Hello Games has recently released arguably the most anticipated game of the decade. This game is No Man’s Sky, it is currently available on PlayStation 4 and PC. I have yet to play this game but I have watched players on Twitch (A website that live streams others as they play the game) as well as followed this game for over a year in the news. I also plan to get it upon its release on Aug 12th. That being said this game is making waves in the gaming community and we need not guess the reason as to why.
No Man’s Sky is so much fun and innovative, that I can watch others play it and yet not spoil it for myself. Why do you ask? Because No Man’s Sky boasts of 18 quintillion uncharted planets that are procedurally generated. A fancy way of saying that each planet is created upon your arrival by the games software rather than a developer handcrafting each minute detail. No planet, animal, ecosystem or plant will be the same, they will drastically differ from planet to planet. This is the largest undertaking as it pertains to the procedurally generated scope of any game.
The objective in No Man's Sky is to reach the center of the galaxy. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. You also will spend much of your time flying your own spacecraft that can either be upgraded, as well as buying other spaceships, or repairing a damaged one that has crashed on a planet upon which you just landed. You will also spend your time mining resources to upgrade your ship, suit, and weapon. Don't forget that you can name each and every animal, as well as planet that you find. Your objective isn't merely to get to the center of the galaxy, it's also to explore and discover. You can spend as much time as you like in one star system or you can get whatever you need to refuel, trade, then blast off the planet in order to reach the center faster. You encounter strange races that, unless you learn their languages by stopping at way points that reveal to you different words within their dialect, you will never understand them. As you are leaving a space station you may be attacked by pirates coming out of light speed and you either have to flee or fight back. These pirates may turn on a nearby cruiser of a race you have allied with; will you defend the cruiser or shrug and move along. These are the decisions you make as you discover the enormity of No Man’s Sky. The real question is, why do image-bearers of God feel pulled to play this game?
God is our creator. We exist for his pleasure and glory. He has stamped his image on us as our creator according to his Word.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” - Genesis 1:26
So what does it mean to be made in God’s Image? We often hear that question in Christian circles but many Christians might not know what that means. When God made, us he stamped his likeness upon us, which means we share some attributes of God. Some we do not share such as eternality, omniscience, and omnipresence but others such as love, justice, and truth are some that we do share.
Another attribute that I wish to point out in this article is that we create in ways, artistically for example, that mirror our Father in Heaven. We wish to discover and create using our Father’s creation. God has commanded us to take dominion of the earth (Genesis 1:28). We take what we have here on earth and fashion it so that it benefits us as either a tool or a consumable product. No Man’s Sky exploits this trait in us to great effect. Much of the fun in this game is simply discovering what could be on the next planet, around the hill, or orbiting the cosmos, as well as taking the resources we find and fashioning them to our advantage. Sometimes you will find that you cannot live on the current planet you are on until you gather resources for fuel.
#NoMansSky exploits our trait to mirror #God's creative nature to great effect.—@SolaApologia
As a Christian, if you are playing video games, I cannot recommend this game enough simply because it will allow you to marvel at the vast glory God has bestowed upon the creative nature of man. Though we merely discover, in awe, man-made algorithms and creatures in No Man’s Sky, this ultimately points us to our Creator Christ and his Creation. It reminds us that our purpose here on earth is to labor, create and experience this world for his glory and his pleasure. No Man’s Sky reminds us of our creator and the wonderful gift of creation as well as our obligation to subdue it, even if that means we take it to the stars and beyond.