Former Bungie composer reckons he can enter Congress against impossible odds no problem because it'll be 'a walk in the park compared to making Halo 2'

Congressional candidate and former Bungie composer Martin O'Donnell speaks to the camera next to a pickup truck.
(Image credit: Martin O'Donnell)

Marty O'Donnell, the Halo composer fired by Bungie in 2014 and—the way things have been going—possible future potentate of the United States, announced his intention to run for Congress as a Republican in Nevada a few months ago. Now, in an interview with the controversial far-right newspaper The Epoch Times (via Kotaku), he's explained why he thinks he can pull it off: "I'm a gamer, so I intend to win."

"I'm not going to lose because somebody thinks they can spend more money than me, because they can't," said O'Donnell, who faces six other candidates in the upcoming June 11 Republican primary for Nevada's third congressional district. O'Donnell faces quite the funding gap against both his Republican competitors and the district's incumbent Democratic representative, Susie Lee, but reckons his gaming experience gives him an edge they lack.

In fact, O'Donnell reckons a lot of the lessons he learnt in game development can be brought into government. "What I see happening in Congress is like a walk in the park compared to making Halo 2," the former composer told his interviewer, and promised to break up a stagnant and homogenous political sphere with his candidacy: "You don’t want 10 engineers making the game. You want an engineer, an artist, an animator, a composer, a writer, a designer—you want people who just approach the world differently.

"You don’t want all designers. You don’t want all composers. They would be horrible," continued O'Donnell, in fact, "Most of the time, you only want one composer." Which is, to be fair to O'Donnell, probably nothing more than an off-hand joke, but is also quite a thing to say in an era of global, creeping authoritarianism and strongman rule.

If you're curious as to what Congressman O'Donnell's policies would look like, he also told the paper about his ideological development: "If you want to sum up my political ideology, Tolkien does it the best: The Ring of Power needs to be thrown into Mount Doom."

In other words, a kind of small-state, Reaganite conservatism. O'Donnell, who was born in 1955, recalls being enamoured with the right of American politics from a young age, even managing to catch the famous TV debate between liberal intellectual Gore Vidal and conservative firebrand William F. Buckley in 1968. "I sort of split my interests when I was 9 years old. I was like, Ronald Reagan on one hand, and Paul McCartney on the other hand."

All of which, no doubt, would make for quite the colourful career in Congress, but we'll only find out if O'Donnell has a shot at one when the district's Republican primary takes place on June 11.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.