Chain World kills God and creates a new One
The first rule about Fight Club is there is no Fight Club. Think about that for a few minutes and you’ll gain insight as to why there was a “holy war” over a videogame called Chain World: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/07/mf_chainworld/
I read the above article, and I was baffled — simply baffled. Not so much at the brilliance of Jason Rorhers’s mysterious video game, but the backlash it created. The backlash was predictable as soon as he announced the edict, “Do not talk about your gaming experience.” Play only once.
This is how religions survive in some respects, the mystery of human experience give birth to presupposed explanations. God, The Prime Mover, Divine Spark, The Source, Mother Nature, or whatever terminology any metaphysical philosopher or ancient mystic imagined, one thing is clear — the idea of a source of all experience is something all people wonder about. I think the concept and dogmatic rules of the videogame Chain World provoked and attacked the collective consciousness of the gaming community in a way that is absolutely comical.
Forget the sheer audacity and arrogance of the game designer/computer programmer nerd playing God. How dare you expose the inner nature and psychology of the Gamer?! (I capitalize the word gamer to bring prominence to the archetype) We barely know anything about the video game aside from the fact that it is a modified (mod) of the game Minecraft, which is a genius game within its own right and the commandments
Rorher proclaimed: 1. Run Chain World via one of the included “run_ChainWorld” launchers. 2. Start a single-player game and pick “Chain World.” 3. Play until you die exactly once. 3a. Erecting signs with text is forbidden— your works must speak for themselves. 3b. Suicide is permissible. 4. Immediately after dying and respawning, quit to the menu. 5. Allow the world to save. 6. Exit the game and wait for your launcher to automatically copy Chain World back to the USB stick. 7. Pass the USB stick to someone else who expresses interest. 8. Never discuss what you saw or did in Chain World with anyone. 9. Never play again.
All this game needs is a confessional booth, human sacrifice, and a circumcision. Am I the only one laughing at this situation? The situation goes beyond absurd with the initial banter between game developers/programmers. It’s almost like those who wish to be cynical of Rohrer’s game missed the point. Rules are meant to be broken. Superstitions can be explained away by science. Gods are exposed and destroyed by reason. Ideas are the counterpunch to clichés and convention. And yet it seemed, rather initially, no one took a step back and looked at this game and the mysterious aura that enveloped it.
Games require thinking, and Rorher’s game took a little bit more imagination. I am merely speculating here, but I honestly think the game wasn’t the actual game, instead it was a game of choice — do you break one of the commandments or not? It becomes something straight out of a game theory scenario you learn in an economics or international relations class.
I find it peculiar that others haven’t picked up on the idea that Rohrer seemingly gave the players and game developers a game of choice they hadn’t expected. Chain World created a God and created conversations about philosophy and religion. I only barely scratched the surface of the possible ideas and outcomes that will be as a result of the game.
Gamers can do anything — including kill a God and start a holy war.