The internet has been buzzing for the last few weeks with the news of the release date of Halo 4. Most of the time this would be of absolutely no interest for me: I’m not a huge FPS fan anymore (not since the original Unreal Tournament) but this release actually has an impact on the real world.
The date announced is November 6 – which doesn’t mean anything to us here in SA, but in the US it’s Election Day. This is a big issue because the incumbent (President Obama) made it in to the presidency largely due to an overwhelming majority of support from the young demographic, and that is the exact target audience of the new Halo game.
There are numerous conspiracy theories floating around that Microsoft (the publishers of Halo) have done this specifically to boost the chances of their preferred candidate (Mitt Romney). It’s debatable whether or not Romney is actually their candidate or even if they would be evil enough to try fudge the election… so I’m not going to go into that.
What I’m taking out of this whole episode is the massive (even harmful) effect that mass media is having on society. This release could have a definite impact on the election of the leader of the world’s current largest superpower. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?
Since when does a leisure activity override choosing who’s going to lead your country? It’s insane! It’s a mass parallel to Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burnt, which is allegorical to the fall of civilization.
Signs abound that the society we live in is pushing us in the wrong direction. We’re leading completely unsustainable lives fueled by rampant commercialism and mass media on an unprecedented scale. Sure, no one could have foreseen the problems that we’re facing when all these systems were developed but we can see the dangers now… shouldn’t that cause us to reevaluate? Shouldn’t that make us change what we’re doing?
I don’t see any changes happening… I don’t see any political or social will to cause change… basically I see little hope that we can salvage much of the current society before it implodes.
So that’s my gloom and doom for the month… next time will be something more uplifting (I hope).
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity” – Albert Einstein