If you haven’t had your nose in the evangelical Twittersphere lately—and we certainly don’t blame you if you haven’t—then you’ve likely missed the stink raised over BO.
We better explain that one.
Conservative commentator and exiled Jedi knight Rod Dreher launched a new book last month titled The Benedict Option, and it’s generated no end of fractious debate in religious circles. Dreher believes we’re entering a kind of moral Dark Ages thanks to postmodernism, progressivism, and all sorts of other long words, and the best thing for believers of good conscience to do is hunker down with other like-minded folk in their community and wall off their faith from the influences of evil, wicked, and just plain mean secularism. Dissatisfied with the details of Dreher’s plan, some writers have ginned up their own “Option” to see us through our culture’s free-fall into utter depravity. The weather’s a bit apocalyptic out there, it seems.
(By the way, the title of Dreher’s book does not refer to a certain breakfast item, but to St. Benedict, a popular 6th century blogger.)
Not to be left behind in this important, traffic-generating debate, we here at Gamechurch would like to offer the contemplative nerd our own alternative videogame-inspired Options. After all, even if you’re fleeing from the collapse of Western civilization as we know it, there’s no reason you can’t bring your Nintendo.
1. The Sonic the Hedgehog Option
To escape the robotic forces of secularism, tuck yourself into a ball and start spinning real fast. When you’re all revved up (you’ll hear a high-pitched sound), roll yourself to safety through rollercoaster-shaped terrain, sucking up as many gold rings as you can along the way. You’ll need those for the boss fight against Jill Stein.
2. The Super Mario Option
There’s no helping it: Bowser’s Occupy Mushroom Kingdom movement has conquered the land. It’s time to don your brown overalls and red cap and parkour your way to the Flagpole of Safety at the monastery. As you kick turtles and stomp on sentient muffins throughout your journey, be sure to eat all the stray mushrooms, flowers, and stars you find. This will sustain your prayer life.
3. The Super Mario Brothers 3 Option
Bop that secularist Goomba on the noggin and climb inside his Green Shoe. If possible, establish an order of monks inside the Green Shoe. No harm can come to those within the Green Shoe. Once inside the Green Shoe, shake your fist and shout defiantly, “O death, where is thy sting?”
4. The Grand Theft Auto Option
First, shoot this drug dealer and—er, first, steal that car and—er, first, pay the prostitute and—er. Huh. Let’s just move on.
5. The Bioshock Option
Is man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? To escape the restrictive and unimaginative forces of secularism, build an advanced underwater city replete with Art Deco stylings and vending machines that sell spiritual powers. Secluded communities devoted to the perfection of humankind never go wrong!
6. The Xenogears Option
Flee to a quaint countryside village and enjoy the quiet and idyllic life of an innocent bumpkin, unburdened by all the cares of a broader world embroiled in endless conflict. Breathe the fresh air and enjoy the company of friendly locals, all the while remaining blissfully unaware that humans are not really human at all, but the mass raw material for a biological planet-devouring superweapon, which crash-landed on your planet ten thousand years ago after real human beings banished it from Earth. This will sustain your prayer life.
7. The Sims Option
Build your ultramodern monastery in the suburbs and accessorize it with the hottest decorations and furniture from thirty overpriced addon packs. Cultivate an atmosphere of contemplation and holiness in your household, and if any troublemakers arise, lead them into the pool and delete the ladder for a permanent baptism.
8. The Half-Life 3 Option
What if, like, reality is just a computer simulation, and we’re all, like, strapped into one of Gabe Newell’s VR devices, and we’re living inside Half-Life 3? The gameplay of Half-Life 3 consists entirely of whatever we happen to be doing at the moment. Therefore, let us make Half-Life 3 a game about devoted prayer and handing down our sacred values to our children and our children’s children in our protected communities.
We will also institute a program of extreme vetting to ensure no headcrab-infested individuals make it past our wall.
9. The Minecraft Option
Why love your neighbor or make disciples of all nations when you can instead build an impenetrable stone fortress in the sky to keep out the groaning progressive masses? And while you’re at it, might as well construct a handy conveyor belt to carry that burdensome cross Jesus told you to take up. Perfect!