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Sacred 3: If Someone Asks If You Are a God, You Say Yes!

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 26 Aug 2014 12:00
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Extra Punctuation Sacred 3

I'm not what you'd call a religious man. I used to consider myself a fairly hard-line atheist - YEAH DEAL WITH IT SOCIETY - but I've mellowed a bit since those days. I've started to think that maybe there is no reason to assume that the universe could only have come into existence by accident. Perhaps the Big Bang could have been set off as a deliberate act by some form of intelligence that is as incomprehensible to us as our society is to a goldfish in a bowl. I figure, since there's probably no way of knowing the exact circumstances that led up to the Big Bang, it'd be arrogant to dismiss anything outright.

Of course, what I most certainly cannot believe is that there could exist any kind of interventionist deity who created us for a purpose and still guides our development, crying with shame whenever anyone masturbates, because the world in which we live is far easier to accept as the result of random chaotic fluctuations. I know a lot of people take comfort in the idea of a guiding, fatherly hand up there, but I'm not sure why. Personally, I find the notion extremely discomforting. Theists don't seem to realize what a complicated answer 'God did it' really is. Each time, it raises the same mass of questions, sprawling out from each other like a pit of snakes. What is God? Where did it come from? Where is it now? What is its plan? Does it love us? How could it love us? How could an immortal being of incomprehensible power possibly feel empathy for a human? It could wipe out an entire nation by trailing its sleeve across the Earth and probably not even notice.

A world that has actual, active, interventionist deities would be one so alien to our own, on so many fundamental levels, that it would be virtually impossible to understand anything that happens in it, right down to individual mindsets and decision-making. Which brings me to the subject of video game theology, also known as "Everything Kratos Hasn't Gotten Around To Slaughtering Yet."

I found myself thinking this way after Sacred 3, after playing to the endgame scenario in which the villain whose name I can't remember is performing a ritual that, in some vague and poorly-thought-out manner fairly typical of the game, will turn him into a God. Now, that's such a standard fantasy villain motive that it's probably unfair to pick on Sacred 3 specifically about it, but I've already kicked it enough that a few more blows won't hurt. On the surface, wanting to turn yourself into a God is the absolute height of insane pride and megalomania and a fitting desire for your standard certified Bad Guy.

But that position is one we take because we live in a world where there is no observable God and the concept is too unreal and outlandish. It makes sense that we think having the ambition to become a God is completely delusional, as is believing you can hear His voice in your head. But you have to consider the context that Sacred 3's villain is in, and I still can't remember his name, so I'm just going to refer to him as Winker Watson. Winker Watson lives in a world where not only is there a confirmed presence of powerful interventionist deities, but that the Gods are actively working against him.

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