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Just nod if you can hear me.

Is there anyone home?

This will be an Atlas sized rant spawning from the very bowels of a conversation I overhead at my local GameStop. It went thus. It was a rainy day in June. I had taken a trip to my local mall with my family to spend some quality time looking through tall panels of glass at expensive things we don’t need. Naturally, one such stop was a local game store.

Upon entering the crowded lobby, a man, presumably of the 18-24 demographic, weaved his way up to the front. His faded baseball cap hung low over his eyes, shielding them from the artificial lighting beating down on his soft, alabaster skin. Limbs outstretched, they groped for the filthy melamine jutting out in front of him until he made clumsy contact. Steadying himself upright, he leaned with all his massive weight onto the counter; nodding a greeting to the squirrely employee standing at the ready.

“Hey bro, what’s new since Dragon Age 2?”

“I don’t know, man. But they just announced Halo 4 at E3”.

And that was the conversation in its entirety that forced me into a mental state of anguish not seen since I ran out of milk that one time after I poured my cereal into the bowl. Or that other time I was pregnant and someone decided to eat all my donettes.

We live in hard times.

Fortunately, though the grace of technology and science, people are still making video games. Notice, though, the plurality: “games”. As in more than one. A couple. A few. Tens. Hundreds. Thousands. Numerous. Billions and billions and so forth. The next time you go into a game store, look around you. Look at the advertisements. Look at the industrial plastic-coated wire shelving. Look at the contemporary double looped carpeting. Look at the wasted youths wraithing around in droves of gaunt-eyed splendor. Look in front of you. To the side. What are those beacons of plastic calling out to you in the night? Games.

Plural.

I hold fond memories of playing the first Halo. I had just graduated high school and with my graduation money purchased an Xbox along with some games.; among that purchase numbered Halo. It was perhaps a crime to have treated that piece of machinery like I did, but I was hooked.

To say that I never played Halo 2 would be an outright lie, and I would never partake in such an abhorrent act. But I never finished it, though not for lack of love. Halo 3 had me at the helm of a rogue Ghost again, laying down a thick blanket of plasma bolts. Firing rockets at seemingly unending waves of aggressors. And then it was over. Like seeing a lover for the last time – bittersweet and poignant.

And then life went on.

I was content to leave Master Chief floating in space, acting out his weird romance with Cortana. Knowing the universe was saved from The Flood. Still looking pretty fly in that green space armor that’s all the rage. Then those other Halo games paraded along without Master Chief and they were okay. Perhaps intending to fill the chasm that rent your heart in two.

And then at some point you knew they were going to resurrect Master Chief. The howling of the winds and the quorking of the ravens portended well for this omen; you could feel it stirring in your loins bones.

Then a sign from the heavens: validation and redemption. Halo 4 will be truth, soothsayers! Rejoice heathens! A day may come when the courage of men fails but it is not this day!

Whet your assault rifles with the blood of the <insert evil horde here>! We ride to battle!

And so the circle jerk continues. It is not to say I do not enjoy Halo – I do. But it is to say I tire of the way of the Fan Boi. Is there not perhaps some other game where you run around space in a suit of armor shooting aliens?

'Sup guys.

~ JazFusion

“the child is grown, the dream is gone”

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