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Chapter 4
Alternate Games

Until the Smiting Begins

by HAL MOUNTSAUERKRAUTEN, Alternate Reality News Service Court Writer

The first day of the God v. Will Wright et al copyright infringement trial was bogged down in procedural motions, disappointing both fans of Sim City, The Sims and other so-called “god games” and representatives of Christianity, Judaism and other monotheistic religions.

“I thought the case would be dismissed,” adelbert37mcconelly wrote in a forum in The Sims Online. “I mean, it’s, like, just a game, right? Why is, like, god, taking it so personally? Somebody needs to just chill, man.”

Cardinal Pontificate, speaking on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, said, “We expect that any day the all-merciful god will smite Will Wright with his terrible vengeance for presuming to give ordinary people god-like powers. Until the almighty smiting begins, god, in his wisdom, has chosen to seek redress in secular courts. And…amen to that, I guess.”

California State Inferior Court Justice Severina Laxity barely had time to gavel the court into session before Wright’s lawyers asked that the suit be dismissed on the grounds that the world could not be copyrighted.

Evander Shapurowitz, god’s lawyer, countered by offering a parchment scroll in ancient Aramaic that he claimed was the original version of Genesis, in which god made the heavens and the earth and all of the living creatures thereon in six days. He argued that this was incontrovertible proof of god’s eternal copyright on creation.

Justice Laxity ordered a carbon dating test on the scroll. She allowed the trial to continue pending the results of the test.

Wright’s lawyers immediately asked that the suit be dismissed a second time, this time on the grounds that god had not made an appearance in the courtroom. “My client has the right to face the entity that is suing him,” Emilio Canter-Bahama, lead council for Wright, argued.

Shapurowitz argued back that god was omnipresent, that every atom in the courtroom was infused with his munificence and, therefore, to insist that he take human form would be pointless. When Canter-Bahama pointed to the empty chair next to god’s lawyer, Shapurowitz pointed out that god didn’t need to be sitting in the chair because he literally was the chair.

Justice Laxity asked Shapurowitz how, if god was literally everywhere, he communicated with his lawyer. “My concern is that if your client is not present next to you,” Justice Laxity explained, “he will not be able to advise you of his wishes in the course of the trial.”

Shapurowitz explained that his client often comes to him in visions in the middle of the night. “It’s a…it’s almost a spiritual experience,” he stated in awe. “I don’t think I could adequately explain it to somebody who has never experienced it.” Shapurowitz added that, in emergencies, god speaks to him over a broadband wi-fi connection to his iPod.

Justice Laxity said she needed to consult her Wiccan priest before she felt competent to rule on this point.

One final objection was made by Wright’s defense team: if god is omniscient, he already knows the outcome of the trial. However, trials with predetermined outcomes were the provenance of dictatorships, not democracies. And, in any case, it just didn’t seem sporting.

Shapurowitz rebutted this with the novel argument that god knows all of the possible outcomes of all of the possible decisions made by every living being throughout time and space, but that he doesn’t know which decisions the people in this particular universe will make. Thus, although god is omniscient, free will remains possible.

Canter-Bahama objected to the use of alternate universe theory from quantum physics to reconcile god’s omniscience with human free will. “You can’t use science to support religion,” he insisted. “That’s like refereeing football using the rules of tennis!”

Putting her hands in her head, Justice Laxity said she would have to spend a week on an Ashram to sort that one out.

Just as it appeared that the lawyers for Will Wright had exhausted their objections and the trial could begin, god’s lawyer raised his own objection. He pointed out that Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens had been slated to be witnesses for Wright. Shapurowitz claimed that it wasn’t appropriate to call witnesses whose purpose was to question the existence of his client.

When Judge Laxity pointed out that he was free to call his own character witnesses if he so chose, Shapurowitz repointed out that over six billion people could attest to the existence of his client. Even limiting his witness roster to “experts,” he could reasonably call millions of people to the stand.

Judge Laxity suggested that he limit himself to 12. It is not known whether she chose this number because of its religious significance, or if she had had enough of the case and chose the first number that came into her head so that she could adjourn the trial for a week.

The trial was adjourned for a week.

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