Video Games and Theology: Studies

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A line drawn
Like a wet cloth
Wiped across my face
A face painted
Like a sports fan or a warrior
Bright colors
Painted on faces

Bright blue bodies
Painted for war
Bright pink and orange powder
All over the place
For a great celebration
The joy of paint
The beauty of art

Being a painting
Is relaxing and fun
What is it like
To be a creation of another
What is it like
To be a work of art
What is it like
To create something
Of value and worth

What is it like
To be the product
Of another’s work
What is it like to be raised
By a parent or guardian
Even the birds know
Except for a few unlucky souls
Who have never had the experience

Like a computer program
In a planned universe
Like in a video game
We are given free reign
And create our own stories
But are we not grateful
For those who created the game

We show our gratitude
By following the game rules
And paying the required fees
Or not disabling the ads displayed
There will always be bad actors
Much as there are evil characters
Planned in the game

But those who contribute
And those who merely play along
They are all part of
Something bigger and better
They do not worry or judge
That they cannot create
Such a game all by themselves
In the context of playing the game
Some buy their way forward
And some use planned shortcuts
It is a society of sorts

All created by a singular group of people
Sometimes all by one person
A great and glorious undertaking
That may take tens of thousands of hours
Or at least is a lot of work
A good game is hard to make
Partly because of its complexity
Partly due to the value the players add
And partly to timing and spreading the word

The whole process is part
Of a business itself
Which adds in more factors as well
But what can really make it fail
One is gets momentum
Can be the ability of the creators
To respond to the players of the game
To satisfy the crowd
Who are much like observers
But the real actor is
Within the game itself

Many games are not built from scratch today
Much as few websites are now
It is these people who
Make these underlying components
That dictate what is possible
For most games
They create tools
For the game’s creators themselves
They build models of physics
Others build tools
To digitally sculpt the characters
Others build tools to test
Possible outcomes and errors in code

There are tools to make animations with
And tools to help make characters move
There are tools to create
The terrain and the plant life
They are tools to change the
Appearance of people
And what they wear

There are people who make the systems
Underlying these games
To help them work on the devices
Then devices are sold to playtime games
And underlying software

So if a game is a world
And if there is a serious of abstractions
Where different people engineer
Different aspects
And build off each other’s work
We then have a community of
Engineers and artists
Which are supported by countless others
Forming connections both business and technical
To all sorts of communities

The network created now
Becomes and entity in an of itself
Which many refer to as a network effect
This drives money
And this further drives development
This was once called a virtuous cycle
Much as a civilization of economy
Once it is started
A kind of reality of a civilization game
That it would take to make
A civilization game successful

And so these world within worlds
Or networks within networks
Is much like life and the universe
So much so that that some astrophysicists
Are now theorizing that the entire universe
Is a video game or simulated environment
Made by a more advanced civilization
The Creator - created relationship sounds
Eerily familiar to the one
Of the God of the Bible and people

Maybe the whole quandary
Of free will vs. God’s providence
Is really also a natural force
That also works in physics
As we understand it
That is currently understood as
Quantum mechanics
To explain the very small
And general relativity
To explain the very big

Maybe the connection between the two
Can be better understood
Through philosophy or theology
Maybe science just outgrew
Its ability to explain itself
As philosophy once gave birth to science

Science was one known as natural philosophy
And the foundation for physics
Was known as metaphysics
Put together by arguably the first scientist
In western civilization

Science may now have to
Return to philosophy
To be able to build a coherent
Explanation for even practical applications
Even in the applied sciences and engineering
Based on purely physical phenomena

That may serve as a gateway
To people’s renew interest in philosophy
From within science itself

Regardless this metaphor
Gives us a model
Is fairly consistent
And leaves us with less holes
Than many similar arguments

Maybe pastors will talk about
Video games in church services
And kid will stop playing them
While the pastor talks

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