Every once in awhile, when I need a mental break from what I’m doing, I’ll visit one of those free online Flash games sites and unwind mentally for about five or ten minutes before jumping back into the fray. Last week, the site released a new game called Pandemic II (obviously, there was a Pandemic I, but I’ve never seen it). The game description intrigued me. I checked it out. I was hooked. But for a different reason than most people get hooked on silly little online games like this…
Pandemic II is a strategy game. Your job is to create a super disease that is capable of infecting and killing everyone on the planet. You create your disease (it can be a virus, a bacteria, or a parasite–each with pros and cons). The game randomly places the initial outbreak in one of about a dozen or so regions of the world. There are basically four aspects of your disease that you must keep in mind:
- Adaptability. Is your disease resistant to heat, cold, moisture, and drugs?
- Infectivity. How well and how quickly does your disease spread?
- Visibility. Do the symptoms you chose for your disease give away the fact that people are getting sick? For example, a fever isn’t nearlyas noticeable as vomiting.
- Lethality. How efficiently and how fast does it end life?
The goal of the game is to infect every person with your disease, and for the disease to be terminal. Over time, your disease must adapt in order to spread to other regions of the world. It must develop symptoms that will help the disease infect others, but without being visible. It must adapt symptoms that will end in death before a vaccine is developed. It takes some thinking and planning, sometimes “outside the box.” Twisted? Yeah, it is. But the longer I played this game, the more it got me thinking about the gospel. For the rest of the week, I’ll post on each of these aspects of Pandemic II and how they relate to God’s mission for the church–the spreading of the gospel, which gives life.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the gospel’s adaptability…
And for you geeky online gaming types, I’ll give you the link to the game on Friday.