Despite the technological advances in computer graphics, and stunningly realistic gaming engines, one very popular video game currently is Minecraft – which has the graphical quality of a 1980’s Nintendo console game.
Since the early 1990’s, there have been very successful games that place the user in control of building, maintaining, and controlling virtually everything. [I.E. Sim City, and the Sims, Lego games, World of Warcraft, Farmville, Roller Coaster Tycoon, etc…] With Minecraft in particular, the game is really what you make it, and while the building blocks of the game are primitive, the possibilities are endless.
Why do we humans have such a desire to build, create, care-take, and omnipresently witness the happenings of what we’ve built? Is this wrong – to wish to “play God?”
I think the God of the universe placed inside the hearts of man a desire to build. After all, we are made in the image of the great Creator! I was, and am still, very much a fan of Lego’s. Just last week, I busted out a box of them and built a fancy car after a stressful day at work. It was perhaps cathartic to feel like I was in control of something for a change!
Thinking we’re in control should be in great moderation however. History riddled with examples of those wishing to be in control and build their own empires apart from God, and inevitably they all end in bloodshed and misery.
Mankind is innovative. We want to build upon our knowledge and create new and better stuff. History however is riddled with intelligent and sincere people being sincerely wrong in what they thought was the epitome of knowledge. Science, technology, medical research, archaeology, etc.. have come a long way, but all still have great flaws and limitations because we don’t have everything figured out just yet!
Unfortunately, mankind can tend to be innovative in the wrong ways. Just think of all the brilliant weapons of warfare we have created. Or even great deceptions and lies that man can conceive.
For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not.” Jer 4:22
I sometimes wonder why the Tower of Babel was such a big deal. It is not as though the tower would have actually “reached heaven” as they boasted it would, but yet the attitude among the people of the earth at the time, all speaking the same language and in the same place was a recipe for danger and disaster. [Unifying the people in language and goals is powerful, and is one reason why the beast power will be such a force that none can stand against it]. Nimrod was actively trying to one-up God, and while that was obviously impossible, a gentle reminder via destruction was in order.
Still, this intrinsic desire that mankind has to create and to in essence “play God” can be good and bad. As any parent would know, children can often innocently overestimate their abilities at tasks. Likewise, I am sure God laughs when we basically tell Him that we can be the sole author and director of our lives. Yet, in the right context and perspective this desire can be wonderful and a blessing.
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Rev 5:10
And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. Luke 19:17
That’s not a bad ratio! Those who overcome, and are counted worthy to enter the Kingdom of God, will be given a chance to be a ruler over many cities! Perhaps this would involve rebuilding them, Minecraft or Lego-style, and making sure it stays in working order like Sim City.
When I build in these games, I can realize that while I have a small sense of pride with what I’ve created, I am a very small human in the vast universe that God created! How can we not be in awe of the awesome creation? So perhaps while we enjoy building and creating, we can be mindful of the nature of THE Creator in us, and like a small child trying to his/her father, we can say that we want Minecraft to be like Yourcraft.