But it’s safe to play Halo 4 with a good conscience, as long as you voted earlier in the day. I find myself with this dilemma. Do I want to listen to the mellifluous voices of Anderson Cooper and David Gergen, or do I want to kick the Covenant’s butt? A siren song’s calling me, and I have to say it’s sorely testing my election fever.
This might not seem like such a ridiculous thought. Microsoft has spent more money on the marketing of Halo 4, which went on sale at midnight last night, than it ever has on a video game. The Halo series has generated $3 billion in sales and sold 46 million units. A large percentage of the gaming population cares about this game, which has reached a level of cultural phenomenon. Master Chief and his romance with his computer sidekick Cortana has seeped into our collective consciousness.
Last night, hordes of gamers lined up outside of 10,000 retail stores around the globe at midnight. Those lines were probably bigger than the lines that we saw today of people waiting to vote at polling places. Would you brave the midnight cold to vote?
Earlier in the evening, commentators on Fox News said that lots of young people wouldn’t vote because they would be busy playing Halo 4. CNN should take note. This is the age of mass media. The election is entertaining and politics is important, but the media that matter today include video games, and don’t be surprised to see the competition for eyeballs play out across media, whether it be video games, TV, social media, and anything else that can entertain us. Elections happen once every four years. But it’s been five years since gamers have last seen Master Chief.
Do you hear the call of Halo 4? I do.