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B.E. Howard

3 min


Max Level 50

How to regenerate IRL

by B.E. Howard

Sanctuary. For now. There’s something about a 20-foot robotic tank with a sniper cannon and tracer missiles that lets you breathe a sigh of relief.

Max Level 50 | How to regenerate IRL

I’m crouched, hiding, protected on two sides, but still too exposed. I just took out three pilots and made a ruckus doing it. My position is compromised. I can’t see around this crate. The wall is my only true friend. My gun’s aimed at two doors, which funnel my pending demise toward me.

Do I wait for them to surround me with a flood of cooked frag grenades? The freedom of movement in this game isn’t that good.

My hands are steady. My mind races. “Go for it,” something inside me whispers.

I boost my stim, running faster than humanly possible. I wall-ride down a hallway with high ceilings, dodging bullets and shrapnel as my smart pistol locks in on targets while I escape.

Twelve headshots later: “Your Titan is ready.”

Sanctuary. For now. There’s something about a 20-foot robotic tank with a sniper cannon and tracer missiles that lets you breathe a sigh of relief.

Titanfall 2 is a great game, but its picture of the future is scary.

In a universe where war over resources spreads across the galaxy, Titanfall 2 lets you play as one of several different factions: a victim fighting to protect your home; a mercenary willing to do anything for money; a cyborg finding purpose as a killing machine; a hero with your own sense of morality; or a cog in the wheel of industrial plunder.

The myriad storylines create a thrilling experience, but… I can’t help but see this as where the real world is headed. A future where all the angry and greedy people get their way and leave a trail of blood spread across the galaxy. It’s terrifying.

Playing videogames in my man den — old enough to know I shouldn’t sit so close to the screen — I analyze this future depicted in chaotic beauty, the result of humanity’s misguided desire to control and manipulate nature. I imagine creating a world full of joy and abundance and action like no one has ever seen — in a videogame. But how do I get the attention of the execs sitting behind those beautiful doors of opportunity?

The timing isn’t right, so on to the next one, I guess. Breaking into the videogame world feels out of reach. Maybe all I need is some capital to build my own game. Why not start a business? I’ve been kicking around the idea of an app that uses healing frequencies to help people rebound from jet lag and increase their workout recovery rate.

Despite the thrill of it all, my depression grows. It feels contagious. I watch my self-doubt bounce off my wife, my kids, my parents, my friends, even strangers. I feel guilty for bringing everyone down around me.

“You’re not the same man I married,” my wife tells me.

She’s right.

“I believe in you. I’m supporting your dreams. The least you could do is be happy.”

She’s right.

So I create a happiness regimen of binaural beats, documentaries, Titanfall 2, and as much Mother Nature as I can consume while developing an app to help people live more happily. I sit there in my man den, my back against the couch, waiting for opportunities to fly in through every door, relying on hope while doubting my potential. I mean, who gets to be a millionaire? Reality and I often disagree. But my hands are steady. My mind races. I can do this.

“Go for it,” I tell myself.

Needing a break from Xbox, I start down the Netflix documentary rabbit hole. I notice that Zeitgeist’s bit on religion parallels a discussion from Patterns of Evidence: Exodus on Egyptian geological history, which eventually leads me to Magical Egypt where they mention using pyramids as giant vibration chambers for healing.

Hold up. I get that binaural beats helps me relax and focus; I genuinely feel my mental skills increase when I listen. But they did this in Ancient Egypt, too? There’s something to this “everything vibrates” mystery.

Enter Resonance: Beings of Frequency where they all but prove the frequency of 7.83 Hz, the calculated vibration of the planet, as the exact frequency that makes DNA replicate in a lab.

TED Talks on binaural beats, neuroscience, and acoustic architecture confirm my beliefs, but it doesn’t stop there.

Back on Titanfall, obsessing about creating the perfect game, I reach level 50 and am given the choice to ‘regenerate’: I can lose all my valuables and start a new life, from the bottom, with only my skills.

That’s when it hits me.

This is what happens when you reincarnate — which is what the Egyptians and so many other cultures obsessed over for millennia. This is how they explain death and ascension and how people can learn from past lives, allowing them to consciously grow into a better version of themselves.

If this is true, let’s put it to the test. If this is true and this is how the world works, then there’s no way I can fail.

Is that.. that faint light inside my mind… that feeling in my chest… that inner voice telling me I’ve found… my truth? What a rush! To understand your purpose, to be compelled by a combination of self-awareness and belief. I didn’t expect to arrive at this moment of spirituality and the infinite possibilities within, and I definitely didn’t expect to get here thanks to Titanfall 2.

The voice inside my head screams, “Go for it!”

Months later, I’m sitting on the patio at Katsuya on the Sunset Strip in LA. Across from me sits a man I have come to call my friend. I’ve been selling him on my app, on the healing properties of binaural beats. He’s my biggest hope to get my company off the ground. It’s all come down to this.

“I’m investing in your company because I believe in you,” he says.

I am loving this whole ascension thing! I’m finally feeling excited about attacking the challenges in front of me. It’s time to make my vision a reality.

Looks like my wife’s getting her wish. And I’m getting to make my app and help people heal and regenerate. Just like I did.

I guess we’ll see if I ever get to make that game.

Some Stories I Recommend

I haven’t watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer in years. I rarely take time for gaming. Yet I know that these things, along with so many other cultural touchstones, are there to help me when I need them. To save me. The stories that follow aren’t mine, but they kinda are. I quickly come to know the storytellers via their words and experiences; I share their frustrations and exaltations. And I keep moving forward as they do, never forgetting the characters I met along the way. I recognize myself in their disparate tales.

I think you’ll see yourself here, too.

We’re all pursued by demons and monsters. Not the horrific, fanged things we see in our nightmares but the all-too-real kind that keep coming at you. They don’t die easily. They can’t die. For every beast you take down, five more take their place. Armed with only raging hormones and whatever weapons she could muster, Buffy Summers battled valiantly through those terrible, wonderful teenage years. She led an army of friends, of strangers, of viewers into battle and showed them it could be done. Tonya fought alongside Buffy and lived to tell her tale.

Captain Theones rode his horse hard across the landscape of Azeroth, raising his sword in the name of good, helping those in need, and generally being the hero Arka hoped he’d be. Which was good because even as this digital warrior battled against his nemeses, his all-too-human avatar Arka experienced menaces of another kind. The sort of terrible opponents that only reality can throw at you. And yet both continued to fight against long odds…