C.S. Lewis said we can get a fresh look at something by looking at its reflection in a mirror.
Video games, even the most bizarre ones, are designed to resemble life in some way. Which means on some level, we really can get a fresh look at real life by recognizing a pixellated version of it’s reflection in our gaming adventures. It’s not that life is like a video game; video games are like life.
For example, most video games are designed to offer a series of increasingly difficult challenges. Even “free-play” worlds like Skyrim have been woven together by a series of interconnected stories that require something of us. Many of these stories form a larger epic narrative. We’re not shocked to meet these challenges in our gaming; in a sense, they are the game. We know we have to overcome certain challenges to “level up” and grow. Games that are too easy are no fun to play.
Your life is designed
Even with free will in the picture, the Bible says your real life has been specially designed:
“All the days ordained for me were written in your book, before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)
“From one man (God) made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” (Acts 17:26)
“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Life is full of challenges
Your real life is designed to offer a series of increasingly difficult challenges to spur you in our personal growth and faith. These challenges aren’t an affront to life; this side of the Fall, they are the life you live:
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (I Peter 4:12,13).
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4).
The coolest part of the game
The biggest difference between the gaming world and the real world is that you can have a relationship with the Designer. Hardcore Gamers often buy books dedicated to offering detailed “walkthroughs” of their favourite games written by fellow gamers. But imagine bumping into a gaming challenge you can’t seem to beat and being able to call the development team for advice!
But let’s make it even more awesome. Imagine a video game that contained a pathway (within the game, no less) you could follow that would open up a way for your character to begin a real live relationship with the Designer. That would be the coolest video game ever!
Imagine finding that pathway and excitedly sharing it with friends. Imagine most of your friends laughing it off as a stupid idea, dismissing it as a fairy tale.
The Bible says, “God did this (designed our universe) so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’” (Acts 17:27,28)
What’s the entry point? It’s written into the backstory of the game… I mean history.
“What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (I Corinthians 15:3,4).
Why did he do that? Because…
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Not unlimited lives. It’s better than that. Everlasting life.