This game would be for anyone who has ever picked a face out of a crowd of strangers in public, given them a name, and invented a whole life scenario and background to go with it. It would be a life/spiritual simulation entirely unlike the Sims and Sim City.
The player begins by loading a virtual city, complete with shopping centers, parks, commercial and residential real estate. The city would be fully populated, with people living in their homes, going to work, and going out to the malls and restaurants and such. The player has the ability to select the people to view various stats about them; their name, age, living situation, and interests. Once the player has found a character that they want to have further interaction with, they select an option to follow the person, and the view will follow them wherever they go.
In addition to the ability to follow any person out of thousands of characters anywhere they go, and to switch to follow other characters at any time, this game would also be greatly distinguished from the Sims in the aspect of free will in the simulation. The characters of this game would not be mindless obedient drones. The game player would have no direct ability to control the actions of the characters.
Each character would have all kinds of distinct traits that would make the experience of watching them go about their lives quite entertaining. Some might be obsessed with hobbies, while others may spend all of their free time watching television, or training for sports.
Things like use of restrooms, bathing and getting dressed would be excluded from the player’s view. The characters would be given their privacy in these things. The game would not deal with matters of sexuality, drug use, violence, or criminal, obscene or deviant activities.
All of this describes the life part of the simulation. The spiritual aspect of the simulation comes into play with the game player’s interaction and game control. Although they can not directly affect the characters they have the ability to control all kinds of events that happen to the people. Essentially this activity would be designed to mirror the sovereignty of God, as we understand it, and how He has complete power over our lives. The design also largely comes from the insight about this matter that is provided in scripture, in the first chapter of Job. At first sight the implications of the design would likely strike most people, even seasoned Christians, as being somewhat superstitious. But in practice most people (believers and non alike) would find that the concept closely matches our psychological model of life and spiritual forces, and God’s relation to us.
The control model would work like this:
When a player chooses to interact with a character, they are presented with a list view of evil and good events which are queued to occur to the person. For example:
- House catches fire
- Wins the lotto
- Car breaks down
- Receives job offer
- Injured in accident
- Healed of illness
The player has the ability to remove items from this queue before they happen, or to allow them to happen. The player does not create the items they only choose which ones they will prevent, and which would be allowed. They would also have the ability to adjust settings which would automatically filter out all bad items, all good items, or a percentage of each.
The other ability the player would have is time travel. Once an event has occurred, and the character reacts to it, the player would have the option to go back in time to undo the event, or to allow another event, or to otherwise adjust the queue and allowance settings. In this respect the game would basically be sort of like the film Groundhog’s Day.
So, for example, a player may be following a character that is obsessed with a sport and does very little other than train for it and play the sport. The player might choose to let the character receive an injury that forces them to do something else with their time for a while. However, if the event results in a severe depression or otherwise has an undesired result, the player has the ability to go back before the injury event and to try something else.
The goal would not be to create an exact or perfect replica of the real world, or the human/God relationship, but only to explore an aspect of it.
The two aspects explored in this game are those of God’s sovereignty and of His omnipotence, being able to make decisions based on the foreknowledge of their outcome.
The idea of choosing to allow or disallow blessings and tragedy in their life is taken from the story of Job, as mentioned above. In this story we see a meeting of an angelic council at which both God and Satan are present. The discussion between them reveals that God operated in Job’s life by putting a spiritual barrier around him that protects him from the Devil’s attacks and all evil. In the course of the story, God removes the barrier, allowing the Devil to attack, which is literally manifested in a series of terrible events:
- Attacks by raiders
- An accident that kills his entire family
- Being inflicted by sores
So we can see from this story that God does not do or otherwise inflict evil on men. It’s the wicked and evil spirits, such as Satan, who seek to harm men. God, however, has the ability to allow or disallow all that they would intend to do, and He works everything for good according to his foreknowledge.