Tenth Plague

Here's a game with a bit of an agenda, I think. But whereas most Biblical games set out to convince the player of the rightness of the Judeo-Christian record, this game sets out in quite the other direction, to convince the player of the wrongness of it all. We play an incarnation of the tenth plague of Exodus: our mission is to go out and kill off all the first-born male children in Egypt that we come across. The horror of the objective is played up relentlessly. Over and over, we are faced with the fact that innocents and individual loved ones are dying; the horror increases, as does the difficulty, with each successive target being more aware of the situation, and trying with greater creativity and desperation to stave off the inevitable.

So, the game sets out to provoke a visceral reaction, and in that it is quite successful. We all know that whereas a single death is a tragedy, a thousand deaths is a statistic: by drawing in the circumstances for each individual first-born male that the plague targets, what was once merely a detail in a larger story is given greater significance. The game asks, is it right to kill off all these people? That is a question I should perhaps leave to those more philosophically or theologically inclined than I, but my gut feeling is that the question doesn't really apply to an entity whose daily business includes decisions as to how many should die, and who should make up that number.

There's not much more I know how to express, so here's a song.

As a breakfast, this might be leftover remnants of baklava -- both sweet and somewhat sickly -- some dried figs and strong, surprisingly bitter, Turkish coffee.