Sunday, September 30, 2007

Halo3: From a sisters viewpoint

I am a self-confessed video-gaming retard (excuse the un-PC phrase) but I don't know how else to succinctly say it. My limit of interest ends with anything in the 3D world. I mean don't get me wrong, I could spend hours on tetris, puzzle bobble and the like but as soon as figures can perform 360 degree moves, I'm out!
So this week saw the release of the much anticipated Halo 3 video game. I have three brothers so I couldn't escape the hype associated with this game. So why am I interested in this subject seeing as video games are totally alien to me. Well, I couldn't help but notice the change in my brothers identity as he awaited the release of Halo 3. So they are relatively normal boys but in particular I will talk about my older brother who is 23. He surprised me the most. Ok, so he's a somewhat well rounded individual, you know, he gets out and about, and he's not the stereotypical "pasty, geeky male" who sits and plays video games all day, and he always makes a statement of pointing this out to the rest of the family, "I just can't see how people can get so addicted?", and statements alike. However, the release of Halo 3 in some way allowed my brother to accept this stereotypical personae and also allow his friends to get away with similar actions.
It first began with the official Halo 3 invites that were sent in the mail by one of his friends. I actually couldn't stop laughing. I have known these guys for years and yet I still couldn't believe they were so caught up that they actually were having a Halo 3 'party'. The invite was complete with a Halo 3 watermark background. Oh how my heart sank. Well, my brother opened up the invite in front of my sisters, his girlfriend and me and although he didn't really say anything, I could see the delight in his eyes. Oh that delight was undeniable. As a sister, I felt somewhat happy to see him so full of joy, but as a little sister who had looked up to her older brother all her life, I was suddenly hit by the truth that even he didn't manage to escape that video gaming demon.
So, the Halo 3 "party" involved eight invited guests having a sleep over on the night of the Halo 3 release which involved them waiting in line to be one of the first people to get the game. After this they went back to the hosts house, and had set up 4 television sets in which they would all play simultaneously through the night. When my brother finally returned home, I was curious and asked him about his 'party'. "Awesome" was all he said and then he was off to bed. When he woke back up I grilled him about his experience. I was especially interested in trying to get him to take a look at his actions from an outsider point of view and reflect on them and boy did I do that. My brother especially got a wake-up call so to speak when he was reflecting of lining up at midnight to get the game. He said he kind of felt awkward because it was just a group of similar aged men huddled together to get a game. The only thing that seemed to make it alright was that there were some mothers in the crowd getting games for their sons. He then went on to separate himself from the other men in the line, saying how they were so geeky, but I pointed out his actions and how they were the same as those so-called geeky men. He just look bewildered as if he'd just realised his actions.
So what is my point about my brothers 'geeky' video gaming actions? Well it is not to bag on those men who fit into the same category nor is it to stereotype the video gamers of today. It is the opposite of that. Although there are vast prejudices against these video gaming addicts, most of them are healthy people just like you and me. The interesting thing is that they separate themselves and their friends from the others. Theories such as the halo effect, no pun intended, could be the explanation for these actions. Their actions are not so extreme because they know themselves. So who is anyone to judge that 30 year old man standing in that Halo 3 line at midnight? Not my brother, that's for sure!


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