Game Concept: “Tutorial”

I had an amusing thought for a joke game. I think we can all say we hate forced tutorials, and I find it particularly annoying when you’re forced to go through the steps just demonstrated. The idea is to make a parody of such tutorials as well as overwrought and unnecessary game mechanics. It starts insultingly simple, telling you how to pick up an item. As it goes on, doing something “simple” involves following complex interacting rules that aren’t mentioned until you inadvertently violate them. Over time, the error messages get impatient with you: “You can’t alchemitize a silver weapon with a Pargon rune while your Lunar Orrery is in a waning phase! What’s wrong with you?!”

For naming conventions on game mechanics, I’d draw inspiration from MS Paint Adventures, including some shout-outs to it. I’d also probably poke fun at real games that overdo it.


I originally planned to post this yesterday, and PZ inadvertently reminded me. Speaking in favor of social justice, equity and all that on the atheist/skeptical blogosphere is good, but since I include gaming as one of my topics, I think it’s appropriate to make an explicit vow that I’ll speak up in my gaming sphere. Sexism, homophobia, and racism are everywhere, and that includes gamer culture. I’m sure people who play more multiplayer and/or mainstream games experience it more often than I do. For what it’s worth, I’ll add my voice to counter bigotry when I’m playing with others.

Of course, the title isn’t a terribly serious attempt to replicate the impact atheism+ is having in its early phase, but who knows? Maybe the plus thing will expand to other communities. I doubt I’ll have cause to claim a big contribution, but I’ll do what I can with my tiny voice.


Since it’s the thing making waves in the atheist community and I put the logo on my sidebar, I thought I’d post some quick thoughts.

1. This isn’t redefining atheism. We’re a subset of atheists who have long been interested in social justice making our existing subgroup more explicit with a label. We aren’t defining other atheists out of atheism. We’re defining who we are, not who you are.

2. You aren’t required to join. If you’re complaining about our devotion to social justice, equity, and so forth, we probably aren’t interested in signing you up, and we have no ability to force you to do so.

3. If you’re complaining about someone unfriending you from Facebook or something because they didn’t like your anti-plus speech, welcome to the internet and social interaction with other sapient beings. Just like we can’t force you to join atheism+, you can’t force other people to associate with you.

4. “Divisive“: From my point of view, the various forms of bigotry and apathy towards social justice were an existing point of division. The act of making an explicit label for which side we took in that division isn’t going to change anything except possibly bring more direct attention to the issue. What’s the problem?

5. There’s no ultimate leader. We seem to be getting some people who are accusing us of being authoritarian while simultaneously claiming to be baffled that we haven’t deified an infallible authoritarian leader. We don’t need an absolute authority, nor do we want one. This is an internet culture that’s gotten along fine without explicit leaders. We just have popular figures who act as a nexus for quickly bringing widespread attention to issues, and that’s enough for me. We’re a culture, not a hierarchical organization with a bureaucracy. We don’t have marching orders, we have suggestions.

6. There’s no “silencing” going on. Just criticism. Know the difference. We don’t have to give you a platform if we don’t want to associate with you. If an Atheism+ network doesn’t want you on their list of writers and speakers, you’ll just have to go to the many other forms of media to express yourself. It’s not like we hold a monopoly on blogging.

7. There is no dogma. There is no sacred text. There is no revelation from divine forces. I consider bigotry bad because I’ve seen some of its effects, know how its mechanisms work, and how those forces build on each other to cause inequity. I also paid decent attention in history class. I fail to see how any of that entails a leap of faith.