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More Than a Game: The Halo Series – A Reflection by Jordan Wharton

Your Writer: Jordan Wharton
Top 3 Favorite Games: The Halo Series
Favorite Genre: FPS
Recently Finished: 
Currently Playing: Halo: Master Chief Collection
Bio: Follow me on Twitter @Writing_Spartan! CEO of @InformedPixel. Writer at @HaloRespawn. @Halo & @Xbox fan since 2001. “Halo Superfan” –@Ske7ch. Worlds First Halo 5 Cosplayer. All opinions are my own.

Video games are one of the most popular pastimes in modern society. But is a game truly just the experience the player has during gameplay, or can it be something more? Throughout my life, one game franchise has taken me places I’ve only ever dreamed of. That franchise is called Halo, and for me, it’s far more than just some games.

Jordan as Master Chief during the Halo 4 Midnight Launch

Family & Friends

From my first experience playing Halo with my cousin, to this very moment, Halo has been just as much about shooting aliens as it has been spending time with my family and friends. During my early childhood, when Halo Combat Evolved released, I didn’t own a console. Instead, I played splitscreen with my cousin and have played Halo with him ever since.

 

I also owe many of my friendships to Halo. I’ve attended birthday parties dressed as Master Chief, attended conventions for Halo meetups, and even hosted giveaways on my Halo-related pages. These are all experiences that I would not have had if Halo was not in my life. It has acted as a bridge for forming new friendships for so long, as still does even now.

 

Beyond friends and family, Halo has even connected me to strangers I’ve never met. LAN events are something Halo has been known for since the beginning. With Halo as the common interest, friendships were formed worldwide. Halo Outpost, a recent Halo event that toured the US, was a prime example of just how much Halo connects people not as a game, but as an entity.

Jordan cosplaying Poncho Chief at a London Convention

Happiness and Healing

Happiness and video games aren’t often seen as connected, especially across the mass media or non-gaming community. At least from my experience, however, they are closely interlinked.

 

Throughout my life, I’ve personally struggled with many physical and mental health issues. I must thank my family for their support, but I also have to thank the Halo ecosystem. The franchise itself has supported me throughout my darkest of days, while the community has nurtured and encouraged me at every turn. Whether it’s via supporting my Halo cosplay, inviting me to play, or the team at 343 Industries spotlighting my event appearances in and out of cosplay, Halo has been a core of generosity.

 

As I grow and learn about my own happiness and heal from my struggles, Halo is still with me, guiding me towards opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Having friends in the community keeps me grounded, even if I haven’t met them yet.

Jordan holding a prototype Halo 5 Xbox One Console

Opening New Doors

Just like how it’s given me friendships, Halo has given me invaluable experiences too. It started back in 2012 when I began cosplaying Halo for fun. I decided in 2013 I’d set myself up a Halo page, and within half a year I was the biggest Halo cosplay at that time. My page was known as The World’s First Poncho Chief. This cosplay opened the door for me to work events like the Halo MCC midnight launch and the Halo 5 Midnight launch.

After the success of my page and the events, I received contact from an Xbox website. They were hosting a Halo Month and asked me if I wanted to get involved. Little did I know that this simple Halo cosplay would lead me into becoming a journalist.

After the successful Halo Month, I gained a writer’s role at the Xbox website. The following 3 years led me to a place I never thought I’d reach: The home of Halo, 343 Industries Headquarters. It is safe to say that Halo not only helped shape my dreams, but also helped me achieve them.

Jordan at 343 Industries with Various Studio Members

More Than Just A Game

Halo has been nothing short of a life changer. Not only would I have such a great community, or as many friends, but I would also never be a journalist without it. It’s easy for people outside the gaming community to view a video game as only a disc in a box, but to those in such dedicated communities, it’s something so much more.

 

With the release of Halo Infinite in 2020 and another trip to E3 before then, it’s safe to say I’ll keep thanking Halo for my continued goals and passion. Halo shaped me into the person I am today and I couldn’t be happier.

 

I thank you all for reading my own personal journey as to why Halo is more than just a game to me. If any of you enjoyed reading this piece and want to talk about Halo, feel free to follow me on Twitter at Writing_Spartan.

Jordan with the Life Sized Halo Warthog Replica

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