The USS Quad Damage

Games as a religion

Like, I'm like a smart guy, right, so you know people ask me, like you know what's your religion and stuff, and I'm like, "you know it's like RTS", and they're like "what's that?" and I'm like "you know, it's kinda like buddhism"
- teh pwnerer

I see Pure Pwnage as post-modern sarcasm. As Harpreet would put it, "It'd be funny if it weren't so true." When approaching religion, the gag here seems rather simple: you understand the world through the eyes of your main occupation (where "occupation" here means "what occupies you" as opposed to "what pays the bills"). Teh Pwnerer's understanding of religion is as a type of game. It seems juvenile at the beginning, but as a broader statement it's quite true. However, when I think of myself through this viewpoint, I see how deep the similarity is.

I'm not religious, and I don't claim to have any understanding of god, or anything deeper about how the universe was created (other than "the big bang makes sense, as opposed to every other thing I've heard"). The main point is that I don't care. See, Michael seems to have it out for god. He says things to try to disprove the existence of god. He's "atheistic" in the sense that he believes there is no god. The difference is that I don't know if there's a god or not, but mainly, I don't care. I finally understood why when I was thinking about play.

Play is something that can be generalised to anything that lives. In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that the very definition of life is play. There are many definitions of life, and they all have some bearing on reality. The chemical definitions make sense sometimes, and the clinical definitions make sense in others. However, I've found the most robust definition of life to be "does it play?" I think it's a lot stronger as a statement than Descartes' "I think, therefore I am.". I would venture "I play, therefore I am."

Perhaps that's taking it a bit far, but I read somewhere once that fun is the highest goal (I don't know where, and I can't find a link), and the idea really resonated with me. Higher than life or death, higher than love or sacrifice, higher than whatever else you can think of. Just recently, I was thinking about this again, and I remembered the quote above, and I came upon an idea for people who are overly religious. When I play a game, I'm playing in the twisted world of the creators. The game designers, coders, artists, and musicians all come together to make something that I can take actions in. These actions rarely have anything to do with knowing or remembering the people who made the game. In contrast, the people who made the game probably put a fair bit of themselves in the game. It lives and breathes like they do, and it says the things they want to say, and it works like they intended for it to work.

Now translate this to the Jehovah's witnesses that come around every weekend. If you look at "god" as whatever created this "game" (it must be a game, because the purpose is clearly to play), then God clearly intends for you just to play the game, not waste time talking about God. If you're having fun, God's probably happy with that, since after all, he is the game. Everything in life lives and breathes and works like God intended. There might be easter eggs in the game, like shooting the head of John Romero in Doom, but that's more a sideline. It's kinda like those little things the designer does to let you know he's there, but for the most part he should be invisible. If you see a miracle, it's probably you unlocking one of God's easter eggs, but that's all. Now go back and play your game.