- Just got sent a copy of a pretty interesting book, 'Halo Effect: An Unauthorized Look at the Most Successful Video Game of All Time', which is described as "...examining the Halo phenomenon from every angle... from profiling the greatest Halo player who ever lived to providing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the wildly popular, virtual-reality Halo movies." [I think they mean machinima!]

Anyhow, slightly vague intro aside, there are a number of fun essays in this anthology, from Smart Pop Books, who have also published a similar tome about World Of Warcraft. For one, NGJ czar Kieron Gillen has a piece called 'Planetary Objects In The Rear View Mirror' about how interest in Halo grew during the game's construction, positing: "There was a time no one outside of Bungie cared about Halo. Or if they did, they cared for no reason at all. Or the wrong reason."

Even neater, Kevin R Grazier, apparently the science advisor to Battlestar Galactica (the new one, not the chrome '80s one!) contributes 'Halo Science 101', including calculations in the differences in velocity rates for water in a waterfall in normal gravity vs. on a Halo, and lots more insane planetary calculations based on the Halo mythos. Finally, the ever-lovable Dean Takahashi contributes 'The Making Of Halo and Halo 2 And The Birth Of The Xbox 360', which seems typically well-researched and handy.

I think this is a bit more factual than theoretical, compared to some of the other famous books by the same company - but I've tended to highlight the more game writer/science-y stuff, and there's definitely some 'heavy thinking' in some of the essays, too. Overall, it's a fun concept, and Halo fans would do well to check it out.