Thursday, August 5, 2010

Playing God

My current addiction: Godfinger. The game is a downloadable application for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users where players can well... pretend to be God. At the touch of one's fingers, one can send rain, sunshine or a thunderstorm to the home planet, accumulate followers by granting their wishes and deprive non-believers of "manna". By using "awesome points", you, as God, can purchase decorations to beautify your planet. Point to the terrain and one can transform flat lands into valleys, cliffs and volcanoes. Zoom out and the screen reveals a galaxy with your planet in the center, surrounded by other planets (maintained by other users).

Maybe it's the Catholic in me, being born and raised by an extremely devout Catholic mother and having attended a Catholic school for 14 years, that made me a little bit uncomfortable while playing the game for the first time. Initially, I thought, Wow, this is a bit extreme, right? I can understand a nerd wanting to live the life of a Mafia lord or a farmer, but to play God? Eventually, I caved in and got over my discomfort. My home planet has grown since then and I now have 5 followers.

Just like any other escapist game, again, it's geared towards the pleasure of being in control over the things one doesn't normally have, or in this case, one will NEVER EVER have, in real life.


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