise.
While I tried to be mindful of folks' sensitivities as I wrote its story, I knew that the game was going to scrutinized by a large, diverse audience, and would, therefore, be interpreted (or mis-interpreted, as the case may be) any number of different ways.

The EW journalist chose to include one of my examples of possible misinterpretation in the article, but not all of them. Most importantly, the journalist left out my closing statement: "Look, you can read anything into the story that you like - call a damning condemnation of the Bush Admnistration's adventure in the Middle-East, for example. But you'd be wrong."

In retrospect, It would have been best to give no example at all, but hindsight is 20-20...

Halo2's story is non-partisan. Any meaning you ascribe to it is yours alone.

And remember, at the end of the day, whatever some journalist says I said really doesn't matter. The proof is in the pudding. Play the game, and I think you'll see it's just that: a fun game with a good story.

Crafty bit of biased media editing of Staten's remarks, don't you think? At any rate, his response was very cool. Unfortunately, I probably won't get to play Halo2, or any other video game, until sometime after both kids have graduated from high school. Sigh. Can't wait for 2022!
I'm still not sure if I'm interested in the game, but this is surprisingly comforting.

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