Call me patriotic, but I believe our most sacred institution is voting and this should be true for places outside of America. I think election day should be a national holiday, to increase people’s opportunity to take part in our elections. That’s why I was saddened when it was first announced that Halo 4 would be releasing on November 6, the same day as Americans all need to make sure to cast our ballots.
When this was first announced I was quick to create some conspiracy in my mind that Microsoft was trying to suppress the gamer vote. Gamers aren’t a very politically motivated group because we are a young demographic and young people don’t vote. My mind quickly recalled the statistics that said younger voters overwhelmingly went in favor of Democrats and left-leaning politicians. I quickly formed the idea that Microsoft is a corporation that is trying to make sure the Republicans will be elected so they can take advantage of the friendly corporate climate that the G.O.P. would create. I was sure that if I looked I could find proof that Microsoft was in it for Mitt Romney.
This is the reason running a website with a button that publishes things which may not be true makes me nervous. My initial conspiracy theory was way off and if I was too quick to publish my initial findings I would have made an ass of myself. I would have had to write a retraction and there is nothing I hate more than writing a retraction. I take my journalistic integrity too seriously to publish inaccuracies. I firmly believe that if I do publish something that is false it is my responsibility to do everything call myself out on it.
After continuing my initial research on the subject I found information that showed how Microsoft has donated tons of money to Barack Obama. Microsoft said that the release date was more of a coincidence, but even if it’s unintentional it still saddens me. After all, this is an American company and 343 Studios, the team behind Halo 4 is an American development team, so why didn’t someone realize this could be an issue? Why didn’t someone just move it back one week? I know you may think I’m overreacting, but I want to point out that when Halo 2 and 3 were released I skipped a few of my college classes and stayed up all night playing my new game. I’m not the only one on staff that did, considering many of the other TBGSE contributors were with me those long nights. I want everyone to vote in November and I hope gamers won’t be tempted out of voting by participating in the latest intergalactic drama of John-117.
So, no conspiracy, but I still feel troubled because I know that if I was as dedicated to Halo 4 as I was to Halo 2 and 3, then I would have had a hard time making it out to vote too and I’m very politically motivated. Here’s what I can tell you, go vote despite the fun you would have playing Halo 4. Maybe you can vote early and get it out of the way before election day. If you are in college I would strongly suggest registering at your college address even if it’s your dorm rather than your parent’s, because voting on election day from outside your district is difficult. I tried it and I failed in an epicly time wasting fashion. Make sure you register to vote as soon as you can. I would like to suggest at least by October, but with as many alterations to our voting laws that were enacted during the past two years, I would suggest you register as soon as you read this. There may be complications or confusion that might take some time and effort to get sorted out. Your county clerk’s office or your office of elections will definitely have the paperwork to register and most states have it at their DMVs, if you are willing to go to the DMV. I’ll tell you right now that there are very few places that will let you register to vote over the internet, so don’t think Google can solve all your problems.
As tempting as it would be to tell you who to vote for or encourage you, I’m going to avoid it. I am going to tell you that neither party or candidate is going to agree with you on everything. It’s a choice and your name isn’t on the ballot, so figure out who you agree with more and vote for them. I would suggest you look into party platforms for an overall idea and avoid news networks with too much bias like Fox News and MSNBC. If you are really interested in how gaming and politics work together I would suggest you check out GamePolitics.com, which is sponsored by the Entertainment Consumers Association. The ECA will sometimes endorse candidates to make things a little easier. While you may not feel like you have much influence over who gets to be president, your vote will influence congress to a much greater degree. Congress is extremely influential and your vote does hold some weight with your congressman’s election. You should vote, but voting and being informed isn’t always easy.
Good luck, and don’t let Master Chief distract you from exercising your true freedom from oppression.
Dan Hoyt has been an avid gamer his entire life. When he’s not playing games, he’s working out by walking his dog, hiking and doing martial arts. He likes to try new kinds of alcohol and discuss politics. He’s a graduate of The University of Kansas and has spent years as a journalist.