Thursday, November 03, 2005

FOR FRIDAY NIGHT: Age of Empires (Noach)


Cheshvan 1, 5766 * November 3, 2005


Parshat Noach

Age of Empires
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"I've got to show you this new game I have," Ben said to Adam as he switched on the computer.

It was Sunday afternoon and the football practice had been cancelled due to early rains, so the Adam and Ben decided to do some work for a Science test, to be set by the dreaded Mr Levy at school. However, just before they got down to the actual studying

“I just bought this game last week and since then I have been addicted,” said Ben.

“Wow, this looks pretty cool,” Adam exclaimed. He had never seen any thing like this before. He wasn’t so interested in computer games, but this one really looked interesting. He could see on the screen in front of him a fully functioning city, with people running around, collecting food, building boats, even talking to each other.

“Look,” Ben said. “ If I click here I can make them build a tower.” Swarms of little people on the screen start bringing equipment, carts with wood and tools and others started to dig. They began putting up a big building.

Suddenly bells started ringing. “Cling, Cling,” a grave voice called out. “You are under attack.” Crowds of little red men entered the city and started attacking it.

“What are you going to do?” asked Adam, concerned for his new friends on the screen who were being attacked and destroyed.

“Don’t worry,” Ben said, “its part of the game. Look, if I click here then my men start defending themselves. By fighting back successfully we can move up to the next level in the game. Also, the aim is not to destroy the enemy, but to win them over. That way they join with you and work with you and the city becomes more powerful, a real empire.”

Adam was impressed. “I see that you can actually learn a lot from this game,” he said. “G-d created the world and gives us challenges like all the different problems in life. Like the waters of the Flood in the Sedra this week. The sheets of torrential rain from above, the flooding water from rivers and streams below, they all threaten to swallow you up. That’s like the enemy attacking the city.”

“Yes, terrible,” said Ben, remembering recent flood tragedies which had been in the news.

“But you build the Ark, and shelter in it, like Noah and his wife Naamah and their family. You are determined to survive the flood, and you become stronger through going through it.”

“So how do you make the water of the flood work for you instead of against you?” asked Ben.

“Maybe you learn more about water control,” said Adam. “In fact isn’t that the topic of Mr. Levy’s science test, all about Water? If we manage to study for that then we may really climb up to the next level.

“And Mr. Levy will become our dearest friend.”



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