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About the Story
The scraping sound you hear is life as you know it grinding to a halt. Welcome to the New World Order. "Out of Babylon" is an online interactive apocalyptic story of the near future. Make the right choices to avoid worshiping the Beast or accepting the mark of his authority!
Number of Reviews: 1
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"Out of Babylon" is an interactive version of one of those leaflets that you sometimes get handed at street corners when you haven't done a good enough job of avoiding eye contact.
It lays out a scenario in which the Pope is planning to change the world's calendar in 2012 so that one day a year is "World Day" and isn't a day of the week. That throws the whole seven-day cycle off, and when this happens, it becomes more difficult for people to celebrate the true Sabbath correctly. The player's choices all revolve around whether to worship and whether to do so on the new, Pope-approved Sundays. (Spoiler - click to show)Hint: worship yes; Pope calendar no. Get that wrong and you'll wind up in the Resurrection of the Wicked at the end, which appears to be some sort of zombiepocalypse event. Meanwhile, the end days are at hand, with lots of meteors and earthquakes and unexplained disasters. Did the calendar change bring this on, or is it just a coincidence?
There's a lot about this piece that I don't really understand. Is it sincerely meant? It felt to me like a spoof -- not least because I hadn't heard the slightest rumor of some kind of 2012 calendar normalization plan before I played this piece -- but then when you get to the end of the story, you can click through to a whole informative website full of Bible quotes and lunar phase diagrams that explain the author's theories about which days to keep as Sabbath. I suppose the website could be a giant feelie for the spoof, but overall I came away thinking that perhaps the author sincerely believes this line of argument.
That raises a secondary question, which is: if you actually think the world is under threat because of an imminent blasphemous calendar revision, why use choose your own adventure to get the word out? Pedestrian leafletting is probably a better bet. Possibly the thinking was that the interactive story about being eternally damned would be more persuasive than a leaflet, but, well, it really didn't feel that way to me, because the horrible events that happen to the protagonist are so lightly sketched in, and the choices offered are so heavy-handed.
In any case, I have the same problem with this piece that I do with most propaganda of its ilk: I just don't believe in a deity who would judge people in such a way that the only way to avoid eternal torture is to solve some tricky calendrical riddles embedded in Leviticus -- and if I did believe in such an entity, I wouldn't have a high opinion of its goodness and loving kindness.
It's not clear to me that interactivity adds much of value to the author's argument. If anything, I think it increases the moral disconnect. (Spoiler - click to show)Not least because the only options for reacting to the death of my whole family in a car crash are to thank God for sparing me, or to feel lucky.