A simple reminder. There is evil in the world. But there is hope. We will never forget the tragedy and the innocent victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Main image source
A simple reminder. There is evil in the world. But there is hope. We will never forget the tragedy and the innocent victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Main image source
Elite Dangerous is a massively multiplayer online space game by Frontier Developments. Although the game requires a persistent internet connection it also features a solo or single-player mode. Elite Dangerous is the successor to Elite which was first released in 1984 and now 30 plus years later, the game has seen quite a change.
My history with Elite Dangerous is virtually non-existent aside from hearsay about a learning curve and how fantastic the game is to play in Virtual Reality. Now it’s true I have interest in open world simulation games such as X-plane, Microsoft Flight Simulator and both Euro and American Truck simulators but interest in a space game not so much. It seems most space games are about aliens, monsters and mostly shooting other spaceships in an arcadey fashion. Something about the wide open vast nothingness of space travel also hasn’t had much appeal….but then again I have never encountered game quite like Elite Dangerous.
Something about Elite Dangerous seemed different. Oh and there’s that learning curve I kept hearing about. A learning curve to play a game? There is always some learning when you are starting a new game especially in flight simulators but this game simulation was suppose have a notable learning curve and was not meant to be taken lightly.
And so armed with a wee bit of knowledge of what I might be getting myself into only through those online game reviews and gameplay, I took the plunge into beginning my journey into the world of Elite Dangerous. And what a journey it has been.
Now I don’t consider myself a very fast learner and besides that I prefer to take my time to make sure I’m understanding what I learn. And so after 14 hours later, I was able to fly my first ship! Did I mention I like to take my time? You see, perhaps Elite Dangerous is a game at heart but it’s also a simulation that takes place in space. It must be experienced and that’s not even with VR! Now I generally do not enjoy multiplayer games and so my time in ED has been spent in singleplayer (Solo) mode, along with training tutorials and the options menu for keybindings and that is probably one of best places to start in Elite Dangerous.
If you aren’t familiar with the game, within the universe of Elite Dangerous there are 400 billion star systems as part of the in game reproduction of the Milkyway galaxy. All these systems can be seamlessly traveled to in a spaceship which you can upgrade as you gain credits. You begin the journey in a spaceship called the Sidewinder. If you die or crash in Elite Dangerous you will get your Sidewinder back but will have to start over. Later, when you buy a different ship, you will need to pay a rebuy amount (5%) of your total ship value should you die or crash it.
For me the learning curve in Elite Dangerous has been first and foremost related to keybindings and understanding both the game, menus and ship systems terminology. At the start you will want to take a look or two or three at that Elite Dangerous manual which gives a nice overview of system terms. Of course you will need to learn how to operate your ship and it’s not a point and click operation (at first). Each ship features a six-way on-board thruster system (vertical(up and down), lateral(side-to-side), forward and backward and don’t forget about pitch, roll and yaw) somewhat like trying to fly a Harrier jet in space. But unless you would like to go spinning uncontrollable toward the side of the spaceport you might want to leave Flight Assist on.
If you have familiarity with flight/combat simulators then learning to fly in Elite Dangerous will a piece of cake, maybe. Your ship features thrusters are not unfamiliar but figuring out your keybindings just might be! I am using a Flight Stick with throttle control – Thrustmaster Hotas X (Hands On Throttle and Stick). Also a keyboard, a mouse and a Xbox controller. I have heard you can fly with a keyboard and mouse only but I haven’t tried it.
Moving from one star system to another within the galaxy is also a new experience which must be learned. We just don’t do that kind of thing on Earth!
Likewise docking (landing) in a spacestation-like port is also not like driving to grandmas around the block in your car unless you use AutoDock which is a newer feature of the game. (Note: All ships come equipped with AutoDock, Auto Launch and Auto Cruise. Auto Cruise can be useful when hyper-traveling around the galaxy.)
So you can move around in Elite Dangerous and you’re learning the keybindings and termology? Good. Now what? As a noob to ED at just over 80 hours (at the time of this post) I have learned about a few things you can do in this vast openworld galaxy. There is a war going on within the game but it appears to me, at least visually speaking, to be a nearly silent war (maybe it’s different in Open mode with human players?). But nevertheless, space is really big and so unless you go looking for a fight you might not find any. Each port features a news and mission board which displays information about the faction war and their particular allegiance (if any). You can choose to do missions for the leaders of the factions to earn credits (in game currency) or go exploring on your own.
I have found that doing Courier jobs at first helps as you are learning how to jump from star system to system and it doesn’t require any cargo space. The data is store on your internal computer and if you get scanned by another ship or pirate they will not try to steal your stuff. NPC’s or none playable characters are all that is found in the solo mode but in Open play mode you will encounter human players.
Recently I have begun to explore systems and map individual planets using the Detailed Surface Scanner (which must be bought at a Starport). The data you get after mapping a planet and from discovered systems can be sold 20ly (light years) away in a different star system for sometimes hundreds of thousands of credits!) If you prefer combat, you can learn how to shoot other ships down and gain credits for doing it. Besides doing missions, you might try mining an asteroid, landing on a planet and disabling turrets on the base for a particular faction leader. This is part of the war except you won’t encounter actual people or aliens walking around with guns. Maybe you like to free-roam and wish to visit a random planet (not for a mission). You can with the included SRV (Surface Recon Vehicle) that is part of the Horizons expansion pack in Elite Dangerous. Horizons is great especially if you want to be able to land on some of the planets and moons. (Note: As of this post there is no life on the planets and you cannot land on any Earth-like planets)
I haven’t really scratched the surface (aside from a few planets) of what this game probably has to offer since I am still quite new. However, I have been able to get a glimpse of what this game is and how vast it is. Elite Dangerous is masterpiece in it’s size and beauty but something more jaw dropping is what this game is based off of. When you go outside on a clear night, look up at the night sky and see hundreds of dots of light and realize those are suns similar to our own—one cannot but ask at least one big question. Who made all this?
I know the Maker of the Universe and perhaps you do as well. But if you do not know the Creator Almighty God, there is a reason why it matters more than anything else on this earth. Elite Dangerous was made by mere men but someday all men will face God. Some will meet God willingly in worship and some will be kicking and screaming but today you have an opportunity to find out who the true God really is and why it matters. Many people believe in Heaven but if hell is real place you need to find out what that means to you. I don’t want anyone to go there. If you haven’t already why not check out the good person test linked at my website or read my post called 5 things you should know before you die. And if you have a Bible start reading in John 1. The good person test and starting with John 1 from the Bible will give you a good start to understanding who God is and why it matters since none of us are promised tomorrow. And in case you wondered, this is a matter of life or death and not about joining a religion or church.
You learn quite a bit in Elite Dangerous, you need to even to survive but is it a game I would recommend? And how about that learning curve? I would enthusiastically recommend Elite Dangerous but especially to anyone with special interest in Flight/combat simulators and/or truck simulation games with a twist. If you don’t mind learning and setbacks and frustrations and grind to get a reward (menial at first) then you might like this game. Each person is different but do your research and then if you still like what you see, get it on sale with Horizons. Naturally, you will need to take your time to learn ED but I think it can be a rewarding experience when you learn something new. I know it has been for me (and that’s saying a lot).
My Rating (out of 10) 8.5 out of 10
images are my own in-game screenshots
Like many liberal organizations, it would appear that Microsoft has bowed to the altar of hate by hating God and loving sin through their blatant backing of the LGBTQI community. On the Microsoft store website they ask, what actions will you take? Throughout the site is various computer related merchandise with the goal to promote LGBTQI sin. (Note: the LGBTQI promoted merchandise and action site has since been removed – see screenshot above)
You might be asking why is this hate? And the simple answer is because Microsoft has chosen to dishonor and hate God Creator of the Universe, His laws but instead love their sin and the sins of others. But they don’t stop there. They go on to promote their hatred of God and love of their sin and the LGBTQI sins by running a campaign about it on their store and website.
Imagine the uproar if Microsoft or Google had embraced God’s holiness and righteousness on their website such as they have with sin.
It’s important to note that we all have the same desires to sin and have broken God’s law (sinned against a holy God).
Romans 3: 10-18
There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."
" Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; " The poison of asps is under their lips";
" Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."
" Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Destruction and misery are in their ways;
And the way of peace they have not known."
" There is no fear of God before their eyes."
And spiritually speaking the unregenerate heart is even hostile to God. In fact, that’s the main point of why we are in desperate need of deliverance. God is holy but we are not and cannot enter heaven without a Deliverer. If you haven’t already, check out the good person test and if you are super bold read the book of John in the Bible. You may not have tomorrow.
image actual Microsoft store screenshot as of 6/29/19
Today many celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ but just Who is this Jesus anyways? And most importantly why does it matter?
Jesus talking to the Jews said.. “I have come to you representing my Father, and you refuse to welcome me, even though you readily accept others who represent only themselves. You gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from God alone. “ (John 5:43- 44)
”The Father and I are one” (John 10:30)
The high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say. And in the future you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God’s right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror, shouting, “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. (Matthew 26:63-65)
Jesus said to the man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” “Who does this man think he is?” the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to each other. “This is blasphemy! Who but God can forgive sins?” The Jewish leaders tried all the more to kill him. In addition to disobeying the Sabbath rules, he had spoken of God as his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.
The Jewish leaders replied“…you, a mere man, have made yourself God.” (John 10:33)
After reading the above passages, you may have realized many trends. I would like to draw your attention to a simple yet common theme. This particular theme stirred up many who listened to Jesus talk. The Jewish leadership and others sought to even kill Jesus because of it and eventually we know they did. But why such hatred for an apparently good man who healed, and even performed countless miracles? Why would simple statements and acts of kindness and love by Jesus cause the leaders to cry out “blasphemy!” from a simple statement by Jesus? We know the answer from the verses above.
Jesus claimed one thing that was clear to all who heard Him speak. Jesus made the claim to be God and this was obvious blasphemy to the Jewish leadership. Likewise, even today this remains true. This claim continues to be considered blasphemy by Jesus and/or anyone who claims to be God unless of course it is true and Jesus truly is who He says He is. Like the Jewish leaders, I am aware that many today choose to believe Jesus is not who He claims and yet are willing to accept the account of the life of Jesus. In fact, many might even consider Jesus to be a good teacher and one who would offer good advice.
For us this remains true. If we do not believe Jesus is God than no one can be able to trust anything Jesus says to be the truth. If you do not believe Jesus is who He claims to be, than how can one trust Him to have been even remotely a good teacher? The choice remains. Either Jesus is God and the Savior of the world with power to forgive sin or He is not. Your life depends on who you put your trust in. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus was crucified and rose from the grave three days later. It’s only because the tomb is empty and Jesus rose from the grave that anyone can have peace with God.
It’s no secret that Subnautica is a popular game but is there more to this game than alien creatures?
Could Subnautica share some allegorical tones with Christianity in our world today? Let’s take a closer look at the game that won PC game of the year for 2018.
Important note: This post contains spoilers
Subnautica is an underwater survival game in which you, the player, have crash landed on an alien planet. The planet is filled with alien sea creatures–some scary and some cute and friendly while others are downright deadly.
In a similar way, the earth we live on is filled with people, some of which are hostile to others, mean and outright murderous. And still many people are genuinely nice, friendly and trustworthy. For a Christian, we know the hostility many face is because of our simple belief and trust in the God of the Bible—namely Jesus Christ.
Within Subnautica a bacterium (known as the Kharaa bacterium) has infected the planet’s inhabitants, alien life, including you the player, and apparently has become part of the ecosystem of the make-believe planet known as Planet 4546B.
In Genesis from the Bible we learn that the day Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin entered our world and has infected all of mankind. (Sin in our world is the breaking of God’s law (the Ten Commandments)).
In Subnautica the primary goal’s are to find a cure for the Kharaa bacterium and ultimately leave the planet (since it’s not your real home).
Today, the world needs a cure for sin otherwise they will be facing God on Judgment when they die without their sin fixed and taken care of. To the Christian, earth is not a permanent home because heaven is our ultimate hope.
In Subnautica, the planet’s inhabitants need a savior–someone to rescue it from the doom it is facing. You the player, also need to be rescued.
In real life, we each find ourselves (whether we admit to it or not) in far worse predicament. Since God is holy and perfect He cannot have sin in his presence which means no sinful person can be in His presence without being consumed by His judgment. Sort of like a dry leaf being consumed by fire. And as a good judge must punish a lawbreaker God must deal with our breaking His laws. God being just and righteous means He must punish sin wherever it is found. Ever broke God’s law? Let’s see. Ever lied? Stolen something? Hated someone? God views human hatred as murder. Lusted? Jesus said to look with lust is the same as adultery (see Matthew 5:28). Ever used God’s name as a cuss word? Hitler and Muhammad names are not even hated as much to be used as a cuss word. To use God’s name to express disgust is blasphemy. The point is, we All have sinned by breaking God’s perfect holy law and need someone who hasn’t sinned to save us from judgment in hell.
In the game Subnautica, a rescue attempt is made by the spacecraft Sunbeam. As the Sunbeam descends onto the alien planet it is immediately destroyed, killing all the crew on board.
To me this valiant attempt at rescue by the Sunbeam could be looked as in similar terms as current world religions and people groups who try to persuade people to believe anything but what is true about God, the Bible and Jesus. They come with a message full of a different Jesus or no Jesus at all but the results are the same. Their effort is to deny, suppress or ignore who God really is and the reality of our sinful offense against God Himself.
As there should be in any great game, there is a hope in Subnautica but it has nothing to do with God, Jesus or the Bible. A large sea creature called the Sea Emperor and something known as Enzyme 42 is where you will find this hope. The Sea Emperor is the only source of Enzyme 42 and ends up dying while her young hatch and save the planet (and you). They hold the cure to saving the infected planet.
In real life, God is the only one who can save mankind from coming judgment against sin. God paid the penalty of our breaking His law through Jesus Christ. Jesus, God manifest in the flesh, took the punishment for sin by dying on a cross. While we cannot fully understand God’s sacrifice for our sin or what He went through and the love He has for us (since He’s God and we’re not) we do know he rose again after three days. Jesus’ in completing the payment for sin was raised from the grave which ultimately demonstrated His love for all who believe in Him. So Jesus defeated death (punishment in hell), sin and judgment for all who repent and trust in Him. Do you know where you are going after you die?
He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:3-6)
Do you know Him?