The definitive proof that video games are better than politics

November is shaping up to be a really significant month for me. This will be the last month that Jenny and I are childless. Obviously, that is a big deal.

November 2nd there was the presidential election.
November 5th marks the release of The Incredibles by Pixar (and Disney).
November 9th is the release of Halo 2.
November 16th is the release of Half-Life 2.

It seems that John Kerry has admitted defeat and George W. Bush will be president for the next 4 years. I voted, but I was unable to muster much concern over which way the election went. I saw very serious problems with the political views, leadership track records and strategies of both men.

Now that Bush is president, I will support him as I have for the last four years.

The problem is choice. There are a lot of different, valid political beliefs out there and all America has to address them is two parties who are increasingly extreme. If you are a person who swings left on the economy, but is conservative on social issues, no one represents your interests. The opposite is also true. If you are a person who is toward the right economically, but you are liberal in terms of social issues, no one watches out for what you believe.

So, while my friends in the local offline world are either thrilled or crushed by the outcome of the election, my (much larger) group of online pals tend to be more disenfranchised than ever about out political process in America.

Don't get me wrong, the frame of government in America is brilliant. The two-parties monopolizing its implementation are not. The fact is, even with record turn out, much less than half the country voted. Those that did turn out faced long lines, and inconsistent voting experience.

I have to stop and say how truly excellent the voting experience was in Leon County. We have paper trails, electronic tabulation and plenty of poll sites. Good job guys! Anyway, candidates get more extreme and the LARGE number of Americans in the center fell increasingly unrepresented. I know I do.

I say all of that as introduction. Yes folks, this will be the Longest Post Ever. With that, let's talk about video games.

Where choice is growing smaller and smaller in the political world, interactive electronic entertainment continues to offer dramatic increases in the quality and selection of titles and platforms to choose from.

There's the PC, Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, GameBoy, DS, PSP, N-Gage, and numerous other choices in hardware.

Ever genre you can imagine is available. Do you wish you could command the largest armies in history? There's games for that. Do you like to watch Soaps? There's games for that. Do you want to be a marine or other soldier in modern warfare? We've got you covered.

What about cards? Do you like to play Poker but don't want to lose your savings in Vegas? We have games for that. Do you want to be a larger than life hero engaging in an epic battle of impossible odds? Games have you covered. Almost anything you can imagine is at your fingertips. The cost of entry, thanks to consoles, has never been lower and the production values have never been higher.

Halo and Half-Life were two of the greatest games ever made. Both polished the First-Person Shooter genre to new heights when they were released. Now, years later, the sequels to both games are coming out mere weeks apart.

Despite the fact that they are on different platforms (for now) these two games are being thrown in the ring together. Everyone wonders which game will be crowned Game of the Year.
It's a tough fight, and unlike our presidential election, both candidates are worthy contenders who deserve the prize.

If you are a person who is not really into video games, prepare to be amazed. These games over graphics, voice-acting, and production budgets on par with a A-list film from Hollywood. The experience will be cinematic, but more engaging thanks to the interaction games offer.
Halo 2 launches first. Despite running on a three year old console platform, the images are stunning. Halo is legendary for its story and exciting game play and the sequel looks to up the ante on all fronts. It will also offer voice driven multiplayer over Xbox LIVE. Official Xbox Magazine has given Halo 2 a 9.7 out of 10. This is the highest score ever awarded by the publication.

Half-Life 2 comes to the PC about a week after Halo 2 hits the Xbox. The characters and sets in the game are more life-like than any seen in a game before. PC Gamer scored the game at 98%, also the highest score the publication has ever awarded.

I will play both games and love every minute. That's the other joy with gaming, you don't have to pick just one.