Click Here for Part 1
Note #1: Contains ponies.
Note #2: I apologize if this post comes across as me rambling. I just felt like I had to get these thoughts written down.
If there’s one thing going Halo Waypoint and the Halo sub-Reddit, then going on YouTube to listen to the Pokemon: HeartGold soundtrack has taught me, it is that video games are, above all else, supposed to be fun.
One of my favorite memories is of me, my older brother and my cousin all playing Pokemon Gold and Silver at my grandma’s house.
When the new versions of Gold and Silver came out in 2009, we bought them.* It was just like being a kid again. Like no time had passed at all.
I know the “community” for Pokemon consisted of myself, my older brother, and cousin, and so perhaps it’s obvious that, combined with Pokemon’s excellent gameplay mechanics and world, I would consider Pokemon HeartGold to be one of the best games ever.
What I’m trying to say with all this is: It is not just a game’s mechanics and world that make it excellent, but the community that springs up around it.
When push comes to shove though, I don’t see that with Halo. The toxicity I have witnessed from Halo fans has, like a lack of sunlight that causes a flower to wilt, made me enjoy the series less and less.
From what I have seen, the best aspects of the Halo fandom are on Facebook and YouTube.
I don’t know why I keep going back to the sub-Reddit and Waypoint, because I know what the result will be….
For months I’ve been doing my best to save the Halo fandom through my work as an admin on Halo fan Facebook pages.
But I’ve realized, typing away on my laptop while listening to Duke Ellington’s “Take the ‘A’ Train” after having browsed the Waypoint forums and seen how many downvotes my latest post on the sub-Reddit has, that… *Sigh*
I know the work I do as an admin isn’t worthless — I know that I have had a positive effect on others. And I hope to continue to. I’m not going to stop being a Halo fan, or writing about all things Halo. It’s just… I’ve got to lower my expectations. What I mean is, I have to realize that I alone can’t be the savior for the fandom of a multi-billion dollar franchise. I was delusional to think I could be….
The reason I thought I could save the Halo fandom is because I had devoted so much of my time to all things Halo — I thought I could save it through sheer effort. I worked my butt off trying to save the Halo fandom, because doing such work gave me a sense of purpose. When I couldn’t find a job or go back to school, I needed something to spend my free time on. So, I decided to check out Halo fan Facebook pages. And the rest is history….
What do I mean when I say “save” the Halo fandom? I mean this: I want the Halo fandom to be a pleasant place. I want everyone who is a Halo fan to know that they have a voice — to know that their opinion matters. I want the Halo fandom to encourage creativity and openness, too — I want Halo fans to feel like they can talk to each other about anything, even things that aren’t Halo-related.
I have seen a fandom like this before: The My Little Pony fandom. So I know such fandoms are possible.
But, looking at the toxicity I see on the sub-Reddit and Waypoint, I realize I was delusional to think that, for Halo, I alone could bring about a fandom like that.
*The games came out in 2009. We bought them in 2012.