Cortana the Therapist: Episode 3

Halo Fan and Acceptance

Cortana: “So, Halo fan, tell me what’s on your mind.”

Fan: “I hate 343 industries. They ruined Halo.”

Cortana: “How have 343 ruined Halo?”

Fan: “They’re trying to make it more like Call of Duty, and they don’t care about their fans.”

Cortana: “How are 343 trying to make Halo more like Call of Duty?”

Fan: “First it was the killstreak-esque ordinance system, customizable classes, sprinting, quick-time events, and grenade indicators in Halo 4. Now it’s the mobility in Halo 5. You might as well put Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny, and Titanfall into a blender and slap the word ‘Halo’ on it.”

Cortana: “I see…. And 343 not caring about their fans – what about that?”

Fan: “There was the disaster that was The Master Chief Collection – getting scammed $60 because of a product they had to have known was broken. What kind of studio does that?”

Cortana: “Hmm…. Is there anything else you’d like to add?”

Fan: “I don’t feel like Halo is Halo anymore. Does that make sense?”

Cortana: “That makes sense. Is it possible that, in your case, it is not Halo that has changed, but you?”

Fan: “What do you mean?”

Cortana: “The Halo games created by Bungie still exist, and will always exist. It’s not like 343 is going back and changing the mechanics of those games. The memories you’ve made with Halo will always exist. It’s not like 343 is reaching into your mind and erasing your memories of, say, playing multiplayer with your friends on Halo 3. And there is nothing stopping you from continuing to make memories with family and friends over Halo. On a side note: From what I know of 343, they are making Halo for a new generation. And is that not what Halo: Combat Evolved was as well – a game for it’s generation? With its non-regenerating health, local cooperative and local multiplayer, was Halo: Combat Evolved not a game suited for the generation in which it was built? And are Halo 4 and 5 – with their killstreak-esque ordinance system, customizable classes, sprinting, quick-time events, grenade indicators, and enhanced mobility – not suited for the era of Call of Duty, Destiny, and Titanfall?”

Fan: “Wow. I don’t know what to say to that…. *Sigh* Halo is my favorite video game series. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. And I’ve made so many memories with family and friends because of Halo – memories I wouldn’t trade for anything – that to see Halo turn into something I don’t recognize just makes me angry. And, if I’m honest with myself…it makes me scared, too. That Halo is changing makes me think of times that I have had to change, or will have to change, as a result of circumstances that life threw at me.”

Cortana: “So you see the Halo series as an anchor – something that gives you a sense of safety, a point of reference for when life spirals out of your control. And to see that anchor drift away – to see Halo change as a result of 343 – scares you, and thus makes you angry.”

Fan: “You hit the nail right on the head. What should I do?”

Cortana: “I would start by distancing yourself from the Halo series. Let me explain: From what you’ve told me, you have no intention of supporting 343. So don’t. Don’t buy new Halo games because you think, whether you’re aware of it or not, that doing so will keep Halo – the anchor in your life – from drifting away. In life, change is inevitable. How we respond to change is not set in stone. What I suggest you do is this: First: Write down a list of your favorite memories of all things Halo. Second: Get in contact with people whom you shared these memories with – let them know that there is more to your relationship than a shared love of Halo. Third: Replay Bungie’s Halo games: Remind yourself of why you love Halo, and remember that that love will never go away, no matter how many Halo games are made, and no matter how much the series changes.”

Fan: “So, make a list, talk with friends and family, and play Halo. I can do all that in an afternoon.”

Cortana: “Glad to hear it. I hope this discussion has been beneficial for you. Shall we continue this next week?”

Fan: “It has. And yes. It’s nice to talk about stuff like this in an environment where I don’t have to worry about being sworn at, or called a hater or a troll – a place where I can actually have a conversation.”

Cortana: “And, between our weekly sessions, if you ever feel the need to talk more, and not just about Halo, my door is always open.”

*Halo fan gets up from the couch*

Fan: “Thank you, Cortana.”

Cortana: “You’re welcome. Take care, Halo fan.”

Note: YouTuber DRWolf001’s video series, “A Moment With Dr. Wolf”, was the inspiration for this series, “Cortana the Therapist.”

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