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Ignorant editorialist claims Halo 3 has "completely whitewashed the moral relativism of real-world conflicts"

Ilovebees October 25, 2009 User blog:Ilovebees

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The Claim:

"Halo 3 is a dream recruiting tool for the military, a perfect amalgam of propaganda and entertainment that highlights all of the unrealistic, hyper-machismo badassery of Hollywood-style war, while completely whitewashing the moral relativism of real-world conflicts.

The Halo trilogy’s protagonist is the Master Chief, a cybernetically-enhanced human super-soldier (though in ODST, the game focuses on the soldiers known as Orbital Drop Shock Troopers or ODSTs). The Master Chief aids future humanity in battling the Covenant, a theocratic alliance of alien races. Like in most video games, the alien races are designed as the anti-human, horrible, amoral, disgusting beasts created for one purpose: to be destroyed. That’s just smart business. After all, a complex video game illustrating the complicated gray areas of morality that exist in war wouldn’t be as enjoyable to impressionable 12-year-old boys (the industry estimates claim that at least 20 percent of the players are between 12 and 16.)"

source




My Response:

This article is completely misinformed.

The Halo Universe is perhaps one of the deepest analysis of moral relativism of any video game ever made. Indeed, that is why I love the story so much.

The entire premise of the Halo story is moral relativism.

Allison should seriously consider deleting this article to save face.

When playing Halo, you are supposed be always be left asking "who are the good guys?"

Lets examine this by exploring the 4 main groups in the Halo universe:

The Flood: A parasitic lifeform that wants to infect all sentient species, turning them into what are essentially zombies. When enough biomass has been accumulated by The Flood, it forms a compound-brain called the Gravemind - a collective consciousness of all those that are infected. Gravemind argues that The Flood it is the next step in evolution, and that being infected is the only way to live forever.

Ask yourself, are the Flood necessarily wrong for feeling they have evolutionary priority over all sentient species? If you say yes, then is that not in contradiction with the idea that humans deserve privilege over lesser evolved species such as animals and bacteria? What are we but bacteria to advanced bioforms like the flood? If you agree with arguments such as "oh, but bacteria aren't conscious", then how does that hold up to The Flood's argument "oh, but humans don't have a compound-mind"?

The Forerunners: A space-faring civilization that became extinct 100,000 years ago when they sacrificed their entire species in order to eliminate The Flood from infecting all sentient life in the universe. They did this by activating "Halo", a weapon capable of destroying all sentient life in a large proximity (most of the milky way galaxy).

Does this make them good because of their sacrifice? Or bad?

The Covenant: An alliance of several alien species that share a religion based on artifacts left behind by The Forerunners, whom they hold in high regard for their great sacrifice. And now, since The Flood is once again spreading across the galaxy, the Covenant hierarchs wish to follow in The Forerunner's steps and sacrifice themselves by once again activating Halo in order to save the universe from infection.

If you believed the Forerunners were good guys, then doesn't that make the Covenant good as well? It's kind of hard to tell who's the good guy now, isn't it?

The Humans: Humanity is trying to stop the Covenant from activating Halo, even though this will risk allowing the infection to spread across the entire universe.

Does this make them good or bad? Is there really a way to tell? By nature, people have a strong desire to side with the humans, but when the story is explored a bit more, one might realize that their philosophies and allegiances are in contradiction with each other.

This doesn't even get into the philosophical differences that cause factions within the covenant, humans, and forerunners themselves.

It is never really clear who the good guys are. At times, Humans ally with Covenant; other times, Humans even ally with the Flood. Everything is rife with uncertainty.

However, one thing is certain: Allison only has a very superficial understanding of the Halo universe, and it's very misguided.


Upvote my response on reddit!

http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/9xgu6/ignorant_editorialist_claims_halo_3_has/

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