This Digital Life

videogameThere are some significant merits to the idea that life is all a video game. It does make sense in many ways and alleviates some of the angst of life. It helps to have the perspective that none of this is real. Maybe it’s just a dream that God has set up so that we can explore life and learn without lasting harm.

If people think that God would REALLY set up a situation where people starve to death and there would be endless wars and abandoned children and diseases and all that, then no wonder they hate Him! If it’s just a digital life or a divine play, then it all makes sense. It is so amazingly REAL that we all get totally caught up in the drama of it.

But what if no one really dies? What if no one is really hurt? What if what we are really doing is hitting the Reset button every night when we sleep and then the Game Over button at the end of each life (assuming that we play the game repeatedly)? We can hit the Reset button or the Game Over button at any point. We choose to stay because we are still learning. We want to keep playing our digital life.

Some of us think we desperately want out on a regular basis, but we could leave any time. We can wake up as soon as we have learned everything we want to learn. Nothing is permanently deleted or permanently scarred. It’s interesting that people who see others after they have died (a topic thoroughly covered in the book Hello from Heaven) almost always see them young and healthy no matter the age at which they died. The infirmities they developed in life are not their eternal nature.

sourcecodeThe idea of life as a video game is nothing new and is quite widespread in some circles (see “If life were a video game, which of these levels would you be up to?”). The number of movies with this theme or a similar one is surprising. Source Code and The Truman Show come to mind immediately.

Perhaps most importantly, we can write our script in different ways even within one life. We are not tied to what has gone before. If we created it, we can uncreate it. We are not trapped or victims in the least. That’s great freedom and also great responsibility. I’ll take both.

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