Though Reach's story was a flashback, as far as the overall mythos was concerned, it was extremely enjoyable for us, with many highly cinematic "did you see that?" moments. Connor made comparisions between Noble Team and the Avengers or the Justice League, high praise indeed. But it was the sacrifices of the team members that had the greatest effect on Connor. In the car, over dinner, or even tucking him into bed, he asked questions over and over. He was learning that, to quote another sci-fi franchise, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". This was a hard truth, but important for him to learn. He was making connections to what he saw on the news, or heard in the pulpit at church.
This past week was the last at school for my kids, and as it typically the case, Connor came home loaded up with all sorts of completed work. Amid the stacks of fairy tale stories and watercolor monkeys, one assignment in particular caught my eye. I asked him about it, and he told me the teacher asked them to write about an experience in their life, something that was a good memory. Here is the text of his paper, along with the accompanying illustration.
What would you feel like if you were in a spaceship fighting evil alien spaceships? Would you feel lke sweet? You have to protect a spaceheadquarters and all the defenced power has 0 percent power. You have machine guns and missle launcher, shields on your spaceship. You also have a boost to. I had to take down the alien ships shields with your machine guns. My dad was also playing with me. It's a video game by the way. It is super super awesome!!!! When you detonate the enemy it's spaceship blow's up and come's on fire!! I think it's awesome and I think you will also think to.
Clearly, Halo has had a profound effect on Connor's life. It is to him what Star Wars is to many people my age. It is more than just a way to pass the time; it is a family event. We have had important, meaningful conversations that were spurred on by playing these video games. There have been debates about whether video games are art, whether they can be used as a teaching tool. I say the answer to both questions is aresounding yes. Playing Halo with my son has been one of the greatest joys in my life. He has learned about teamwork, heroism, and the cost of peace while playing with me. We have a bond far tighter than many fathers and sons, and video games are one reason why this is. For that, I am very grateful.