Sometimes, You Have to Accept Some Games Aren't Made For You

I can't help but wince at all my friends playing the 'Destiny 2' raid, but that's life.

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Sep 28 2017, 2:00pm

Image courtesy of Activision Blizzard

When you have a social media timeline that consists of people loudly telling you how much fun they're having, and crucially, you're not having it, it can generate a serious fear of missing out. You know you could be having that fun, too, but there's just not enough time in the day! Everybody's responsibilities are different, and sometimes that means you can't play a game at the same pace as others.

The biggest difference between Destiny and Destiny 2 is not that Destiny 2 is a streamlined, improved take on Bungie's first draft, it's that my life now involves a kid. As such, I felt sympathy for Kotaku UK's Keza MacDonald when she wrote a strangely controversial post arguing Destiny 2 is "practically impossible to play if you're a parent." The "controversy" stemmed from parents who declared they keep up with Destiny just fine. I believe them! But it lead me to an alternate take on Keza's point: if you're a parent (or just busy), the way to keep up with Destiny is by, in essence, making sure Destiny is your main gaming diet.

Heck, even when I wasn't worried about a screaming child in the middle of the night, I didn't try to keep up with my hardcore Destiny friends. Instead, I played the game when I had time, and relied on the help of others when I wanted to poke around at the more hardcore elements. I've only played one of the raids, King's Fall, and even though I was carried by a group of people who knew exactly what they were doing, I got a taste of what the experience was like, and that was enough. I had to let go of the idea I could magically change things, even if I can feel myself getting jealous watching my friends take on Destiny 2's Leviathan.

But shit, that's easier said than done. I've felt the pull on some nights, secretly cursing my friends out of a misguided sense of jealousy.

Alternatively, I've put hours into Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, started and finished Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, explored the promising Steamworld Dig 2, and scratched the surface of Golf Story. While it helps several of those games are on Switch, my time with all of them wouldn't be possible if I was also trying spend time on the Destiny 2 treadmill, knowing I could never truly keep up.

What I've also come to realize, though, is that maybe I've already found my Destiny, a game you regularly return to every once and awhile, even if it's just to catch up with friends on voice chat. For me, that game is turning into PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, where every round is a fresh (and short) start, and the only difference between players is skill and a good loot drop. Sure, people who are playing more often might be better than me, but if I want to sit down and play a few rounds with a buddy, neither has to worry about hitting a level cap.

That's not meant to throw shade at Destiny, either. They're fundamentally different experiences, but the form of interaction—a sense of familiarity—is the same, and Battlegrounds more snugly fits into my life right now.

I'll get around to Leviathan. It's fine. At least, that's what I tell myself. Maybe my kid will take an interest in games, and we can do Destiny 8's raid together.

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