Time Writer Talks Halo, But Does He Really Not Like Halo?

levgrossman.jpgWith Halo 3 coming, a lot of mainstream press are starting to cover it. Regardless of its ultimate worth, it's going to be the biggest release in years. Time have just run a piece on it, which looks a lot like it's taking repeated snipes at not just Halo, but gaming as a whole. Example:

There's an opportunity, in other words, to decloak the Halo subculture, to turn it from invisible to visible...Not that the Bungies care. They don't need to legitimise Halo by associating it with other, more respectable media. They sell enough units and make enough money. They're happy in their invisible geek ghetto. But that's the logic of the marketplace: it can't leave subcultures alone; it has to turn them into cultures. It may be time for the Master Chief to come in from the cold and join the party, with the popular kids. Just don't expect him to take off his helmet.

Not very nice, is it?Another example:

This devotion is fuelled by a belief, not shared by the world at large, that video games are an art form with genuine emotional meaning and that Halo 3 will be the premier example of that art.

The writer of the piece is Time's Lev Grossman. Lev is himself a writer, and reviews books for Time. Snooty book fan? Perhaps! There's a chance he's taking a subtle, ironic tone, though. Consider that Lev's twin brother is Austin Grossman, who is also a writer. A videogame writer, who's worked on Deus Ex and System Shock. Then consider Grossman penned another Halo piece back in 2005, on the power of Halo 2, where he wasn't nearly so nasty. In fact he calls the game "Wagnerian" (which he does again in this recent piece), and says enthusiastically:

...video games are getting increasingly difficult to ignore as a vital force in popular culture, and the hardest game to ignore right now is Halo.

Maybe he was being an ass. Then again, maybe too many gamers are running on such a short fuse they're ready to go off half-cocked at the drop of a hat.

The Man in the Mask [Time]


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