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Destiny’s version of chickenpox has gotten loose, and like parents having pox parties, Destiny players are figuring out the best way to spread the illness.
Destiny players on Thursday noticed thick clouds of multicolored motes of light floating around other players’ heads and received text messages in-game to indicate the motes were spreading like some sort of infection. No one is entirely sure how the infection spreads, though it seems to be tied to killing players in the Crucible, Destiny’s player-versus-player mode, who have the infection. And all of this is wrapped into a new alternate reality game.
There are five different strains of what Destiny players are calling “techmites,” with each strain producing a different color of motes around a character’s head. Infected players are granted experience point and reputation boosts, and it took the Destiny subreddit less than a day to figure out that the techmite infection is also tied to a new ARG taking place on the Owl Sector website.
The Owl Sector site is tracking the spread of all five techmite strains, what percentage of Destiny players have which strain, and where around the world the virus is spreading. The other page on the site, the Owl Sector Records, is slowly unfurling parts of five short stories, each tied to a specific version of the techmite virus. It seems that more portions of the story are being doled out as an increasing numbers of players contract each strain of the virus.
Bungie is famous for the “I love bees” ARG that took place in 2004 as a promotion for the release of Halo 2. Bungie also loves to tell stories in snippets buried within its games. Halo 3 was loaded with computer terminals that told the backstory of the Halo universe. Halo: ODST featured a subplot about a child escaping an alien invasion, recovered in pieces also from computer terminals spread across the game.
Dennis Scimeca was the Daily Dot's gaming reporter until 2016. He loves first-person shooters, role-playing games, and massively multiplayer online games. His work has appeared in Salon, NPR, Ars Technica, Kotaku, Polygon, Gamasutra, GamesBeat, Paste, and Mic.