Full Title: “Halo: Combat Evolved on the Feminine and Fertility in Video Games”
Conference: Far West Popular Culture Association (FWPCA/ACA)
Location: Las Vegas, NV
First Presented: March 14, 2010
Video Games are a driving economic force in this country and, like all other forms of media, are purveyors of popular culture. This paper will critically analyze the representation of nature and feminine in one of the most popular Science Fiction video game series on the market today: Halo. My purpose is to study the underlying ecological values and almost parasitic representation of nature within the narrative-driven series. In addition, I will also explore the connection between environmental degradation and the subjugation of women and how video games have become a primary and persuasive medium for inculcating male audiences in the oppressive dichotomies that underpin our current political and environmental problems.
Contrary to all evidence in this paper, I actually love the Halo series. I have purchased every installment, including Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2, and played them multiple times. I have also read most of the novels. There is something about Bungie’s created world that fascinates me.
However, like all created worlds, the world of Halo is incomplete and its incompleteness nagged at me as I was slaughtered a thousand times playing LASO. In a world full of life and giant rings built to destroy that life, half of life was missing: the female part. When I realized it, I dismissed it. Dismissed it like a flaw found in something you love. Nevertheless, the thought festered until I accepted its putrid truth. Then, I began to wonder why.
This paper is the start of that exploration and, to be honest, does not cover the topic in the depth and detail it warrants. Unlike my first conference paper, its limitations are purposeful. I intended it to be the outline for a full scholarly article. An article that will likely never be written at this point since I have moved on and so has the series.
Although on that note, Halo 4 and Halo 5 feel more like fan fiction than true sequels in Master Chief’s epic saga. In this gamer’s humble opinion, Halo 3 still remains the best and better conclusion than the resulting death, resurrection, and rampancy of Cortana. However, I would not be a scholar if I didn’t admit that her rampancy does fit well into my argument. She seeks to be more than a mere object of desire. She has been given autonomy and now seeks to act rather than remain acted upon. Is any surprise, then, that she has gone mad with power?
And, for reference, my personal favorite in the series is Halo: Reach.