Wednesday, January 30, 2008

God's Playing Field

To complain that my 9 year old son has a knack for finding inappropriate content on the internet is akin to grumbling that he is good at finding sand at the beach. Luckily, his interests so far have gravitated more towards YouTube videos of people farting on each other than, say, “adult-oriented websites of a certain nature.” Let’s hope he stays 9 for a long time, and continues to prefer the vulgar over the decadent.

His specialty is finding video games that meet the letter of the law at our house, without quite honoring its spirit. He was so good at finding free, uber-violent internet games that we had to institute a “no-blood” rule. He’s not allowed to play any game where blood is spilled. He feels this greatly limits his educational opportunities. We do not share his concerns at this time.

The other day I found him playing this game: God’s Playing Field.

It is a very simple game. You are God, and there are people and cars wandering around down on earth, minding their own business. Your job, as God, is to kill as many of them as quickly as possible. When you have killed a sufficient number, you are allowed to buy more potent weapons, which allow you to kill even more people more efficiently. God’s weapons apparently include:

A Big Fist (of God, presumably)
Pillar of Fire
Lightening Strikes
Tidal Wave
Atomic Bomb

As offensive as this game is, I doubt it was crafted from any deeply held theological beliefs. The purpose seems to be to find unique ways to kill lots of people, and the Old Testament God was simply a handy tool. It was probably created by a bunch of smart-alecky teenagers who thought it would be funny. Annoying as that is, I can tolerate it more than that video game created by some Left Behind crazies, where the object is to convert or kill the non-believers. It is harder for me to deal with people who willfully misunderstand their own religion than it is simple smart-alecks.

What annoys me most about God’s Playing Field is that they took so much time to think through the blasphemy of it, but didn’t bother to include blood as part of the carnage. That way, my son would not have been able to hide behind the “no-blood” rule. He may have still played it, but at least he would have had to face the proper wrath of his parents. Instead, he forced us to tighten up our house rules.

So, new rule at my house: No games where the purpose is to kill others or to show God as angry, vengeful, or violent. Only time will tell where he will find the loopholes in those rules.


Rebecca said...

That game *is* annoying. (I was about to call it "heinous," but I think that gives it too much weight. I agree with you that it's the "Left-Behind" game that's more deeply troublesome.)

And besides not thinking through the blood issue, they also apparently didn't consider that an omnipotent God shouldn't need money to buy his/her Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Dan S said...

I suppose a God that needs weapons to kill people might need money too...

brownie said...

Since you have disallowed any game that potrays God as "angry, vengeful, or violent" I must assume, therefore, that you believe he is not any of these things.

Which God is it you believe in again?

Dan S said...

The loving, grace-filled One.

Fingtree said...

As a non-believer, I doubt this game truly exists. It could be just another one of those Leftist conspiracies Behind this post, the picture looks fake too.

brownie said...

If God is truly omnipotent, then he made all things, exists in all things, and his nature will be reflected in all things.

The same God who created fire also created ice. Goodness as well as evil. Anger and Forbearance. Vengeance and Forgiveness. Violence and Peace.

I think to believe that God does not have a side we find a little bit scary may be the result of giving into a type of fear, based largely on our own self interest.

Rebecca said...

I think to believe that God does not have a side we find a little bit scary may be the result of giving into a type of fear, based largely on our own self interest.

I think God does have a side that's more than a little bit scary. However, I believe that because God loves us and wants us to obey Him out of love, God chooses not to use His powers most of the time. That's what makes a game like "God's Playing Field" offensive to me. The God I believe in doesn't use his omnipotence for wanton destruction.

Anonymous said...

I am playing this right now. It's so much fun. A Great time waster. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Addicting, baby

And by the way, I'm not sure if you understand the whole concept of blocking your son's internet usage. If he can access this game, he can access anything. There are even proxy sites to get around firewalls you may have set up. I want to let you know that if a person wants to view something on the internet, there is very little you can do to stop him.