Cardboard Halo

By Shamus
on Jul 22, 2008
Filed under:
Movies

I do apologize for this in advance. Penny Arcade already linked this, like, days ago, and it is now old news to millions of gamers. The lowest form of videogame blogging is me-too’ing a Penny Arcade post, but in my defense I’d point out that not everyone here reads Penny Arcade. There are even some people – and I wouldn’t make this outlandish claim if I didn’t know them personally – some people read the comic and not the news post. If you are one of these rare specimens, then I suppose this may be news to you:

A kid has constructed a collection of eerily authentic-looking Halo weapons out of simple cardboard and tape, complete with changeable magazines and moving parts. He then put up a YouTube video of himself (look, I know you can see the video and my description here is completely superfluous but some people are at work where YouTube is blocked or unsafe so I’m giving the thing some context here for those unfortunate few) wielding the weapons while wearing a set of Halo armor, which he also made out of cardboard. In the video he then enacts the usage of each weapon, mimicking the in-game motions and augmenting the performance with a collection of mouth-driven sound effects. The entire demonstration would be a humiliating display of dorkery on par with the Star Wars kid if not for the fact that our cardboard SPARTAN is just unbelievably talented.

Even my distaste for the plotless franchise of mediocrity that is Halo cannot diminish my enjoyment of his work. In fact, I sort of resent seeing the series get such lavish attention. Halo doesn’t deserve this sort of meticulous imitation / flattery.

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20209Feeling chatty? There are 49 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Lady Kat says:

    Thank you. Not only did I not know about this yet, I also only look at the Penny Arcade comic *and* I can’t really look at YouTube videos at work. Which is where I am right now.

    It’s like this post was made especially for me. ^_^

  2. Jeremiah says:

    I kept waiting for the garage door to open and the kid would show off his working cardboard warthog in the driveway.

  3. Derek K says:

    The best (worst?) part of the video is when he demonstrates how to use the weapon. He mimes killing someone, and then teabags them. Which is horrible on its own, but he has this complete lack of emotion about it, because he’s focused on getting the motions exactly right, so he’s just sort of like “Yeah, and then after you shoot, you do this, and then this, and then you’re done.”

    Kid is pretty impressive. I think the main thing that makes him not a Star Wars kid is the fact that this one was clearly intended to be seen.

  4. qrter says:

    That’s quite a.. specific talent…

    (You’ve forgotten to plug your new Stolen Pixels comic again, Shamus! ;) )

  5. Doug says:

    Yes, thanks for the “at work” consideration. I don’t read PA and I can’t get to YouTube from work. But I will definitely check this out when I get home tonight.

  6. Jeff says:

    Isn’t Halo ESRB rated M17+?

    :P

  7. Avaz says:

    Like many people have already noted in the youtube comments, I too, believe that this kid has a bright future in the props department of a big name studio someday.

  8. Jeff says:

    (You’ve forgotten to plug your new Stolen Pixels comic again, Shamus! ;) )
    …I don’t think Shamus ever got around to joining a Guild and actually participating in Guild battles, eh?

    When you’ve done the stories, Guild vs Guild and Alliance vs Alliance are more or less the primary game.

  9. yd says:

    This kid has a solid future in model building. I feel bad for him that his youtube comments are about 9000 anonymous assholes calling him “gay”.

  10. justaguy says:

    Truely his dorkery is astounding.

    *deletes larger threadjacking and settles for*

    I have a soft spot for it since the first time I played I had the good luck to totally suck at shooting aliens, and in the escape sequence managed to run up on a little alien point blank in an air duct and shoot everywhere but him… and he screamed “He’s everywhere!” and took off running. Still amuses me 4 years later.

  11. Yonder says:

    yd: I felt bad for him too, I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a youtube video before but I did for him because I wanted to add some positive feedback amidst all the scorning. Unfortunately I’m sure he’ll never see mine because all the negative ones will depress him so much he’ll probably stop reading them, I know I would.

  12. Takkelmaggot says:

    Yet, when LARPers do this sort of things with stunning Boromir or- God help us- Drizzt costumes, we snicker behind our hats. I’m not defending LARPing, which I consider a breed of silly which is too geeky even for me, just positing the existence of a double standard.
    If anything, it’s a shame that such drive and talent is being directed towards teh Haloz; it’s like a French chef working the grill at Burger King.

  13. Dave says:

    But those would be some delicious Whoppers.

  14. Kevin says:

    What’s Penny Arcade?

    (Kidding…)

  15. pdwalker says:

    Girls are obviously not high on his list…

    Of course, if they were, he’d never get anything cool like this done.

    sucks being a nerd. can’t win.

  16. Craig says:

    I actually really appreciated the miming of the way master chief holds the weapons and moves, complete with teabagging. It was just that extra little detail that made me laugh. (not at the kid, mind you) Somebody could make a killer Halo parody with all those weapons and a few extra costumes.

  17. Derek K says:

    “Like many people have already noted in the youtube comments, I too, believe that this kid has a bright future in the props department of a big name studio someday.”

    Aren’t they making a halo movie at some point (in theory)?

    “Yet, when LARPers do this sort of things with stunning Boromir or- God help us- Drizzt costumes, we snicker behind our hats. ”

    I like good costumes.

    But anyone dressing up like Drizzt who is over 8 *should* be laughed at. He’s the drow we all thought was teh awesum until we got around to reading more books. ;)

  18. Will says:

    Should the kid ever end up getting married, that is definitely going to end up in the wedding video/slideshow.

  19. Coldstone says:

    Speaking as someone who spends his weekends in cardboard armor, I give that kid full marks for the effort he put into producing all that stuff.

    Lousy marks for presentation, though.

  20. Rick C says:

    Finagle’s festering testicles, I hate you people for making me realize that he was teabagging imaginary corpses. Not being a Halo player, I didn’t realize that’s what that was, even though I’d heard about it before.

  21. Steve C says:

    I’d like to point out (only because of the “Sink the Pirates” post is so recent) that everything that guy made and does in the video infringes copyright. Under current laws it is the same as if he pirated the game itself. His copyright violations are subject to the same fines and remedies as if was a pirate.

    It doesn’t seem to be the same to me, odd how the law says it’s the same. (And no, fair use doesn’t apply because it’s not a parody, and it was published.) My point is only that the system is broken.

  22. Shamus says:

    I’m with Rick C – I completely missed that aspect of his… performance. Which makes me like him a little less, and hate Halo all the more.

    Man, if that kid could just get into Warhammer or something. Now THERE’S a game that will put all that productivity to use.

  23. SkeevetheImpossible says:

    I have a sneaking suspicion that, that suit of his will get painted pink.

  24. R4byde says:

    He’s still young Shamus there’s hope for him yet.

  25. NobleBear says:

    Wow. that is some excellent craftsmanship given the medium. I could definitely see this kid going into games modeling and wrote just that in the comments. I’m glad to see some people were actually encouraging with their remarks.

    I’d like to see him make an HEV suit next, but thats me.

    Edit: I just read the PA strip and blog remarks on this and I think I lost a little respect for them. Following dry, subtle sarcasm with a remark about the kid being potentially autistic was in bad taste.

    I can understand now why the kid got so many haters in his comments thread.

  26. Lorgath says:

    “Man, if that kid could just get into Warhammer or something. Now THERE’S a game that will put all that productivity to use.”
    – Shamus

    Yeah and all his parent’s money!

  27. =Dan says:

    Surprisingly interesting…Sad too, in that he devotes so much time to building cardboard mockups of video game weapons.

    As for Halo being plotless, aren’t all FPS sans plot?

  28. Alex says:

    “Edit: I just read the PA strip and blog remarks on this and I think I lost a little respect for them. Following dry, subtle sarcasm with a remark about the kid being potentially autistic was in bad taste.”

    And here I was thinking I was the only one who got a bad vibe from Tycho’s autism comment in that comic.

    I don’t think there is anything to it, but something about his choice of words and how he presented them did feel -off- to me. I can’t pinpoint why though. Although being Autistic myself, I might be a bit biased here. I’m willing to chalk it up to a lapse in judgement.

    As for how a game series with a sucking void where a storyline, dialogue or characters could manage to be so popular, I equate it to junk food. Candy bars don’t enrich us, they don’t make us healthier or smarter or what have you. But I certainly don’t ignore my sweet tooth either. Halo is to video games what Cheetos are to food.

    It’s too bad though, because I really think it could be more. I love the history they made for it, but it’s kind of sad that the commercials and trailers showcase more depth than you can find in the actual product.

  29. Allan says:

    Halo doesn’t deserve this sort of meticulous imitation / flattery.

    *apoplectic fanboi voice*

    WHAT!!? Everyone should learn the way of the Master Chief, the life and times of SPARTAN-117 should be taught in schools! Gold statues of him and his followers should decorate towns and cities worldwide! And heathens such as you should be chastised and cast out so as to keep civilisation pure.

    */apoplectic fanboi voice*

    More seriously though, I don’t think any entertainment media deserves that kind of attention and while it is entertainment media does it really matter which one? Aslong as the kid’s fascination doesn’t do him any harm then let him get on with it, and atleast it’s not WoW ;)

  30. Nathanael says:

    Like Shamus and others stated, I was kinda enjoying the performance until I noticed the teabagging. He is just a kid, but that is some bad taste.

  31. NobleBear says:

    ME:

    Edit: I just read the PA strip and blog remarks on this and I think I lost a little respect for them. Following dry, subtle sarcasm with a remark about the kid being potentially autistic was in bad taste.

    Alex:

    And here I was thinking I was the only one who got a bad vibe from Tycho’s autism comment in that comic.

    I don’t think there is anything to it, but something about his choice of words and how he presented them did feel -off- to me. I can’t pinpoint why though. Although being Autistic myself, I might be a bit biased here. I’m willing to chalk it up to a lapse in judgement.

    Fair enough.
    I think part of what got me also is a perceived sense of inconsistency from Gabe and Tycho on my part. The idea that while they have their obsession level fandoms because this kids is different, its invalid on some level cause they don’t “get it”.

    I still like PA, I just think they dropped the ball this time.

    Alex:
    As for how a game series with a sucking void where a storyline, dialogue or characters could manage to be so popular, I equate it to junk food. Candy bars don’t enrich us, they don’t make us healthier or smarter or what have you. But I certainly don’t ignore my sweet tooth either. Halo is to video games what Cheetos are to food.

    I think Cheetos is an excellent analogy, for, like Halo, it might be fun and flavorful in some ways, its ultimate lack of substance only leaves me unsatisfied.

  32. MadTinkerer says:

    “Like Shamus and others stated, I was kinda enjoying the performance until I noticed the teabagging. He is just a kid, but that is some bad taste.”

    I had that same reaction for split second too, but then I remembered that he’s merely accurately depicting how Halo is played by the average Halo player. I mean this Concerned strip isn’t in poor taste, is it?

    Seriously: it looks to me like he was trying to do a visual gag (or two or three) and he simply screwed up the timing because he’s just 11 and nervous about demonstrating his stuff in front of the whole internet. Not everyone is Neil Patrick Harris.

  33. Eric says:

    ya know I hate halo, but this kids pretty impressive with his workamship. All I know is this kid is of the shining example of xboxer’s.

  34. This smells like Bungie promotional material.

  35. Chris says:

    Part of me wonders if he even really knows what the teabagging motion implies. I’m sure he know it is a taunt of some kind, but may not entirely understand the meaning behind it.

  36. beno says:

    yes, this is impressive

    btw, I’ve been trying to bookmark stolen pixels – is that possible or do I have to navigate from their homepage each time?

  37. NobleBear says:

    @ Eric:
    Man, cut out everything after 2:31 and you’ve got gold.

    @ Beno:

    Unlike other features at The Escapist, you can subscribe to an RSS feed of SP (it’s almost hiding at the bottom of the page there); at least, thats how I keep up.

    Shamus has also been good about posting a link to the new comic here.

    @ Chris:

    I don’t think he does. I think he’s just going through what ever relative animations are associated with those particular weapons.

  38. SolkaTruesilver says:

    Well.. anyway, thanks to you people, I’ve learnt a new word today: teabagging. And I don’t think 22 years old is too old to learn it.

    Actually, I don’t think there is an age too old to learn it.

  39. Helm says:

    If that was my child I would drown him for the sake of humanity

  40. I know that there isn’t alot of love for Halo around here, so I’ll save my breath in that respect, but I do feel compelled for reasons beyond my own understanding to say something about the buzz surrounding this video.

    Tycho’s comment about autism isn’t too far off the mark, really. I have a family member with Asperger’s syndrome (think high-functional autism), and he is very focused on fantasy to the exclusion of many other things. Engineers and codemonkeys have a high incidence of this condition because there are firm and easily understandable rules. This kid might not even be aware that teabagging is crude. Also: Tycho’s comic avatar “erodes the human soul,” in his words.

    Also: It’s not pink. Its lightish red.

  41. Jeff says:

    I don’t think the necessary bits for teabagging has dropped for him yet, and he’s already learning how to do it.

    How sad.

  42. Derek K says:

    @Solka: I wish fervently I had no idea what teabagging was, so I fully agree with you.

    @Teabagging: I agree that he likely doesn’t really know what teabagging is, just that people do it.

    I think PA just did a bad job with the news post – Gabe and Tycho/Jerry and Mike are typically quite aware of their level of insanity and geekery, and mock it fairly often.

  43. OM3G4 says:

    Halo isn’t a bad game, it just isn’t a good game. Lots of people say that it’s the best thing ever, and lots of people say it’s the worse. Both are wrong. All I know is that I had fun playing it with my friends.

    But on another note yeah 40k and other games are much more fun for me these days.

  44. CuChullain says:

    I can understand now why the kid got so many haters in his comments thread.

    I’m reasonably sure that 90% of people who post comments on Youtube need no encouragement from any source to act like complete arseholes.

  45. Namfoodle says:

    I didn’t realize what the kid was doing until it was pointed out here. Ick. When he started bouncing up and down, I just thought that the cardboard was chaffing and he was trying to adjust things.

    I just don’t get the whole teabagging dead guys in a videogame thing. It’s just a weird idea. Couldn’t they have thought up a better taunt?

    Teabagging in real life? Hey whatever you’re into. If my wife wants to Investigate the Wedding Tackle once in a while, I’m okay with it.

  46. Rustybadger says:

    @Justin: I was hoping someone would drop the “it’s not pink- it’s lightish red” line! Yays!

    Now I just gotta fire up After Effects and rotoscope some muzzle flashes, laser beams, glow halos, and all that other FX goodness on this clip and it’ll be PERFECT!!1!

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