Friday, February 13, 2015

Destiny: Gaming's Ultimate Christian Allegory

I know I know... this isn't a gaming blog...  but I am most certainly a gamer.  And tonight... I want to write about what I consider to be the greatest game of the 21st century:  Destiny.

For those of you who don't know Destiny is a new style of game.  Its an open world game like so many others where you can go and do whatever you want.  You can play in story mode... or you can just run missions on various planets... or you can go play multi-player PVP...  whatever.   The game world itself is simply huge.  Like World of Warcraft huge.  The graphics... are simply amazing.  Easily on par with say... the latest Assassins Creed.  The mechanics and game play are absolutely fantastic... and the acting in the story mode is off the charts.

All of those things are great reasons to love the game.. but they are not why I love the game.

I love the game because the game is a giant Christian allegory. 

Reading the reviews of the game... that statement may seem odd.  The thing people most consistently criticize Destiny for... is the lack of a coherent storyline.  What I am going to tell you is... for the most part the liberals in the media simply aren't paying attention in some cases... and on others... they are missing it... but are turned off on some subconscious level and they likely don't understand why.  The reason is... because Destiny's story is the Story of Christianity.

Right about now many of you who have in fact played Destiny are going... dude..  what?

So I shall explain.

Destiny is set far in the future... and begins... with your character's resurrection... or... to think of it another way... your rebirth.   And what is responsible for that rebirth?  A Ghost of course.  Now in this case the Ghost is actually a little bit of light surrounded by a box of sorts that does all sorts of things for you.  In fact... all of your powers come from the same light the Ghost is made of. 

The first thing the Ghost tells you is... you've been dead a long time... and a lot is different now... and things aren't going to make a whole lot of sense to you.  You are a Guardian.. and he is your Ghost.

As you go through the first few missions you learn about a thing called the Traveler... which is the source of the light.  You really have no idea what it is.. you just know its good.. and it protected everyone from The Bad Things... and now its sleeping and you and others with the light have to protect it and push back against the forces of darkness.

On the surface this seems like boiler plate stuff.  Light... Dark.. Good.. Bad.. blah blah blah.

Until you learn that the Traveler actually died... it sacrificed itself in the last giant battle with The Bad Guys.  It took parts of itself... little lights... and created the Ghosts...  and the Ghosts serve as special guides and helpers to the Guardians.

The story is extremely in depth and no doubt could fill several epic size novels... but Bungie has chosen to reveal that story in the way the Character is living it.  That's another key to the allegory.  A new Christian knows what he experiences and only that.  The Holy Spirit...  or Holy GHOST... is his only guide in some cases.  If he is to learn more... he must make an effort to do so.  He must read and study and learn.  Destiny is that way.  The story leaks out in the missions but if you really want to know what's going on you have to go read Bungie's Grimnoir Cards... which you unlock with various achievements.  The more you do... the more you learn.

By now the allegory should be obvious as well as the symbolism.  The Ghosts represent the Holy Spirit...  the even serve precisely the same function.  The Traveler is Jesus... and you... a Guardian... are a new Christian.  The opening scene is your rebirth into the church.  It is your baptism... it is you "being saved" as the Baptists would say.

You are reborn into a fallen world....  in it.. but not of it.  And oh yes.. the world is even under control of an enemy named The Fallen.  The last city on human city on earth... Tower... where the Traveler rests... is the small c catholic (meaning whole) church.   And there... we even find different denominations... and different political factions as well.  Everyone different... everyone on the same team.  Even if there is some in-fighting.

There are many obvious references to Halo.. and many people compare Destiny to Halo. But one thing is remarably different.  That thing is the community around the games.  Halo's community is notoriously obnoxious.  Its the worst of the worst in the FPS world...  filled with foul mouthed 9 year olds repeating the curse word they recently learned as often as possible.

Destiny however is possibly the most kind online gaming community I've ever associated myself with.  There are groups that have formed up... like Dads of Destiny that are made of specifically of fathers who love the game but have their priorities in order.   One of the first nights my son was playing the game... a level 32 player lead him all around Earth showing him where the secret gold chests were with special loot.  He had no reason to help my son... he was just a noob right?  They had no voice or chat options open.  He just used hand signals to lead my son around.  This took 45 minutes or so.  But he took the time to do it. 

That's Destiny...  A brilliant Christian allegory.... and the finest artistic creation of the 21st century... in any medium.

14 comments:

WaterBoy said...

I'm not going to disagree with you here, out of hand. All I'm gonna say is that you can find whatever story you want if you go looking for it. For instance, you'll also find the elements for the Old West Gunslinger, travelling around the frontier on his iron horse, defeating Injuns and so forth.

Though I do agree that it easily has the best backstory and plotline of any video game I've played (which isn't really all that many).

Stg58 / Animal Mother said...

Which Baptists, specifically, are you referring to?

Nate said...

Waterboy... you absolutely can get all kinds of things in it. The Wild West theme is writ large. With several weapons actually named after famous western movie quotes...

For example the hand cannon ITFDKY 1969... is a reference from a line from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid... If The Fall Doesn't Kill You.. the bullets probably will. The movie came out in 1969.

Nevertheless I see no way around the Christian influence on the game.

Nate said...

Jay... Baptists are Baptists.

Nate said...

Fact is.. there are weapons in Destiny that have a more thoroughly developed backstory than most popular fantasy characters that have novels revolving around them.

Raggededge said...

Nate,

My son is 11, is he old enough to play? Actually, I'm going to take your advise from a thread at Vox and play the game myself and then with him. Thanks for the review, seems like the game is a winner.

Stg58 / Animal Mother said...

Not so, Nate. All Baptists are not the same.

Nate said...

Raggededge... my main requirement on games is fairly simply... toned down cursing (there is zero in destiny) and clear cut good and evil. Clear cut good guys and bad guys. Destiny passes obviously. I let my 7 year old play it.
that is to say.. I play it with him.

Nate said...

i do turn off all the chat options for the kids though.

Nate said...

STG... I see no reason to differentiate between the various varieties of illiterates.

Stg58 / Animal Mother said...

Nate, there are differences. Don't be illiterate yourself.

Nate said...

***eye roll***

Jay... honestly... I don't know how to be more clear about this. the factions of baptists and their differences makes about as much difference to me as the various methodists likely do to you.

The differences between these groups are trivial by definition.

Stg58 / Animal Mother said...

Just keeping it real.

Res Ipsa said...

Baptists are Baptists

Nate,

Man you are so wrong. My response wouldn't fit into one comment so I left it here