There are scientists working with teams at thegamingmonitor.com right now to try and figure out if the universe is actually a massive holograph. Frankly, I’m not really sure what it would mean if it turns out it is. As long as our only awareness is within this realm, I don’t see how knowing that I’m stuck in an intricate projection would change anything. But I do have my own unprovable theory about technology and the nature of our lives which I think could be useful. It’s this: what if we thought of our lives as us taking part in a massive, intense, virtual reality video game? Now, I’m no gamer myself, so I’m sure I’m going to miff some details here, but bear with me.
See, I think that when we become embodied, it’s like starting to play this virtual reality game. The physical realm is the setting for the game. One of the game’s features is that it’s so all-encompassing, we tend to forget that it’s not reality (or at least doesn’t represent ultimate reality which would be the spiritual world). It would take some of the best gaming monitors the world has ever seen, times 100 to even get close to that immersion. It seems likely that some of us retain the memory that we’ve entered into this alternate world for a while when we are very young. Thus the common beliefs/reports that infants and small children can see angels.
Like a video game avatar, everyone gets a body to use during their time in the game. While each of us bears the image of God, these bodies are shaped by a nearly endless array of genetic differences, environmental exposures, quirks of growth and such before we are born. Add the influence of external factors – circumstances, relationships and parents and each of our avatars carry God’s image in completely unique ways as we move through the game.
Like all games, this one was made with challenges, risks and even unavoidable traps and dangers. In the Christian tradition, there has been a tendency to think that prior to the fall, the world was perfect. Unless you were a plant, because everyone – even the tigers and vampire bats – ate you. But the reality is that God declared the created world “good”, not perfect. All of the evidence we have points to the reality that there have always been earthquakes, sickness, droughts and animals who think we look like a tasty treat. But if we remember that this life is a game, then we can also remember that any game worth playing has challenges and risks or its just not worth playing. Part of what happened at the fall seems to have been that we decided that life – including ourselves – wasn’t good enough. But even with flesh eating bacteria and spiders the size of our heads, the world was made good and it still is today.
I think that the story of the creation of man can be the story of the day when God said to adam – humanity – “come and see this place I’ve made for you to play in. It has plants and animals, day and night, mountains and valleys for you to enjoy and cultivate. I’m going to start you off in a garden where you can tend to the land and the animals there to start off with. You will be paired as male and female to have children so that everyone can get a chance to play the game and learn and grow there. Some of you will play the game for many seasons and some of you will kind of pop in and out. At the end of your turn, we’ll take a look back and see how you did. There are risks, of course, but I made you very good. You’ll figure out how to advance in the game to deal with these risks over your generations.” Continue reading “Life as a Video Game”