Destiny serves as the closest to an MMO I’ve ever tolerated. This interplanetary shared-world-first-person-shooter sees a Guardian revived by a Ghost and given a mission to revive The Traveler—a moon-sized orb that, in an age long past, propelled humanity into the golden age. The Traveler hovers over the Tower, the last bastion of mankind, a hub from which guardians can faithfully follow quest lines, join guilds, and acquire good loot.
In these, the last days of my faith, I played Destiny and became ever more involved in my church.
I had taken Bible classes. I served as youth pastor. I led midweek services. I preached to the full congregation on a Sunday morning. I sang songs of praise and worship and played guitar until the strings snapped under my fingers. I led a weekly prayer meeting that began before the sun rose strictly for those who wished to speak in tongues.
I once taught a sermon that claimed all should seek fruits of the Spirit. That such things were born of consistency. That good fruit is born by the observance of daily rites, and does not drop far.
I performed these daily rites less and less often. I stopped reading the Bible on my own. I stopped preparing my sermons. My life was filled with Destiny; what time was there for clerical matters?
I became fascinated with those who claimed they saw visions, and delighted that I might become like them. I would dwell on this in secret as my vessel slipped through stars to connect with like minds.
I met fellow guardians at the Tower. We spoke nightly. We laughed as we gorged ourselves on endless space violence. When slain, we were revived by our Ghosts. We sought desperately for good loot.
We sought desperately to increase our light.
And the congregants spent many weeks hearing me say more of the same. They sat obediently as I prayed a familiar prayer. As I sang the same old songs. As I read the old scriptures.
I am uncertain when doubt catalyzed. I can recall its precursors.
I went to see an evangelist. He palmed my forehead and declared that I would be a prophet. That I would serve the Lord all the days of my life. I was raised in this faith and I knew what was expected. When he commanded it, I ran up and down the aisle, over and over.
Then I would return to the Tower and gather the secrets my fellow guardians had uncovered. They helped me acquire a sniper rifle buried in an environmental quest line that was only available for a week. We shouted at its unfairness and waited patiently for Destiny’s comically infinite hordes of villains to respawn. Among all these, I loved the Vex. An anonymous mechanical hivemind of clunky robot bodies that could phase into existence at will, the Vex and their hordes sought a means of binding their existence to the fabric of reality in an attempt to map their consciousness to the very laws of physics.
I stood there before the hordes with my drones as my bones felt the weight of unchanging truth, from everlasting to everlasting.
The Vex raid the sanctum of light in perpetuity. This lore motivates the first of Destiny’s raids, one of the few to achieve a sound explanation for the fact of its own replay value. The guardians can raid the Vex at their leisure.
God had crystallized this way in my mind, an entity that exists beyond the capacities of individual comprehension. An entity that was true regardless of myself. An entity like space and time, like gravity.
Whether I choose it or not, the earth holds.
To participate in these high-level raids, I had to acquire new legendary gear that dropped randomly at the end of shared activities. To face the Vex in their glory, I had to do everything continuously, praying to RNGesus for the right loot to drop.
It was this that led me to abandon Destiny. I could not imagine wasting another moment for such an exhaustive and meaningless effort.