Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Friday, March 25, 2005


1) "God does not play dice" -- Albert Einstein
2) "I think we're beyond euphemisms at this point. God is a skee-ball fanatic" -- Rufus the Thirteenth Apostle, "Dogma"

Now, I know Kevin Smith thought it would be amusing to build a plot around an absentee deity who got him/herself assaulted while on a skee-ball binge in New Jersey, but I got to thinking about the analogy.

Smith never took it this far, and good thing, because this theological argument gets too weighty, but what would God's favorite arcade game be and why? (I'm not talking about video games here - strictly the classic arcade or carnival games - popping balloons, pinball, skee-ball, basketball, target shooting, that game where you flip a rubber chicken or a frog into a cup, etc). I think an individual's answer says a lot about his or her theology.

For instance, my immediate answer to the question is that God's favorite carnival or arcade game is probably whack-a-mole. Now, this says whole lot about my cynical stance on religion. If you take the implications to the extreme, God is merely an uncaring being who reacts instinctually to "whack" those who stand out. The more he/she/ it whacks, the better for him or herself. All the moles are the same, and they all get whacked (some more than once) in the end. Poor moles we are.

What if you thought God's favorite game was skee-ball like in Dogma? Skee-ball is kind of a game of skill, but at the center of it, it is a game of high-risk, high-reward. You can go for the 200 point circle on the periphery, but miss, and you end up with 10. Play up the middle, and you'll probably score better, although you won't end up with a high score. Again, the answer to this question has theological implications.

How about the ring toss, where you have three chances to toss a ring onto a bottle? Now, all the bottles are the same, and often, the ring you throw will ricochet and bounce before falling onto a bottle. I'd say if you thought God liked the ring toss, there's a certain amount of chance involved in your world-view.

Now, if you think God's favorite arcade game would be the "Test of Strength," then we can certainly make conclusions about survival of the fittest.

That race where you fire a water gun at a target to get your pig to move along a racetrack? The more people you play with, the bigger the reward is. Very capitalist.

Did you decide that your favorite game is also God's favorite game? How narcissistic.

There's also the possibility that, like Einstein said (I'm reinterpreting his quote here), that God does not play at all.

In which case, we might conclude that God is the house/casino/arcade, and no matter how well we play the variety of games of chance and skill, he/she/it always wins.

Or we might take the less cynical stance and conclude, like the Puritans, that games are bad and to even suggest that God plays games is blasphemy.


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