Friday, September 19, 2008

A Clever Rickroll

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably have heard that Electronic Arts has released a videogame called Spore, developed by Will Wright, the author of The Sims, SimCity, etc. etc. etc. Among other features, Spore uses a clever approach to a user-generated content to attract volunteer labor that makes the value of the game higher for prospective buyers (and to increase add-on sales).

The game has an obvious creation vs. evolution tension. Despite its evolutionary tendencies, some Christians think it can also be interpreted as consistent with Intelligent Design. After all, if the game buyers are intelligent (perhaps debatable?) and designing creatures, that would be intelligent design if not Intelligent Design.

But what was funny this morning was to discover the term “Rickroll” and how it was used by a nominal Spore critic. Rick Astley was a 1987 one-hit wonder, and “rickrolling” is an Internet joke that quotes from that hit, often by using the YouTube video of that hit, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

The website (complete with Google adwords) claimed to be a Christian response to the alleged heresies of the EA game. In the Sept. 11 posting, the author quoted from the Astley lyrics before adding an even more direct tipoff (emphasis and hotlink added)

But the Bible teaches us that God was not done with man. For we were His creation and He then spoke to Noah in Genesis 8:21-27 after the flood.

“21. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never gonna give you up. 22. “Never gonna let you down.” 23. “Never gonna run around and desert you.” 24. “Never gonna make you cry.” 25. “Never gonna say goodbye.” 26. “Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.” 27. “Never truly believe anything you read on the Internet. There will always be cases of Poe’s Law.

It’s these teachings that I’ve spent my life learning, believing and becoming, that have made me the woman that I am today.
Not exactly what my copy of the NIV Bible says for Genesis 8:21-22 (there is no 23-27).

Somehow, a few of the 2,252 comments on the article did not appear to get the joke, but one of the more amused readers wrote:
Best spoof site I’ve ever seen; you’ve succesfully proved atheists are bigger whiners and every bit as petty, venal, abusive, aggresive, malicious and generally unpleasant and enormously f***ing stupid as the God squad. And you’ve proved it in such a short time.
Mr. Astley is now 42 and apparently doing the British equivalent of the County Fair circuit. Still, this is the sort of immortality (or at least 15 minutes of fame) that no one can buy, unless perhaps your first name is Paris. Meanwhile, a few more people have learned what “Rickroll” means.

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