Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Theology of Scribblenauts

Today, my darling kidlets got "Scribblenauts", the latest game out there for the Nintendo DS. Even after having it explained to me, I'm still not entirely certain what the object of the game is. What I do know, however, and what I think is actually quite cool, is you can type in the name of just about any object you can think of and it will show up on the DS screen.
And I do mean just about anything. Type in "horse" and a horse appears in the game. Type in "flamethrower" and, sure enough, your character will be holding a flamethrower. There are apparently tens of thousands of things you can type into existence.
In fact, if you type in "God", a robed figure with a long white beard appears.
The rumor was that someone using a preview copy of Scribblenauts invoked the deity, and then typed "polar bear". The result? The polar bear ate God. (Hmmm... THERE'S a sentence you don't see everyday!)
Anyway, my son tried the same thing upon getting his copy of Scribblenauts, but in his case, God simply smote the polar bear without even breaking a divine sweat.
I left my son to his amusements when, a few minutes later, he ran to the patio where I was sitting and exclaimed excitedly, "Dad! I killed God!" (Again, another sentence you don't hear on a daily basis.)

"How? TWO polar bears?"
"No. That didn't work. God kept killing them. So I typed 'cannon' and fired it at point blank range!"

Ah! There's nothing to make a father more proud than to have his son committing Virtual Deicide!

I can hardly wait to hear what kind of Holy Shit is going to hit the proverbial fan when the religious right loonies hear about THIS sort of thing! If they thought Harry Potter was bad, in THIS game you can try to drench God in Sulfuric Acid if you're so inclined.

It's obvious that Nintendo, the company that licensed this game, is Japanese, and reflects that culture's more laid-back approach to things divine. If Scribblenauts were made by God-fearin' gun totin' American Judeo-Christians, you either wouldn't be able to invoke God at all, or - if you could - he would simply smite everything in sight. Game over. And while that might more accurately reflect the prevailing Western notion of God, the game would certainly get boring rather quickly.

And let's face it... the thought of an epic battle between God and a T-Rex IS pretty awesome!!!

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