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Opinion: "Destiny has changed the way players talk"

At the start of this month I stood up, leaned over the divider separating my desk from Meiks’ workspace, and said, “I got Monte Carlo last night as my reward for the Nightfall.” His response? “I’m not a big fan of it - I prefer Up For Anything.”

The resulting perplexed and contorted facial expressions that instantly held Phil’s and Dom’s (the rest of the team, basically) typically handsome mugs hostage, like invisible facehuggers had latched on and given them slightly bizarre tickles, was a picture. And to be fair to them, my past self from as recently as August would have reacted to this exchange in much the same way. Meiks and I were talking impenetrable gibberish (and continued to do so for five straight minutes) after all. Weren’t we?

Something strange has happened in the office. Not just at Official PlayStation Magazine, but the entire floor – GamesRadar, SFX, Edge… they’re all involved. A new language has taken over: one that half of us understands, while the other’s desperately scrolling through Rosetta Stone’s list of lessons to try and decipher the nonsense.

Yes, this is another Destiny (opens in new tab) column. But it’s not about the game for once - it’s about the effect Destiny’s had on the way players talk. Within just a few months, its lore and terminology have permeated our day-to-day conversations. Typically when we share tales of gaming highs and lows we must preface them with, “Last night on GTA 5 I…” or, “I was playing such-and-such game at the weekend and…” to put our tales in context. But Destiny needs no context. Destiny just is.

We’ve had hour-long deep-dive discussions dissecting obscure perks, and there’s more talk of cheeses than you’ll find at your local supermarket’s dairy counter. Look, my hairdresser instigated a Destiny convo last week, out of the blue. That’s incredible. No other game has hit that level of linguistic status quo in such a short space of time.

Whether you’re a fan of the game or not (and it is divisive) Bungie’s ability to transform the conversations we’re having is something to be admired. How long before it feels the need to release the Official Destiny Dictionary, I wonder?

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