November 12, 2004

New Games Journalism & Halo 2

I'm pretty sure I posted about New Games Journalism back in the summer, but back then the site was getting around three hits a day. I'm going to give you these in reverse order so you know what to look for, but start with this article explaining what New Games Journalism is, then read the inspiration for that article.

New Games Journalism is not reviewing in the traditional sense of the word, but they are a kind of review. The goal, as I see it, is to relay the unique experiences in the game as best you can to the reader; to take them into the world of the game and show the reader the amazing or terrible aspects which might induce someone to buy it.

So, that primer out of the way, I'd like to talk about Halo 2 a bit. First, I'm not done with the single player game yet, so there're be more to come on that front. My Xbox has been offline since August due to being on a new and oftentimes unstable wireless network. On Wednesday I hooked up the wireless network adapter thinking it would be a major pain to set up, but in fact it only took a little bit of fiddling to get me up and running. As Halo 2 loaded, I received a voice messsage from Brandon, an occasional contributer here. I haven't seen Brandon in person since his wedding over a year ago, but I received a voice mail message through a game telling me about a game he had played the night before with Czar, another occational poster here and another person I haven't seen in forever, and told me that I should join in with them. Seconds after the messsage ended I saw that Brandon was not online playing Halo 2, but was in fact offline playing the single player campaign. Moments later I had recorded my own voice message where I told him of my current availability, only to shortly thereafter hear back from Brandon saying that he would find a good stopping point and then we could play. Then he soundly beat my ass. I got some good licks in though.

Anyway, that's hardly a very good example of New Games Journalism, but I've never been so amazed with the way a non-communication (read: cell phone) device can connect people separated by a continent. Halo 2, so far, is a spectacularly good game, but it's blowing my mind how it's able to bring people together so they can digitally kill each other.

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