Intertain: Chapter 12

For the first time, we didn’t have any newcomers at a session of Intertain. But that is perfectly fine. We still yet live, and it is always a privilege for old friends to meet and enjoy each other’s company.

Theme: SURVIVAL

Videogames are filled with things that aim to kill us. As players, we are often being trained to survive a variety of situations. Amid battles of life and death, one of the most popular threats thrown at us over the years would be zombies. In dealing with the undead, Plants vs. Zombies has shown us to never underestimate an army defensive vegetation grown on the front lawn.

We don’t want zombies on the lawn.

How have your parents taught you to survive?

SHARING

Thinking about his parents, Han Sol said that the most impactful lessons he received from them were ones offering timeless principles. Chris mentioned something similar: the rules given by his parents around his life tend to also relate to the wider world (and may help him to survive as he grows up). As a fairly new dad, Daniel added that in this day and age, we are perhaps more concerned with teaching children how to thrive, rather than to simply survive.

GAMING

It was pretty exciting to be able to show our group a serious game-of-the-year contender in God of War. KJ had the honours of becoming Kratos who, in the series’ dramatic and violent history, has been known to be a vengeful killer of pagan deities. After a full slaughter of ancient Greek gods, the focus has now shifted to the setting of Norse mythology, where Kratos attempts to live a quiet life with his new family. With his partner’s passing, however, he finds himself solely responsible for his son, Atreus. The task of teaching the boy to survive the world now rests with him.

Don’t feed the troll. Slay it!

In the section that we played, they go on a hunt for deer in an area plagued by monsters. While Kratos is an expert in survival tactics, he is flawed as a father and haunted by a troubled past. Tension can be seen in the way he stumbles between care and discipline for Atreus, unsure of what exactly he should do to best equip the boy to face and endure a hostile world. The rage that characterises the Spartan also adds strain to the difficult relationship. It would seem that surviving alone is tough, but teaching children to survive would be tougher still.

WISDOM

Our heavenly Father is concerned about our physical survival, as Matthew 6 reminds us. We know that he is able and willing to take care of us; we can trust him because he is a good parent.

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Are the strongest and fittest most likely to survive?

GAMING

It was time for Ultimate Chicken Horse, a competitive platformer where animals race to a destination while having the option of adding architectural elements and deadly traps into the level to modify the environment. The game awards points to victors only if others died along the way. Therefore, it is ultimately a test of surviving better than one’s opponents, which Han Sol and KJ demonstrated during their respective matches.

Who can escape the slaughterhouse?

WISDOM

The story of Gideon (starting from Judges 6) is one of many examples in the Bible where God, in his infinite wisdom and power, granted survival to the weak over the strong. In this setting, the Israelites were oppressed by the ruthless Midianites. In response to cries of mercy, God chose Gideon to lead his people to freedom. But take a look at how doubtful Gideon was about himself…

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

God answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

In gaming terms, Gideon was a total noob in a low-level clan, and he’s expected to succeed against an elite force. Amazingly, not only did God promise a win, but total pawnage was in order. Yet apart from the difference in strength between the two groups, their numbers also became a highlight…

God said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me. Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.”

So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.

But God said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there.

So Gideon took the men down to the water. There God told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.

God said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.”

While Gideon only had 300 men in the end, the Midianites were likened to swarms of locusts, with numbers impossible to count. But when God entered the picture, everything changed. Our group recognised that it isn’t always the fittest that survives, but the righteous and faithful who trusts and sides with the strongest being in the universe, our divine Creator.

How can we ensure the ultimate survival of humanity?

GAMING

The temperature dropped as the night went on. To make things worse, our last game was Frostpunk, a game set upon a time of worldwide volcanic winter caused by the dimming of the sun. The player is expected to build the last city on earth against the enduring, bleak frost for the survival of mankind. We elected Han Sol as the mayor to lead this city, with May being his advisor.

Winter is here to stay.

First and foremost, our mayor ordered survivors to gather enough coal to fire up a generator at the centre of the map. This massive pillar of heat would serve as the pivotal hearth around which other facilities were to be built in a concentric layout.

After constructing some shelter, a hunting lodge, a cookhouse, as well as a workshop, Han Sol was introduced to special laws that could be enacted during desperate times: demanding longer work hours or child labour, adding sawdust into soup to fill more stomachs, using human corpses as fuel — anything to help survival, even at the cost of rising discontent among the people.

WISDOM

Revelation 21 is a glimpse into the future, of a time when New Jerusalem will be forever established on earth. The followers of Jesus are destined to not only survive, but thrive in this eternal dwelling. Reading this, a couple of details stood out to us…

I did not see a temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

So instead of relying on a central generator like in Frostpunk, the everlasting radiance of God will become our light, as well as our heat! If you ask me, that’s just super cool.


Attendance [9]: Angela Sun, Ayk Iano, Chris Cha, Clement Kwok, Daniel Juhn, Han Sol Kim, KJ Jang, May Chien, and Robin Zhang.

Giveaway: Frostpunk to KJ Jang.