David Thomas teaches courses on the history of digital media, critical video-game theory and human environments at the University of Colorado. For more information, see buzzcut.com.
Gun on a Bun
By David Thomas
from Halo Effect
This is one essay from the anthology Halo Effect
You’re the lone survivor of a genetically engineered race of super-soldiers, trying to save humanity from the vicious Covenant. You’ve got a voice in your helmet, a potentially genocidal robot on your ship and enemies on your tail. But then you put down the controller. You haven’t been at war, you’ve simply been consumed by Halo, the first-person shooter that transformed the landscape of gaming. Halo and Halo 2 shattered sales records and swept gamers deep into a fictional galaxy full of danger and deceit. Millions of players stepped up to the controls to become the Master Chief, captivated by the graphics, storyline and innovative gameplay. Now, in Halo Effect, science fiction authors, gaming journalists, scientists, critics and even fellow gamers explore Halo’s hold on players and its influence on the world of gaming: How do the armed forces use video games to train our troops? How would Halos actually exist in space? Do you ever really have to grow up and set gaming aside? How is Halo a prime example of how science is more closely tied to religion than we thought? What’s behind the helmet of the superhuman Master Chief is a mystery. What’s behind Halo is the story of the most popular video game of all time.
About the Author
Glenn Yeffeth is the editor of several anthologies in the Smart Pop series, including The Anthology at the End of the Universe, Farscape Forever!, Five Seasons of Angel, Navigating the Golden Compass, Seven Seasons of Buffy, Taking the Red Pill and What Would Sipowitz Do? He lives in Dallas.