Mindlessly grinding through the same content over and over again gets pretty monotonous for most gamers. Many of them want to play something fresh without buying a new game every week or so. In order to correct this problem with content, some developers decided to switch things up and allow for the games to recreate themselves. Through using block templates for level design, the developers gave the AI in the game the ability to recreate a new level every time one was replayed. This is known as procedurally generated gameplay, and it is the staple of a new genre of games; the “rogue-likes.”

Rogue-likes (or rogue-lites, depending on who you ask), are a sub-genre of games that are created to be replayed over and over and over again. The idea is to get as far as possible in the core gameplay using temporary upgrades to unlock the potential of getting better items each new game. Each new play session is considered to be a “run,” and it is the object of the game to improve your run and surpass others that have gone before you. Games such as Dead Cells, Enter the Gungeon, and Thea: The Awakening are all rogue-like titles, even though they are each unique in game style.

Image result for Thea: The awakening
Thea: The Awakening is a rogue-like table-top style game that never gives players the same experience twice.

These games are fun, but they provide a great deal of frustration to the player. With each new and random experience comes the uncertainty of whether or not the level will be easy or difficult. Take the game Thea for example, each new game gives the player random resources to set up their village, and they may or may not be in a position to gather resources without fighting tons of enemies. It is a craps shoot, and much like life, you never know what you are going to run into. On top of that, these games can often feel like the “same old same old,” even though they pride themselves on being new every time you play.

My last devotional asked this simple question, how do you break the cycle of constantly being let down by each new experience in this life? We are constantly being told that any given experience will fulfill us, but when we try them we notice that there is still a small void to be found. Sometimes it is found in boredom, other times it can be felt through an overbearing sense of loneliness. Whatever it may be, that empty feeling just nags at us until it is extinguished.

Image result for Old King Solomon Ecclesiastes
At the end of his life, Solomon saw everything he accomplished and called it meaningless.

It’s logical to think that the very answer to this question is found in our meaning for being here. If God did create us, then surely he would have given all of us a purpose for being here. Well, He did. The meaning of life is actually written in the book Ecclesiastes, the very book that we read earlier that shows how everything in this life utterly meaningless. At the very end of his musings, the great King Solomon concludes that nothing in this world can bring happiness, but he does give an answer to the all important question, “what is the meaning of life?”

13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

There it is! After all of that searching and scratching for a solid answer, we finally receive that which we have been searching for. No, the meaning of life is not 42, it is to fear the Lord and keep his commandments. As easy as that is to say, the process of doing so can be quite daunting, but it is truly a journey. Learning how to follow God is an adventure of improvement and discipline, one that does not get old as time moves forward. The answer to escaping this “rogue-like” life is to follow what is said within the Bible, and for starts, the Ten Commandments.

Give it a try. Follow these Ten Commandments for the next week, making your best effort to not break a single one and see how you feel after it is done.

Image result for Moses and the Ten Commandments
  1. You shall have no other Gods but me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Respect your father and mother.
  6. You must not commit murder.
  7. You must not commit adultery.
  8. You must not steal.
  9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
  10. You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.

This is your challenge for this coming week; follow all of these commands. By being mindful of your actions and pointing them towards what God has told you to do, you will be taking yourself out of the endless cycle of sin and guilt, and jumping into a growing relationship with God. Give it a try, I think you will be surprised at what happens.

Image result for Roguelikes meme

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