Master Chief Morality...

It wasn’t until I watched Halo: The Fall of Reach that I began to understand the enormous issue that surrounded the creation of John-117 and the other Spartans. Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 was created with a purpose: to bring an end to the Insurrection, the undeclared civil war occurring between the United Nations Space Command and groups of rebels in the Outer Colonies. Over the course of 43 years, the Insurrectionists had increased the severity of their actions, moving from peaceful protests to terrorist tactics. This is the political climate of the Halo universe that spurs on the SPARTAN programs. I grew up playing through the Halo campaigns, and I thought about the history involved as much as the next person; that is to say, not very. “I’m a super human and I’m killing the bad-guy aliens.” That’s about as far as it went. What I didn’t appreciate or understand at the time was the vast moral and ethical dilemma that surrounded the game’s premise. In the face of great injustice and evil, is it ethical to suspend our own morality to protect people? In Halo: The Fall of Reach, Dr. Catherine Halsey, a young genius, has a plan that she thinks will bring about the end of the Insurrection. If one soldier could be created that could replace 100, even at a high cost, isn’t that worth it? Especially if this one soldier can’t be outgunned or outmaneuvered by any regular Insurrectionist? If this soldier could be created, strategic targets could be removed with the precision skill of a scalpel. But, what is the high cost of these super soldiers? Dr. Halsey knows what it will take to create her Spartans: children. They needed to start with children. Halsey looks far and wide...

Falling for entertainment Jun15

Falling for entertainment...

“Stop wasting your time.” If it’s not often explicitly stated that way, it is definitely implied in the array of looks I get from people when I list off the sheer amount of TV shows that I am presently keeping  track of. It’s 16, if you were wondering. “It’s just mindless entertainment.” My feelings of guilt and shame after hearing this comment one too many times came to a head when I started listening to podcasts on the way to work. I asked for suggestions on Facebook of what I should listen to.. I anticipated a number of the recommendations: This American Life, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, Freakanomics, and, given the circles I roll in, a variety of Christian and inspirational podcasts. Here was an opportunity to appease those entertainment-naysayers, improve myself, make effective use of my time, and be productive on my ride to work. I’m constantly looking for deeper meaning. But instead of choosing a podcast about faith, or about how to be a better dad, or about how to run a business better,  I settled on Hunt the Truth, the origin story of Master Chief. The podcast is told from the first person perspective of an investigative journalist. “You should be ashamed.” But really, should I? Look, I get it—all of us can easily waste our time by indulging in the mindless. But for me, watching the latest Avengers film engaged my creativity and inspired me more than a recorded sermon ever will. For me, sedentary entertainment is not always passive entertainment. It certainly can be, but there are times that it simply isn’t for me. For me, playing Fez is not just playing a video game. It is walking through an old forgotten chapel in Europe, smelling incense that is long...

Video game music that we love May08

Video game music that we love

Since May is our music-themed month, we will be regaling you with fun playlists every Friday. This is some of our favourite tunes from awesome video games. We love that the Civilization IV song is the Lord’s Prayer. And also, Lindsey Stirling is one of our favourite musicians of all time; go listen to all her stuff on YouTube. “Zelda Medley” (Lindsey Stirling) This gives us the feels. Time to go play Ocarina of Time.   “Baba Yetu” (Civilization IV) This is actually the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili. It was the first video game theme nominated for a Grammy.   “Never Forget” (Halo) We will never forget how amazing the Halo soundtrack is.   “Fear Not This Night” (Guild Wars 2) This Guild Wars 2 song is our sandwich, along with the game itself.   “One Winged Angel” (Final Fantasy VII) You can’t go wrong with Final Fantasy music. Really, it’s all...

Unlikely Friendships that Should Have Been Feb05

Unlikely Friendships that Should Have Been

We all know (and love) the many friendships that are exhibited within a variety of shows: Han and Chewy, Frodo and Sam, Mega Man and Rocket, Blanka and your face, you get the idea. But sometimes those friendships are just not enough and we need to reach outside their respective genres for the friendship matches made in heaven. Here are our top 10: Calvin & Chewbacca “You know, Chewy, some days even my lucky Millenium Falcon underpants don’t help.” Hermione Granger & Twilight Sparkle They’ll form a group called S.B.E.W. (Society for the Bookworms of Equestria and the World). Edward Elric & Gimli Sometimes dynamite comes in small packages and can explode at anytime, especially if you mention anything about being short. Tony Stark & Tali-Zorah “Testing rocket boots, Day 11, Test 37, Configuration 2.0. For lack of a better option, Tali is still on fire safety.” Arya Stark & Toph Beifong We just want to see these two take on an army together. Master Chief (John-117) & John the Baptist “But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, one who wears the spartan helmet of salvation and wields the energy sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Sephiroth and Scar Scar would get some much needed perspective—“You wanna be king of a rock? Well I wanna destroy the world with a giant meteor”—and Sephiroth can stop being jealous that he doesn’t have a pet lion like the other side. Mal Reynolds & Doctor Horrible So Doctor Horrible can’t be friends with Captain Hammer, but he can darn sure be friends with Captain Tightpants! Caprica Six & Seven of Nine Separated from the hive collective with a strong desire to gain some form of humanity. It’s kind of true for both. Although Seven of Nine definitely has better taste in men. Jayne Cobb & John Casey “Do you know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I go and get to beat you with until you buy this washing machine.” Certainly we missed a bunch. Which unlikely friendships would you...