Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Big Picture: "One Day In November"

Is "Halo 4" releasing on Election Day fishy?


Taylor said...

If Microsoft really wanted to affect the election, they'd release it on the 5th so that people would be home and playing it on the Election day. This gets them up and out of the house so that they can vote on the way home.

Also, if I were a liberal, I wouldn't want to suggest that my core demographic are people dumb enough to be swayed from the election by video games.

v_opposition said...

I can't watch the video yet because I'm at work. Halo is a franchise that crosses over. Meaniing mainstream media will report of it's release as news. You see there isn't really that much for a news organisation to report on at any given time. So the media needs filler. Some of it can be filled by talking heads and pundits. Some of it needs to be pop culture trash. Some of it is media trends and features.

A Halo game starring Master Chief provides lots of built in cross-over news and publicity that they could get for free. However, they will be ignored because there will be real news on Nov 6.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan said...

In the broad sense, I agree that the possibility of multimedia releases interfering with elections/government events exists.

I just don't see it in this particular case.

Also, if you (a general you, not anyone specific) are the kind of person that wouldn't vote because you have to go get the latest videogame/movie/etc., then I don't think you have any real business voting anyway. But that could just be me.

Good video, Bob!

Nixou said...

Oooooh, you put an image of a french ballot. Good old french democracy with pieces of paper put in blue envelopes and not these easily-hacked voting machines (Also, no concern here: the openly socialist wonk is going to beat the running-after-incest-fetichists-pretending-to-be-concerned-about-illegal-immigration-far-right-nutjobs conservative heir with ease)

Lord Slithor said...

As far as voter fraud conspiracy theories go, even this one stretches credulity. I think that anyone planning to buy and play Halo 4 on the day of release had probably made up their minds beforehand that they weren't going to vote anyway.

Besides, it's already been reported that the youth vote that Obama rode to victory in part on isn't as enthusiatic as it once was; mainly because many have since felt disillusioned and disenchanted with him as he failed to deliver on much of the change he promised and no real tangible improvement on the economy. And since Romney hasn't offered much as an alternative, the consensus is that youth voters this election will be as apathetic as they have usually been.

Actually, I think the game that will have much more of an impact on the political landscape will be Bioshock: Infinite. The game's conflict between the factions of the Founders and the Vox Populi was intended to be an almost direct allusion, and commentary on, the conflict now between Conservatives and Liberals, respectively. And the use of American iconogrpahy, as seen in such things as the Motorized Patriot, are guaranteed to raise the hackles of political commentators everywhere (particularly the Conservative ones).

Also considering it's to be release on Oct. 16 - almost a full month before the election - means that it will have had plenty of time for the public to become aware of it and generate controversy. So I think that scenario is actually more likely than whether or not young people will be staying home and not voting because of Halo 4.

Anonymous said...

If Halo 4's release date were going to affect the election, I would think it would actually have a negative impact on the Republicans since the people who would be not be voting would be the Halo fans, not exactly known for being a left-wing bunch.

Taylor said...

@Nixou: Ah, yes, the "easily hackable" voting machines.

Yeah, as opposed to the impenetrable bulwarks of advaned security which are "envelopes"

biomechanical923 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
biomechanical923 said...

Bob, you seem to be forgetting that people's votes don't actually count for anything anyway.
Electors from the Electoral College pick the president long before all the popular votes are counted.
There's absolutely no point in voting in a presidential election. The Electors will vote as they choose, and the only thing a popular vote can do is tell the Electors whether you agree with them or not.
All of that is not even taking into account the fact that party nominees are pretty much selected by Superdelegates.

v_opposition said...

Apparently you slept throught your civics class, because that is one of the most moronicly ignorant things I have ever heard.

The presidential electors don't just vote for whomever they want. When you vote on election day you are actually voting for a slate of electors who are party loyalists who have agreed to vote for the candidate nominated by their party. When a state (or district in some cases) goes for a candidate those electors then vote in December for President. There are "faithless electors" in which electors cast a ballot for someone besides the winner from their state. Thus far these electors have changed a grand total of zero elections.

Dude, get a clue.

James said...

You know, young voters might not turn out to vote for reasons other than the release of a new Halo game... like maybe the fact that both Obama and Romney are horrible choices for president.

Billy said...

just wondering... why do you bother embedding your videos when it just forces me to the escapist's site anyway?

biomechanical923 said...

The presidential electors don't just vote for whomever they want. Then would you kindly explain how the electors are capable of choosing a president when only about 3% of the votes are counted at that point?
Also, you might have a little bit more credibility if you didn't throw around ad-hominems. Just saying.

biomechanical923 said...


Even if your vote mattered (which it doesn't), you would still only make a difference if you lived in a swing state.

See Here

Joe M said...

@biomechanical: Then really, what we need to do to make your vote worth more is move to a country that doesn't have 300+ million people in it.

I wouldn't be surprised if 11/6 was chosen because it was Election Day (but not to affect either party), but I do know it was chosen because it was a Tuesday, which is when new games seem to come out these days.

v_opposition said...

@biomechanical because they don't. I hate to go all ad hominem again but I didn't realize that there were people as ignorant to spout off about politics and be as ignorant about the system. We learn new things each day.

First, when 3% of the precincts are reporting and they call the state for a candidate, this isn't the electoral college voting for someone. This is the news network making the assumption that the state or precinct is going to go for the candidate. When a state that has been polling for a candidate to win by 10%, also has exit polls confirming this, once the poll actually show the candidates actually showing voting the same way, they call that state for the candidate. This is a exercise in Political Journalism, not the Electoral College.

Article II Section I outlines how the electoral college meets and elects, this is a month after the general election. Not the night of election. The press calls the election because they have enough data to determine who is to be elected when the electors meet.

Next, you aren't going to convince me that I'm wasting my time voting, because it only took about 400 committed Bush supporters to get him elected in Florida in 2000. I know that since we are throwing out these logical fallacies I'll dump this. If everyone had that attitude no one would vote. Enough people already feel so disenfranchised that they don't vote. Only half of eligible voters actually vote. Most of them are people who are convinced that they their votes just don't matter. It each of those people voted than, I am certain swing state or not, they could swing elections.

biomechanical923 said...


How do you stop people from being disenfranchised by a system that's rigged? You're still pidgeonholed into voting for one of the candidates that were chosen by super-delegate interest groups.

v_opposition said...

@biomechanical It depends on what you mean by rigged. Seriously, dude, I'm aware our system isn't perfect and there may be better ways to do, it, but like someone upthread said, live in a country that has less than 300 million people.

I get the feeling no matter how much info I try to give you about the system, you are going to say, but what about_______? I understand the pessimism, but to what end is it going to lead, apathy? Because that's not the political ideology I can subscribe to.

I disagree with Bob on many things, but the one thing he has right is casting your vote based on how your guys is going to empower judges. In fact I base my vote for President on the sole idea that he/she will select judges that most closely align with my beliefs.

The truth is our system was founded to be as hard to change as possible. It wasn't made for quick thoughtless change. To pass a bill it is a ridiculously difficult process. The founders knew it and that's why many of them had the impression our government wouldn't last beyond a generation or so.

They way I had it taught to me and the way I teach our system is this. It is designed to fail. Think about reasonable solutions to problems Americans have had for years, Health care, Equal pay for women, tax reform etc. A small minority can hold up the process simply by sitting on their hands. This is by design.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of insightful and entertaining episode that makes The Big Picture and the rest of your shows to worthwhile.

Keep up the good work Bob!

Anonymous said...

Am I the last person to hear about Halo 4?

Jake said...

how is voting based on judges different from how people usually vote.

Anubis C. Soundwave said...

@ Jake: Nothing really. Most individual Americans are concerned about--at most--two issues outside their day-to-day lives.

My biggest concerns are the economy and foreign policy. As James said earlier:

"...like maybe the fact that both Obama and Romney are horrible choices for president". Which isn't necessarily true.

The truth is: it doesn't really matter too much (economy-wise) who you elect for president--it's Congress that needs the shakeup in order to effect any beneficial changes. And to get any movement on that front, we have to vote out all incumbents (no matter the party); House and Senate seats were never meant to be decades-long careers.

Thus, any voting I will do this election season will involve Congress: the House and Senate write and debate the bills.

Anonymous said...

"that's kind of a scary prospect regardless of what your individual politics may or may not be"

I think you forgot about those of us who feel antipathy to the very idea of voting.

"An election is a sort of advance auction of stolen goods."