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God As Game Designer
by Neil Sorens on 01/15/11 04:16:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

There are two career tracks with surprisingly close parallels to that of the game designer: politician, and God (Judeo-Christian version).  Now, these are less similar than the politicians (and some game designers) would have us believe, but they do share some common characteristics that I find to be worth pondering. 

I'll devote this entry to God - being the alpha and omega, he moves to the front of the line.  Politicians later.

You'd think that God would be the perfect game designer, having given players free will, which is a fundamental necessity for any sort of interactivity, particularly games.  He also has the ability to predict every single action players will take as a result of that free will, allowing him to design an experience that caters to their tastes.  And finally, he designed the players themselves - what game designer wouldn't want to create their own demographic for the express purpose of playing their game?

However, my position is that I wouldn't hire God for your next AAA game, judging by the work he's got on his resume.  Allow me to explain.

The progression structure in his current magnum opus is a little out of whack, for starters.  Players generally become more powerful until about 1/3 of the way into the game, at which point their character's maximum ability levels begin to deteriorate,  reducing their ability to explore, discover, and learn as they get further into the game.  As Civilization demonstrates, if exploration, discovery, and learning are slowed or eliminated as the game progresses, players' behavior becomes repetitive, and their enjoyment of the game diminishes.  A basic game design tenet is that you want to build up to the end of the game and end on a high note, before players tire of the experience.

Another controversial aspect of God's design is the necessity of grouping.  Although forced interdependence on others can improve the social experience, for which characters have a hardcoded need, it also leaves a significant number of players who don't group unable to tackle some of the challenges they face.  They may become frustrated and give up.

Permadeath is always a hot-button topic in game design.  The general consensus is that if you do it, you should not burn your players in a lake of fire for all eternity.  Unfortunately, God disagrees and takes a more old-school approach.

One of the most glaring flaws in God's design is the reward structure.  In order to get any sort of guaranteed reward, you have to grind for approximately seventy years, at least double what you'd have to put in to become competitive in Lineage II.  And even then, it's hard to say whether it will be worth the grind, because the reward isn't revealed in advance, only teased. 

In the meantime, there is no reliable feedback to guide players' actions, leaving them unsure what behavior and actions are necessary for success.  Players appear to receive rewards and punishments at random, rather than according to a coherent design.  In my opinion, if God wanted players to focus only on the long term, he shouldn't have created them to care almost exclusively about the short term - or he should have designed a system where short-term feedback and rewards reinforce the desired behavior.

Some even believe that players are randomly selected to receive the long-term rewards (or not) before character creation - an exceptionally sadistic bit of design, if true.  Those not selected spend a lifetime of grinding only to discover there is no reward for their toils.

With the ability to design both the players and the game, God should have been able to create a paradigm full of synergy and free of buzzwords.  Instead, for many dissatisfied players, it is only hardcoded compulsion that has kept the player base intact.  In fact, many players leave for significant periods of time and turn instead to games with far smaller budgets and ambitions and far less powerful designers to find enjoyment.


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Comments


Aaron Truehitt
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God made a AAA educational game I guess.

Karl E
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It is debatable whether God really designs both the players and the game. God is perhaps both creator and player, with ourselves the equivalent of in-game characters. It all depends whether God has intended for us to exist outside the game... of which we can't be sure.

Malcolm Miskel
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I take issue with your review. In God's manual he explicitly states that players should focus on the present, yet not forget what the future holds. Also, player dissatisfaction mainly stems from players refusing to follow or even acknowledge the manual that was provided.



If all you did in GTA was drive around in circles OF COURSE you're going to be dissatisfied. The game was created for players to do MUCH more than that.

Steven An
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There are tons of competing FAQs that say different things though. It's often easy to get distracted by the billions of entries on GameFAQs for this one. :)

Jordan Lynn
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I disagree with your section on the reward structure- there are constant rewards available in-game, ranging from level-ups, finding easter eggs, satisfaction from increased proficiency, and competing on the leaderboards.



No, I believe you're referring to the multiple endings. The manual is relatively clear about the content of the endings, but since no one has been able to post a walkthrough online, no one is exactly certain what the different conclusions are like. And yeah, 70 years might be a long time to get to the ending, but anyone who's ever played JRPGs knows that sometimes the grind and the anticipation can be a part of the fun.



Also, players level their physical stats until 1/3 through the progression- if they grind daily, they can extend that to 2/3 or beyond. Other stats can continue to increase, especially INT, and don't forget about the accumulation of gold allowing players to unlock new areas that weren't available at the beginning.

Steven An
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It's often unclear if the more frequent secondary objectives, which can be quite enjoyable, lead to a primary objective. There are also plenty of choices of primary objective - which one should you choose? It's not really clear which one is "best."



Some people you say you should accept this imperfection and just choose one. For some people, this is difficult to accept.

Larry Charles
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Wait wait wait, let me get this straight...



He designed and built an entire Universe... filled with worlds which he did all of the environment art for, populated it with fully functioning, self sustaining and self regulating ecosystems, where just one world in particular, Earth, currently hosts 6,000,000,000 plus users who are always online, in 6 days...



And you wont hire him for your next MMO project?

Neil Sorens
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Larry - perhaps the Book of Genesis is analogous to Chuck Norris Facts. It was written by God fanboys, after all. And he wouldn't be the first coder to exaggerate on his resume. Not to mention, he appears to have used some sort of algorithm to create most or all of the game's content procedurally.



Jordan - there are immediate rewards. They're just distributed randomly, or perhaps worse, disproportionately to griefers. What kind of designer creates a reward system that actively encourages griefing, much less while simultaneously claiming that griefing is an undesirable play style?



Also, on the subject of the manual - I'll also note that the manual which appears to be some sort of open-source effort, on which players who are no longer active subscribers voted a long time ago, accepting some submissions (including some rather rambling chapters added for flavor) and rejecting others. They claim to have gotten their information straight from the developer, but how likely is this given that the developer could easily confirm this to be true and has not (although some players claim that the developer emailed them directly)?



The fact that the manual is not accessible to many players is also a hindrance. Eschewing a tutorial, The game instead relies on a fairly decent mentoring system, wherein the mentor's training is rewarded with a feeling of accomplishment. However, because the quality of mentors varies widely, and because players entering the game can't cope with the game's complexity, a better newbie experience would be a welcome improvement.



Of course, one of the reasons that the manual can be confusing is that the game was revamped a while back, and the rules in the first 60% or so of the manual no longer apply. As in Star Wars Galaxies, the revamp alienated the original player base, but unlike SWG, the revamp successfully attracted an even larger following, perhaps because of the reduced complexity and bloodthirstiness of the ruleset.



In any case, there are quite a few players who have followed the instructions in the manual to the letter and whose play experience consisted of acute, Daikatana-level suffering and premature permadeath (clearly, the designers of Bard's Tale and the East Commonlands spawn table had God as one of their design influences).

Neil Sorens
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I'm also not that confident in God's coding abilities. Creating an AI-driven technical support staff was impressive, sure, but it was less impressive when the buggy AI revolted, Matrix-style, and now actively tries to destroy the game and its players. Rather than fix those bugs, God posted some workarounds, eventually overhauling the entire game to be designed around the bugs, which are apparently not fixable. The overhaul involved God sending his only customer support rep, who was then crucified on the forums by an outraged player base when he announced the revamp.



Some may argue that the bugs are not fixed because they are in fact features; however, this would again indicate some level of sadism on the part of the designer.

Larry Charles
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So... How did God lie on his resume? He didn't write the book of genesis, the God Fanboys did.



Also, you are not interested in the procedurally generated content? Name an open / consistent world MMO that doesn't use any procedurally generated content? I'd say for a one man team, that was probably the smartest thing he could have done given the schedule...



On another note, none of us currently playing can prove that permadeath is or is not in the game. I've heard it is, I've also heard many other hypotheses for what happens after death. Since you yourself have not the proof, how can you judge God's design choice in this area when you have not experienced the feature? It's funny that you discredit the source where I learned about his project schedule... yet it's the same source that says burning in a lake of fire is what happens after death (for banned accounts at least)... Hypocritical hit!



Do you have a personal issue with God... Did he ban your favorite pet's account for pvp in a neutral zone?



Very interesting read, but there were no positives, just negatives. I love this game, I've been playing it my whole life, and I'm sure I'll be playing till I die. Yes I'm a big fan of his work obviously.

Neil Sorens
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But the fanboys got it straight from the horse's mouth.



If you had not noticed, the article simply assumes that all major points of Christian theology are factual and nitpicks creation as if it were a game.



There are a few things I was thinking about I wrote this blog entry, none of which have to do with discrediting or mocking anyone's religious beliefs:

- What makes playing games more interesting at times (or for some people, at all times) than a normal existence (beyond the mere desire for variety), when you must give up all sorts of natural abilities and senses to do so?

- I never miss a chance to kick the corpse of increased "realism" as justification for bad design. People play games to get experiences that they can't have in the "real world" (or simply to avoid the real world).

- Is it ethical to design games whose appeal is based on triggering our hardwired compulsions?

- The natural habitat and lifestyle of humans has changed dramatically since the onset of civilization, and yet our biology is largely the same. At what point have we advanced beyond our capability to adapt? Are there persons or populations that simply aren't wired properly for modern civilization but who would have been quite successful in more primitive times? Would we be capable of designing worlds for ourselves (video games/civilization) that are more suited to us that the world we were designed for? (either by a creator or by evolution, it does not matter)

Larry Charles
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Neil, I know what your writing was about, I read it and understood your viewpoint.



But in your article you say you are "assuming that all major points of Christian theology are factual"... yet contradict that assumption multiple times in rebutting my responses. ; )

Neil Sorens
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I don't make the same assumption in the comments ;)

Malcolm Miskel
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Except the bugs existed BEFORE the game was released and players were allowed in (even before the beta and its eventual deletion due to a corrupt user base), so that they were left in when the developer clearly could have edited them out (unlimited time/resources, after all) seems to point to a purpose. Their existence makes the game a choice driven system as opposed to a mere interactive story.

jonathan Hudson
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Very thought provoking!



so here are a few thoughts...





WHAT IS THE GAME DESIGNERS PURPOSE FOR THE GAME AND THE PLAYERS?



-The bible makes it clear that God did not create the game to cater to our wishes but to glorify himself



-Jesus said ( Matthew 22: 36-40 ) the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbors as you love yourself



- This gives us a huge clue as to what the purpose for creating the game was as well as the purpose of the gameplay.



- God wants people to know him and love him, yet it is not possible for people with the ability to make their own decisions to love someone just because they are forced to or because they are commanded to. Therein lies the gameplay…. learn to love God… or not.





HOW SHOULD WE DEFINE REWARDS IN THE GAME?



-What is a reward in this game? (fun? money? Power ? a hot girlfriend?)



-These "rewards" are too simplistic since they do not give lasting satisfaction, in fact I would argue that these "rewards" are actually "hints" in the game highlighting what is the incorrect path to take in the game. These "rewards" ( if pursued exclusively ) leave people feeling empty and wondering what the purpose is in their game and they then search for "more".



- People then seek out religion and God but often are confronted with the task of having to change and give up their "purpose" in the game in exchange for the game designers purpose, despite the fact that God's purpose is the correct one ( assuming he's the game designer )



- The bible speaks of other rewards ( eternal life, patience, peace, perseverance, kindness, humility, love, joy )( Galatians 5:22 ) and these things do come as a result of following its instruction.



- Its possible to miss the reward structure because we are looking to satisfy our own purpose in the game, if we strive towards the game designer's purpose we will be rewarded



- The rewards in the bible may seem stupid or boring to some but they are quite effective in helping the player through the game and its purpose of loving God and loving others.



-The bible also states that there will be rewards once we get to heaven for how we trusted God here on earth. ( Matthew 6: 20 )





CAN WE KNOW BEFORE THE END OF THE GAME THAT WE WON?



- Christianity is one of the few religions that says the player can actually know before he dies where he is going.



-( John 3: 16 ) "for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life"



-( John 17: 3 ) the bible also says that Jesus is life, and to know him is to know eternal life.





WHAT ABOUT PAIN AND SUFFERING?... BAD GAME DESIGN?



["In any case, there are quite a few players who have followed the instructions in the manual to the letter and whose play experience consisted of acute, Daikatana-level suffering and premature permadeath…"]



-According to the bible, Jesus played the game as well, and died a horrible death with much suffering ( Matthew, Mark, Luke, John ) and he is our example on how to play the game.



-Jesus concluded that he should trust God's will over his own on the night before he was going to be crucified (Luke 22: 42 )



- A good game designer makes obstacles and enemies that are relevant to the purpose of the game and the players abilities….



-We often assume that death and suffering are only punishments from God, or that they are only "bad".



-Suffering and troubles are actually a test of faith.



-"Suffering" is an enemy in the game that helps us to eliminate all distractions and focus on key questions…such as: "is there a God" and "do I trust God to help me through my game or not?" These questions get louder the more a person suffers, tempting the player to play the game for its actual purpose… to learn to love God… or not.



-The bible says ( James 1: 2- 4 ) that we should consider suffering and trials as "pure joy" because we know that they strengthen our character and draw us closer to the game designer. ( its not suffering we enjoy but the reward )



-It certainly takes strong character to face challenges as these (above quote ), if our purpose is personal gain and enjoyment, then death and suffering certainly seem like punishments.



-Also, death ( for believers ), as described in the bible ( 2 Corinthians 5 : 8 ) is to be absent from the body and to be present with God… in heaven… a reward.



-This earth is not the only playing field in the game ( Luke 23 : 43 )…thus the play experience is not over when the player dies.

Rey Samonte
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Awesome! :)

Tim Tavernier
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Some scientific notions to this very amusing article/comment series.



Free Will doesn't exist: Behaviorologists and Neurologists are collecting more and more proof of this. Giving rise that the Judeo-Christo God is a fake. The Deďst "right, I've set it in motion, lets sit and back and observe" God should be taken as the norm in this light. From a Game-Design view, this is also a far better philosophy. Create the structure and rules and see what happens. Put in automation processes that self-correct the structure where needed.



Also humanity isn't "hardwired" to be in groups (or have hardwired compulsions). A Human, like a wolf, is fully capable of living on it's own. We are just conditioned to live in groups because of interdependent benefits resulting from it (working as positive reinforcers). It's these conditionings we teach to our children from the start that gives the illusion of "hardwiring". This "hardwiring" is possible to be deconstructed and replaced by another one.



The ethical side of the using of these "hardwired compulsions" (which they aren't) is as such non-existent. Also because the "alternative" does the same thing (using the "hardwired compulsions" to keep people playing), the only difference is that the "alternative" is considered more "arty" or "spiritual" or whatever arrogant cultural elitist view/term while in principal, there's no difference (actually, making that difference is actually reacting to a "hardwired compulsion" but one supported by identity-creation parameters and so forth). Every game in existence is a Skinner's Box, some more complicated then others. God just made the ultimate one.

Luis Blondet
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There's no Free Will? Link, please! I would like to see what these scientists have to say and how they are interpreting the information, because it will take a miracle to convince me I'm a mindless automaton.

Tim Tavernier
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Link? How about reading a bloody book for a change! E Fraley's Behaviorology, the Natural Science of Human Behavior (word of caution, it's 1500 pages).



In short, the argumentation goes like this.

Our body gets an external impuls A, we recognize it, triggering a set of neurons B setting in motion pre-conditioned behavioral pattern C, we act out behavioral pattern C, we receive feedback D which can function as a factor that increases/decreases/does nothing the chance that A will lead to C again trough B. Neurologists have already discovered that the brain activity that elictes the act comes before the one that elicites the "thought" (200ms difference).



The Human Brain however is a very high-performance and complex thing. What we "perceive" as Free Will is actually dozens, hunderds, even thousands of these patterns being fired up at the same time because the enormous amount of impulses it also has to process. What we perceive as "choice" is actually the brain making all those neural patterns "fight" each other with the most reinforced one winning out in the end (always). As such, it is possible with enough observation and experiments to found how a person will react in certain conditions. Neurologists have already found a way to know what you're thinking (if they know which neurons is responsible for which "thaught"). Behaviorologists, trough the use of Skinner Box like set-ups, are able to predict someone's behavior with 80-85% accuracy (ofcourse, again, after extensive observations), the other 15-20% being accredited to factors they did not know or can observe because of lacking scientific technology. Still, they do a far better job then psychologists (hell in my country, if psychologists can't fix you they send you to a team of Behaviorologists because of the 8 out of 10 success rate they have).



So, you, as a person is defined by

1) your genetic base which defines which behavioral patterns you can do or you're likely to exhibit because of your capability to pick external stimuli.

2) Everything you have been thaught.



Stop, no internal agent, no little voice, no free will.



Advantages of there being no free will

1) Talent becomes extremely relevant. Behaviorology states that an intelligent person is just someone who can faster taught something then someone less intelligent. Principally speaking, anyone can as such be taught anything when employing the right enforcing strategy.

2) Hitting on girls becomes easier, observing the conditions and parameters of her actions makes you aware of what negatively and positively reinforces relationship behavior from her.

3) Love is relative, your behavioral patterns can be engineered as such that someone can fall in love with...anyone. No more being lonely!



And before you ask "then where comes behavior come from?". You should be asking "what came first, the chicken or the egg?". The answer is offcourse the egg, read up on your Darwin! Apply to behavior et voila!

Luis Blondet
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Yes, link, because you can't just drop a claim without a source and still remain credible.



From your review it looks to me that this research is been given way, way, way too much merit and hastily reaching conclusions with the limited data it has, sort of like the whole "junk DNA" debacle were scientists couldn't see how the majority of DNA was for, so logically, if said individuals do not see a purpose, it must inevitably be junk.



You may be able to influence factors behind decisions, but it is clear that there are unknown variables that can make a mind act against these, else, no one with an addiction could ever escape it and quitting through "cold turkey" would not be possible, and we know it is.



Unless your review of said research is wrong, it seems to me that the authors behind it are deep down the sort of scientists that wish for a mechanized universe that runs not unlike an MMORPG.





"So, you, as a person is defined by

1) your genetic base which defines which behavioral patterns you can do or you're likely to exhibit because of your capability to pick external stimuli."



Gee, that sounds familiar. Where have I heard similar rhetoric before. Let me think...





"Stop, no internal agent, no little voice, no free will."



A laughable statement. So, I, right now, am not conscious?



Some scientists will say anything to get funding >XD

jonathan Hudson
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again, very thought provoking…

Thank you for informing us about this data, i had never heard about it before.





["What we perceive as "choice" is actually the brain making all those neural patterns "fight" each other with the most reinforced one winning out in the end (always)."]



I cant say that I know the science behind all of this but there is a logical problem that bothers me about this kind of thinking...



For example:



if a scientist who is not acting on free will ( but acting before he thinks…"always" ) studies the world around him and concludes that there is no free will, how can anyone be sure that his conclusions are accurate?



Why should we trust someone who "willingly" admits that it was not his "free will" that led to his conclusions?



if there is a pre-conditioned conclusion about the evidence that is presented to him, he is not capable of accurately concluding the truth. Furthermore any attempt on our part to "test" or verify his conclusions will only lead to more pre-conditioned conclusions which may or may not be true.



Darwinian evolution favors survivability rather than intelligence or the accuracy of truth, ( this may be why there are so many insects and bacteria ) therefore any Behavior that is produced by evolution is potentially misleading in its application. We may end up believing that we know the truth about something but it could just be a way of helping us fill our days so we can survive longer, there would be no way to know.





Disadvantages of there being no free will:



1) There is no certainty to the truth, yet humans have very strong desires to know what the truth is, so life becomes an unfulfilling guessing game.



2) Any truth seeking venture ( science, religion, philosophy etc. ) is ultimately useless since no data can be verified as truth



3) There is no certainty to our purpose, yet humans have a very strong desire to have purpose and want to know what it is and fulfill it.



4) There is no standard for morality so any and all actions should be accepted as "neutral" since the person who did them wasn't exercising free will. The concept of justice or "righting wrongs" is irrelevant.



5) The human desire to be genuinely loved is left unfulfilled since no person can say "I Love you" with any certainty that it is actually genuinely true.



6) We are left with only one "choice", to blindly follow our pre-conditioned behavioral patterns.





A better explanation of the facts could be that we do exercise free will, that truth can be studied and verified, and that we were created by an agent who is truthful, loving, moral, and has a purpose for our lives.

Nilson Carroll
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the mind body problem, the troll of philosophy.



science can never prove (unless we live in xenogears) that we have no free will. materialists are just afraid of the unknown, so they try to explain it all away with pictures of the brain and talk of neurons. oh boy.

Tim Tavernier
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Science is actually steadily mounting up the evidence that there is no Free Will, it's the other side that's unable to prove it.



@Luis Blondet

Our brain is incredible complex so any explanation about there not being any Free Will trough the use of Neurology and Behaviorology is ofcourse very complicated. That's why the book is 1500 pages. Look up "Neurology and No Free Will" up on Youtube. You'll see some nice video's how Neurologists can predict your action 2-6 seconds before you yourself are "conscious" of that action trough their brain reading devices.



you can't influence factors behind decisions, because there's no such thing as decisions (or "mind" or "conscious" or "subconscious", these are just words). You can influence factors behind behavioral patterns. Behaviorologists can cure someone from a addiction using a reinforcement strategy that increases the probability that you will perform behavioral patterns that are not the ones connected to your addiction when you come under influence of external stimuli that would have triggered those addiction-related behaving patterns. This does not prove free will, this just proves you can re-engineer someone's behaving patterns, actually proving you do not have free will.



Again, Behaviorologists can predict human behavior with a fault margin of 15-20%, that's a lot better then psychologists and Behaviorologist assume Free Will doesn't exist (or a consciousness/subconsciousness, they replace it with "being aware/unaware"). And again, the human brain is a very very complex thing, of course there are things they can't account for.



Look at the CERN-project, they needed to built a giant mile-radius particle accelerator with highly advanced custom made sensor tech and what not to be able to create, maintain and scan anti-matter that only existed for like a tenth of a second. There are huge numbers of parameters and factors playing in here, the Human Brain still has that kind of level of complexity.

Luis Blondet
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@Jerry,

Still, just because people make choices based on emotion it doesn't serve as evidence that making a choice contradicting that emotion out of sheer Will is not possible.





@T Ta

Some scientists are amounting said information, not Science. Science is not a person, it's a method of investigating and finding the truth.

I beg to differ that "the other side" is not able to prove Free Will, since there is a ton and ton of evidence from personal experience alone. I can make a choice despite what my emotions want.

The very reason that our brains are incredibly complex is the same reason that said funding-seeking scientists should not be jumping into conclusions just so they can appear like they know more than they actually do.

How is it that in one hand they say that something as obvious and fundamental as Free Will is being doubted when, in the other hand, they have stated in their own words that they have barely covered the material available? They can talk to me about the nature of Free Will, or lack of, when they know much more, but doing so otherwise is incredibly premature.



I have no doubt that neurologists can predict SOME actions before the subject is aware of the thought. In fact, anyone smart enough can do the same thing without having to be a neurologist or have brain reading devices, just ask successful marketer or competitive strategy player. However, not all actions can be read this way. In the end, that is a method of prediction of action and not the source of the decision for that action. Yes, there are influential factors, of course, but they are mere influence to the ultimate executive power of Free Will.



Getting someone off an addiction using behavior patterns does not disprove Free Will. There are many, many, many instances were people have the Will Power to simply decide to quit their addiction and go against the grain of their emotions and impulses.



How can you even say that there is no such thing as decisions? That's completely absurd! Decisions, mind or conscious are just a word? Well, isn't everything a word? Are you trying to discredit things that are completely and utterly obvious? Are you saying these things do not exist now?



People make decisions and choices every day. How can anyone say otherwise, with not adequate proof and still remain credible? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and proving that there is no Free Will is as extraordinary as they come. I think proving that a person can instantaneously turn into a pillar of salt is more likely than this!



We have to remember that all this information that scientist discover is impartial, but the scientist itself is not and cannot because they are also Human beings. Our Imagination is not unlimited and our ability to perceive information in our environment even moreso, so even though it's good that this information is being studied and more discovered, I will hold off on any extraordinary premature claims until these fantastical claims are sorted out responsibly and thoroughly.

Altug Isigan
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So, what we need now is an article on the role of the devil in game design ;)

Neil Sorens
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I'll be doing politicians next, is that close enough?

Rey Samonte
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This article is a great example of someone having a low view of God. You acknowledge that He was responsible for the creation of the world, universe, yet you don't think He would be able to create a simple video game? How much greater is it to make life as we know it versus creating virtual life?



I know this article was probably written as a joke but seriously, how does this article contribute to what we do as a profession? I'm sure God has more important things to worry about than what we deem as important.



I'm sorry, but I think the author should have thought about what exactly he was trying to say and who he can possibly offend even if it was done for fun.

Neil Sorens
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Actually, the point of the blog entry is to compare the experiences and worlds we create for ourselves (and the principles involved in their creation) to those in which we originally found ourselves. Putting God in role of game designer of the original MMO and accepting the major tenets of Christianity as true are simply devices used in making that comparison.

Rey Samonte
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Thanks for your reply. I can see what you're saying now but in some ways, we're still comparing ourselves with God. The root motive of any comparison between man's work and God's work is simply to put ourselves in the role of God and see how much better we can make it. That doesn't nullify the idea of having a low view of God. Essentially, we are bringing God down to our level and asking ourselves or comparing how we would do things since we've already seen what God has done in this life.

Tyler Riojas
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To Quote Genesis not exactly : There is not a bird that falls from the sky without God's Permission.

Tyler Riojas
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Yo Rey, Remeber me ? Email me sometime. Tyler_riojas2001@yahoo.com

Rey Samonte
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Of course I remember you Tyler. Email sent.

Frederico L
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An intresting thought experiment, thank you for an entertaining read, and some great comments as usual :)

Tejas Oza
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This was a hilarious article. Nicely written and really clever. Lol, while I await your next article that pitches how good a politician would be as a Game Designer, I can't help but wonder how a polytheistic religion would work for this sort of scrutiny?



Being a Hindu, I can attest to the fact that perhaps... just maybe... too many cooks spoil the broth and the game we're looking at is a direct result of too many people wanting their own features put in without any regard for how the overall game might work. Sure the game has its high points and some examples of flawless design but the bugs and contradictions are staggering!

Douglas Baker
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Free will is defined by the short term/long term argument. Short term pleasure is the default state of human beings. Long term goals require faith in a greater reward than individual short term pleasures could provide.

When we forsake short term pleasure for long term goals, especially ones that are us undefined as "an eternity in heaven" we are forsaking our own default state. We become more than the flesh we are born into, we become closer to God.



In game terms--we level up.


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