Playing God (game)

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You may be looking to meddle in the affairs of humankind and not even know it!

Game-of-Life

Available in all good toy stores

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, when there's nothing else to do, why not rummage about in the cupboard and pull out The Game Of God? It's the best way to pass a few spare aeons, toying with the fates of some little plastic figurines.

However, if it transpires that you don't have your own set of The Game Of God, then you're kind of stuck. Why not try masturbation? It's been entertaining bored people for generations. What's more, you feel pretty good about yourself immediately afterwards.If that isn't a temporary ascendance to God-hood, I don't know what is. It's difficult to do that and keep your hands on the typewriter keys at the same time.

edit Gameplay

You start the game as a simple carved wooden idol, feared by pagans and with basic influence over the weather. Over the course of the first few centuries, you can develop your divinity by successfully influencing mortals to worship and praise you - lucky players will earn themselves a culture of human sacrifice. Continued play across time (and, eventually, space) will result in a civilisation based entirely on revering your name and savagely crushing those who refuse to believe in you. In general, the winner is the first player who converts the others into being mere memories, worshipped by humans who have a slender grasp on reality.

Individual players move by spinning the number wheel and advancing by the number shown. If the player lands on an action square, they follow the instructions given (for instance: advance three spaces; pay 10,000 belief points for God School; miss a go; smite the player to your left; and rain fire upon the unrighteous). There are compulsory stopping points around the board, where all players must perform a proscribed action, such as performing miracles, cursing unbelievers with leprosy or causing a flood to cleanse the world of sinners.

edit The Games Men Play

Since your little brother always cheats, regardless of whether he exists or not, you may get bored with The Game of God after a few millennia. If that's the case, why not try some of the other fine games available. Merely summon your deity of choice[1] and throw down the gauntlet.

Playing God is easy, fun and, with a little help from Satan, unlikely to leave you totally humiliated. It's best to play God in a game that has a high degree of random chance involved. Even God is powerless against small bits of chaos created by the shuffling of a deck or the roll of dice. Einstein famously said "God does not play dice with the Universe" because he, being a big genius and everything, knew God sucked at dice.

edit Ground Rules

Before you challenge God in a battle of wills, make sure you know the following rules:

  1. God always goes first.
  2. Play carries on to the left.
  3. Small blind is $100.
  4. Toilet breaks are allowed once an hour.
  5. You get a bonus turn when you roll a double.
  6. No blasphemy.

Otherwise, the standard rules of your game apply. Oh, and bring some snacks - you'll be playing for a while.

edit Choice of Game

It's well known that God is better at some games than others. This is a brief guide to what you might like to consider:

PokerGod

God is about to lose His shirt on the World Poker Tour

edit Poker

Playing God at poker is a little more difficult. He knows every thought in your head, so you have to fill your mind with all kinds of crazy thoughts to keep Him from knowing what your cards are. It's very hard to keep a "poker face" with God, although ironically the same goes for Him. He gets angry and tosses things around when He has a bad hand.

However, since He is always ready to jump on the bandwagon, God is a big fan of Texas hold 'em.

edit Chess

Long regarded as a game for intellectual titans, chess is a poor choice against God (although you should give it a shot if you ever end up playing Death). In order to win, you will need to anticipate every possible move you can make, only to find that God is all-knowing and He will have already determined what you will do. It's quite a blow to the ego to move your first piece, before God says "Mate in 27 moves."

edit Monopoly

A good choice, since God prefers an ascetic life and has difficulty in understanding possessions. Remember to get all of the red set - statistically speaking, Trafalgar Square/Illinois Avenue[2] is the square most often landed on[3]

edit Bridge

Nobody really knows how to play this, so you've got a good chance if you sound utterly convincing about what you understand the rules to be. Obviously, you'll want to contradict yourself periodically, just to maintain the aura of confusion.

edit Kerplunk

A fantastic game for all the family, as well as a good choice for taking on God. The trick is to exude an air of ice-cold confidence while pulling the straws out, regardless of how many marbles fall down. This is enough to make your opponent complacent, resulting in far more balls dropping down and, hence, your victory. You'll need to watch out for God trying to surreptitiously use His divine powers to make the marbles fall through to a parallel dimension.

edit Dungeons & Dragons

You'd think, after 4,000 years of practice, God would be quite good at inventing characters. However, he always goes for the Orog as His race and always chooses ninja as His character. It's so predictable and He always dies quickly. Anyway, with a good dungeon master, you'll find God has to spend time fending off Level 20 orcs until He can finally catch up with you. By that stage, His HP is so low that He'll get slaughtered by the next boss.

edit Possible Outcomes

As mentioned above, you might win against God. For this reason, you might want to consider playing for money - after all, winning infinity dollars from God will help clear a few bills (and He's always good for His debts). However, if you lose, you will discover the same is expected of you...and God can become vengeful if you try and duck what you owe. In fact, it's best not to play for money, now I come to think about it.

If you do play God and end up arguing over the rules, He will most likely smite you, for God is a vengeful deity. As a countermeasure against His smiting, experts[4] recommend wearing titanium underwear, tightened with duct tape that has been treated in the Fountain of Youth. This will add +20 to your lightning defence.

edit Sensible Precautions

While playing God, you must make sure that you have a cheat deck because, as acknowledged by Jesus in the Bible, God will probably have one, too.[5] This deck can be used to slip yourself an extra card which can, depending on the game, give you a full house, a fire Pokémon or the elusive Mr Bun the Baker.

Prayer is always a good idea. Since God is obliged to listen to the prayers of all true believers, He can be easily distracted by a plea for intervention in some imagined problem. This will give you time to sneak a look at His hand or move His piece on the board.

Note that God is all about the game and does not wish to be distracted by small talk. Attempting to discuss the latest emo music, the merits of different cheeses or even what that cheeky Richard Dawkins is up to will be met with imponderable silence. It's best to focus your efforts on not being humiliated.

edit Notes

  1. For convenience, this article will refer to the Judeo-Christian nomenclature of "God", although in the interest of harmony between the creeds, it is acknowledged that all deities are the same, no matter what their name.
  2. Depending on whether you play the proper, British version or the American version with streets nobody has ever heard of.
  3. This is actually true.
  4. Alas, these are unspecified experts, who are probably dead by now themselves
  5. This is not even slightly shown in the following totally irrelevant passage from the New Testament - "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Hebrews 1:9)
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