There was a time in my life where I was really invested in the card game Magic: the Gathering. Hell, there was a time where I managed to juggle being invested in a few games all at once. As the circumstances of my life have affected what I choose to do with my free time, sacrifices were made. So one by one I did less of one thing to do more with something else.
I had many hopes during my Magic career. I thought about being a judge, card trader, and even write my own Magic-theme screenplay. The latter is still more likely to happen than the others, but the thing that broke me away from Magic is the cost to stay relevant in the game. New sets come out every 3 months or so, formats change, and the meta-game shifts even for casual players. Sure, you can stop buying new cards and work with the ones you have or figure out ways to trade or acquire cards for free from others, but there is always going to be the realization that money will need to be spent in order to keep up with this game.
Halo, on the other hand, requires less financial commitment. At the very least, you can buy the game and that’s all you’ll ever need. One game case takes up less space than most card binders, and limited space was also a huge concern of mine. Any additional effort into the game can be done at your own pace. I certainly wasn’t forced into buying all the stuff that I’ve got over the last month or so (pics are forthcoming), but I did because I love the Halo universe that much. And sure, multiplayer may force you to keep up with DLCs in order to play the latest maps/playlists, but you still have some choice in that matter. I guess you can say that I like Halo better because you can choose your level of immersion.
I knew, however, that my love for Halo would be a love shared alone. Amongst the friends/acquaintances from my various social circles, I only know one other person besides myself who has read any of the Halo fiction. And I’m pretty sure he hasn’t read any of the new ones yet. Any time I mention to a fellow gamer that I’ve been playing Halo, the almost immediate response is, “I like/play [insert any other FPS game here].” It still startles me how multiplayer is what immediately jumps to people’s minds when they think of an FPS game. Guess you can say that I’ve been living under a rock in that sense, which is fine considering that I live on a rock.
Well, this past Wednesday night was a regular Magic hangout with several players. Even though I played a couple of games, I felt so very out of place. I enjoyed what I could of the card-slinging, but my heart longed for the same camaraderie and spirit to exist on Requiem or aboard the Infinity. I have had no luck thus far in finding local kindred Spartans.
[Campaign SPOILER ALERT!]
I didn’t want to this post to come off as, “Boo-hoo, woe is me” so I took a couple of days to center my thoughts. Ironically, my thoughts go to the loneliness that John-117 must be feeling now that Cortana is gone. How is he going to handle it in Halo 5? He’s had many lone wolf runs in the past, but this time he’s without the one thing that he cherished most. I know the feeling all too well and it makes me wonder what the future holds for us both.