Time Magazine Takes Shots at Gamers with Halo 3 Article
The newest issue of Time Magazine is out and it already has the gaming community in an uproar over a cover story featuring Halo 3. Most of the outrage stems from the featured article by Lev Grossman that casts gamers themselves in an unfavorable light. A lot of people in the gaming community are already foaming at the mouth over this piece, and it isn’t hard to see why. Aside from the very obvious bias of the feature, it’s also incredibly poorly researched, often exhibiting facts that your average teenager would know to be false; citing Halo 2 as an Xbox 360 exclusive, for example. He also complains that few people really know the story of Halo, which I think a “few” million people might disagree on. The article is frequently littered with little pot shots at gamers as well. He refers to the gaming community at large as “antisocial”, “sociopathic,” and the “invisible geek ghetto,” and games themselves as “an unhealthy amusement for children.”
It really sounds like the man hasn’t even glanced at a video game since Donkey Kong, and is now confused with what is before him. And when people are faced with something confusing, they tend react in one of two ways: acceptance or rejection. Clearly, the author of this feature has chosen the latter. The entire article has an air of frustrated resentment to it. Reading it is kind of like trying to watch a 90-year old man explain hip hop music. He just seems so stubborn in his beliefs that he ends up sounding more and more ridiculous, refusing to acknowledge how much the game business has grown or even games as a “respectable media.” I think the part that really made me realize just what was wrong though, was when the writer began comparing Halo to various pieces of classic literature. That’s usually one of my top signs that someone has no real understanding of what they’re talking about, so they try desperately to link to something they do understand (pick up a copy of the New Yorker to see what I’m talking about).
Personally, I’m not even a really huge Halo fan. They’re good games and all, but not really in my top ten. Still, even I know that Halo 3 is probably the biggest game hitting shelves this year in a multi-billion dollar market, which makes it kind of more than a “subculture”; that’s kind of like referring to people who watch movies as a “subculture.”