If you haven’t read the previous Halo Effect post then now’s your chance. *chance* Then keep reading from this spot –> . So, it seems that HALO has more effects than just one, eh? This is all too curious. HALO? Hmm… the last post was about social psychology and the Halo Effect, but it seems to me that “HALO effect” can mean something completely different than just a useful principle of persuasion and influence. It’s second meaning follows hereafter and, unlike it’s first meaning, is nigh unto completely worthless; but at least it’s something you won’t have to find in a scary-thick text book… Part II does have a little to do with “social psychology” of the male kind and it might have something to do with greasy controllers and sore thumbs and bugged out eyeballs.
A couple weeks ago we dudes had a dudes night out. By dudes I mean us guys of course. We decided to be like little kids and have a sleep over (ouch, did we really do that? I guess you could actually call it a “slumber party” too, but that’s just too hard hitting and sounds, um, little-boyish)—luckily we didn’t have to ask our parents for permission. With an xbox 360 and an assortment of cheesecake in the house, little room is left for the “I dunno whatchoo wanna do” syndrome. It was so natural… everything else went silent and all I heard was little birds chirping and children laughing and then the climactic Ah ah ah… Ah ah ah… sung like that Ariel chick from Little Mermaid. We gravitated toward the xbox like it was a magnet and began playing HALO 3 like robots with pasted on smiles… and we played and played like we were born to do nothing else.
Now, I’m not one to ever play video games of my own accord, and neither are they. I’m just not good and I don’t enjoy it much by myself. I’ve never owned my own video game console or a real video game for that matter (I lie.. excepting one Tiger Woods 2007 for my PC which I play a couple of times a year during the Player’s Championship, the Masters, and the U.S. Open, and I might have gotten Mario Bros 3 for Nintendo as a Christmas gift or something way back). So what clicks in a dudes head to make all that non-video-game-ness go away when out with the boys at a… slumber party or something?
There’s got to be some anthropomorphic change that transforms dudes into video-game-playing phenoms or freaks, depending on whether or not you think that’s cool, when they get together to have fun. What is it about dudes and playing video games together? Is it social validation or macho-ness? Some weird high off of seeing who gets the most kills? Whatever it is, and I have no idea what it is, I think we can call this the HALO Effect just as well, can’t we?
We played HALO 3 from 8pm till about 2am. Six hours gone to the wind without a care in the world or anything constructive to show for it. (We might have had sore thumbs and bugged out eyes but the controllers definitely weren’t greasy. Our old roommate, whose house we were staying at, demanded that we keep our hands washed in order to play. That’s atypical HALO behavior, but at least sanitary.) On top of all this, everyone else went to bed while Vic and I beat the entire game of HALO 3 before the clock struck 5am. I never would have stayed up by myself to beat the game.
What is it about HALO that passes the time so effortlessly?… the HALO Effect, boys being boys. No wonder why wives and girlfriends confiscate that cursed video game. I’d like to see some Harvard social psychologists do a number on this HALO effect.