The sound of stampeding Halo 3 fans has died away, and been replaced, of course, by the sounds of millions of gamers madly playing the epic video game … or madly gobbling dinner so they can go back to playing the game.
So, we were enjoying a delightful dinner last night, with background music provided by the humming, paused XBox. And as you might guess, the dinner table conversation was going nowhere. So after our desperate Halo chitchat gambit – “Er, what’s up with that Master Chief? Is he the man or what?” – met with gales of laughter from our teens, we did the obvious thing. We called Times video game critic Gieson Cacho for a little help. “Gieson,” we said, “help us connect with our kids and not sound like dweebs.”
Gieson laughed, of course. Because, like, duh, Master Chief is the man. But he had some suggestions…
Try asking the kids what their favorite vehicle or weapon is instead, he said, or how the game works. Ask them what happens at the end. Does the game live up to the hype? “There’s a ton of pressure,” Gieson said, “on whether this game will fulfill all the expectations for gamers.”
Ask them where Halo ranks in their top 5 list of video games. “Gamers love lists,” he said, “and there’s one for every subject. It might even spill over to comparisons between other games.”
Better yet, try playing a level or two with your favorite gamer. There’s usually a “co-op mode,” he said, as well as the “competitive deathmatch” route. And if you get hooked on Halo 3? Well, maybe your teens will share their energy drinks too.