Earlier this week Halo: The Master Chief Collection was released for the Xbox One. It is a compilation of Halo 1-4. It was one of the first games that I ordered for my Xbox One and I can’t wait to sit down and revisit the adventures of one of my favorite video game heroes.
As I was looking at the box for the game, I realized that Halo has pretty much always been a part of my adult life. Reminiscing about each of the Halo releases takes me back to a specific time and place. The Halo series really does tell the tale of my life as a grown up, or at least my growing up.
Here’s my little walk down memory lane through the lens of the Halo series.
Halo: Combat Evolved – November 15, 2001 – 20 years old
I didn’t buy an Xbox when they first came out, mostly because I was unemployed. When the first Halo came out I was almost two months removed from having been fired. I worked as an intern at my church after graduating and quickly took on a lot of tech responsibilities. After two years of running sound and PowerPoint I realized that I wanted to do different ministry. I told my boss that he could pay me to do something else if he wanted, but I didn’t want to do tech anymore. He chose to not pay me, which left me unemployed for the Xbox’s launch and Halo’s release. That was a difficult season, trying to find a job and trying to stay involved in ministry. Even though it was difficult, I know that it was the right choice. By leaving behind tech I was able to expand and grow in many more ministry areas.
Halo 2 – November 09, 2004 – 23 years old
By the time Halo 2 rolled around I did have an Xbox. I was also in my first year of seminary getting ready for finals. I was also in a relationship, which ended one month and 10 days after Halo 2’s release. I was dumped six days before Christmas, but at least I had Master Chief to keep me company. That season of life was a blur but I still remember nights spent playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live. I also remember long nights spent with friends, connecting four Xboxes and having epic Red vs. Blue matches. I started and built a lot of friendships because of Halo 2, which goes to show that video game violence and sticking your friends isn’t all bad.
Halo 3 – September 25, 2007 – 25 years old (one day away from 26)
Halo 3 was a great game but it also had tremendous commercials. I remember watching the commercial below and getting so fired up to take up my assault rifle again and take on the Covenant.
When Halo 3 came out I was a little over three months in to my current job as youth pastor at Community Baptist Church. If you had told me that I would still have the same job seven years later I probably would have been relieved. I think I spent the first two years of my job just hoping that I wouldn’t get fired. When Halo 3 came out I was also fighting my feelings for Alycia, trying to discern God’s will for a potential relationship with her. I was probably convinced that I wanted to date her when she also got Halo 3 for herself.
Halo 4 – November 6, 2012 – 31 years old
Two years ago I was two years into marriage. My life doesn’t seem too different now than it was then. Alycia and I were living in the same apartment, we had our dog, Elphie, we were both working at the church and we were playing through Halo 4 together. I suppose that’s one of the main reasons I love youth ministry: my life is very routinized. A lot of people need change and spontaneity, but I’m very happy with a structured life. I’m happy that two years ago I was working with students and getting ready for the Christmas season, and I’m happy that I’m doing the same thing this November. And, God willing, when Halo 5: Guardians comes out next November, I’ll still be doing the same thing.
It’s crazy that a video game series could act as markers along my life’s path. Looking back, though, it’s easy to see how Halo has been wrapped up in so many of my relationships and stages in life. I stayed up all night playing Halo 2 with friends and then I played a few levels of Halo 4 with my wife before going to bed. However we choose to do it, looking back helps us see where we’ve been and God’s faithfulness in the past. Which, hopefully, will help us move forward, remembering that God will continue to be faithful long after the Halo series reaches its conclusion.
What do you remember about the Halo releases?