Fourth Grade Science Project

by Jason Alan

Mr. Abrams, the science teacher, stood up behind his desk, adjusted his glasses and glanced at the clipboard in his hand. “Billy James, it is your turn.”

“Ok, I’m coming,” Billy said while gathering his papers, and stepped to the front of the class. “At first, I was not sure what to do for my project, but I thought about it for a while and decided since I like video games, I would make one.”

Billy cleared his throat.

“Well, it isn’t really a game. It’s more like a really big fish tank, or a movie that just keeps going. The player only observes the characters and does not participate. What I basically did is I created a simulation of a universe. One that is much like our own, except for two main differences. First, I made it so that life and people only spawned on one planet in the whole universe.”

A few laughs sprouted among the class.

“Yeah, I know, it’s kinda silly but it’s my game, right?”

Billy turned his head to the teacher, and was motioned to continue.

“Sorry,” the boy said the other kids. “Kinda nervous talking in front of everybody.”

“You’re doing fine!” a girl in the second row said, winking at him. He smiled, looked down a little and blushed quite visibly. A few of the kids snickered.

“Alright now, that’ll be enough,” Mr. Abrams said in his usual dry tone. “You may continue, Billy.”

“Yes, sir.” The student cleared his throat again. “The other difference is that, in this game, there is no God.”

Audible gasps spread through the class. The pupils looked around at each other, confused.

“I left it up to the people in the simulation to wonder and decide if they have a creator or not. It’s kinda like I’m their God, since I made them,” he laughed, and looked up. “Sorry, I didn’t mean it that way.”

“It is fine. Continue,” said God.

“Ok, thank you. What happens in this world is very interesting. You might think that without God to speak to, or even the knowledge of his existence, that this world would be utter chaos. But, like us, they have cities, science, government, police, and so forth. There are plenty of civilized societies, even if it took them a long time to get there. The people in power, though, seem to have almost no compassion for those who they rule over. They send citizens off to war and imprison others in a never-ending quest for more riches and power. Many authorities have allowed their people just enough rights to make them believe that they are truly free, even though they are clearly not.

You might also think that since I have given them no evidence of God, that nobody, or just a small number of them, would believe in one. On the contrary, a large percentage of them have made up deities and stories surrounding them, and sometimes, in extreme cases, they even kill each other in the name of these gods. Others deny even the possibility of a creator of their world. These two groups argue a lot. Some of them just say they don’t know if it their universe was created by a being or not. There have been a few, though, scattered about, that actually suspect that they may be in a simulation. Of course there is no way for them to tell. They aren’t that smart.”

The class joined Billy in a collective chuckle.

“In conclusion, I must say that it is a very odd place, but hopefully it may make you think, and possibly be more grateful for what we all have here in the real world. I will be distributing the game after class to anyone who wants it. And I would also like to say that I am glad that we have God to guide us through this life. Thank you, Mr. Abrams, thank you class, and most of all, thank you God.”

“You are welcome,” God said.

Billy sat down as the students clapped.

“Well done, Billy,” Mr. Abrams said. “Helen Shaw, you are up next.”

***

Somewhere, somewhen else…

***

Robert steps into his apartment and closes the door, tired from a long day at work, and greets his roommate. “Hey Jay. What’s up?”

“Dude,” Jay says, “you gotta check out this new game. You get to be God and tell the people in the game to do stuff. It’s awesome!”