Halo Killer

September 6, 2008 at 13:30 (News, Rants, Video Games) (, , , , , , )

I’m late to the party, obviously, but still light years ahead of the mainstream media, who you just know are going to cotton on to the Halo half of this tragic news.

The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that an eleven-year old by the name of Joshua Nimm took the day off school to play video games.  When his Dad got back from work that afternoon, he found Joshua dead, a single, .22 calibre gunshot wound to the head.  Local PD have since concluded their investigation, asserting that Joshua was trying to recreate something he’d seen in Halo.

It’s horrible news, of course; I mean, it’s awful, it really does suck for the poor kid, and I’m only covering this because I’m wont to suspect that the minute an American newspaper or a British tabloid gets their filthy hands on the story they’ll blow it out of all proportion.

First off: I’ve played all three of the Halo games to date, and nowhere does anyone – neither Spartan nor Elite – shoot themselves in the head.  A gun to your head, though; it’s a pretty familiar image – and I’m saying that as someone who’s never seen a real gun.  I’ve seen it plenty in the movies.  On television, too; and in books and comics and other video games.  But not in Halo.  In the end, whatever my problems with the franchise, Halo and its sequels are the LIVE generation’s Star Wars, and they’ve always known their place.  There are moments of maturity, even of sacrifice (I feel like I’m giving these games to much credit already) but Master Chief is a moral machine, and the notion of suicide is much too real, much too terrifying, to ever intrude on the cartoon mechanics of his narrative.

Not that the vast majority of the media will care enough about the truth to fact-check the inevitable flood of stories that stem from this incident.  It’s just too delicious an opportunity to have a go at one of the few video games the general public knows exist; Halo 3 was in the news last year when it beat Spider-Man 3 to become the most profitable entertainment launch ever.  And we all know, if there’s a video game involved somehow, it’s probably to blame.  Unless they find Marilyn Manson mp3s on the kid’s computer, that is.

You can be sure, though, that having a gun in every home, a pistol under every pillow and a loaded rifle in every closet in America – that’s not to blame.  I mean, how else could these wonderful peace-loving people defend themselves against the ills of modern society otherwise?


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