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Editorial: Halo 3 Ad - We Believe

By now we’ve all seen the “Museum” ad for Halo 3. Some may not know what to make of it, and others appreciate its fresh approach to videogame advertising. Of course, there are the closed minded few who think it hits too close to the real wars of our time. While watching the video we were initially struck by how beautiful and moving the piece was. Warriors, captured in a freeze frame of time during a horrible conflict, panned across the screen as an elderly Covenant War veteran wandered the hall where the diorama is kept. This is where Microsoft spent its oodles of cash, and every dollar was put to splendid use.

The story being told is a classic one. The hero engages in an epic battle to save the world. He alone stands before the forces that threaten reality, and the world looks to him for comfort and reassurance. But there is no solace to be found for the hero, and although many will raise arms to join him in battle the fight is ultimately his. What this advertisement has done is take this wonderful universe and brought home to everyone what a struggle like the Covenant War means to the people. The soldiers that fight alongside John 117 have families and friends they are trying to protect. They don’t fight to kill; they fight to survive.

As the retired UNSC Major wanders through the “Museum of Humanity” he looks on to the figures of his fallen brothers. The narrator asks him about the battle, and he tells us, ”On the seventh day, we ran out of ammo. We had to scavenge all we could from the weapons that were left behind.” As any Halo player can profess, hell just about any videogame player, the act of picking up your enemy’s ammo when yours runs out is standard fare. Never has this simple game mechanic taken on such a horrifying reality. The thought of these hundreds of men, desperate just to remain in the fight, searching for any weapon that might be around is heart wrenching.

There’s no reason a videogame should have to pander to the naysayers who believe games are for children, even the mature rated ones. While Halo itself is a sci-fi shooter, the story of the men and women involved is as important and artistic as anything seen in novels and film. It is refreshing to see this ad come out of a videogame, especially with every other ad taking a silly approach to promotion. The ascension of videogames into the world of art is upon us, and going back to the cheesy voice over ads of the past should be forced out.

Steve West

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.