Earlier last week a coworker introduced me to a game / app that, depending on your phone is either free or very inexpensive. It’s called Plague, Inc. and it’s essentially a game of strategy. The game goes like this: You’re a disease (fungus, bacteria, virus, etc…you get to choose) and your goal is to spread throughout the planet employing various transmission methods, symptoms, and “abilities” until all of life on the planet is not only infected, but also extinguished.
I love this game right now and I may well have a temporary addiction to it. No joke.
I like the game because it’s based in potential reality and it makes you think and well… it’s fun. At the start, you go through a few steps to “build” your disease and this includes naming it. One of the first names I gave my disease was Kalki. This is the name of God’s “End of Days” avatar, for the not-so-really end of days. I thought it was fitting because I’ve read that it’s possible Kalki will come as a virus or something that will pretty much wipe out humanity at the end of the Kali Yuga.
Since I’m not very much of the vaishnav persuasion, I’ve switched the name of my disease to Rudra, a fierce form of Mahesh / Shiva. Since Kalki, being of Vishnu, comes more to restore / balance dharma on the planet and not so much to wipe the so-called slate (entirely) clean, it seems more fitting that one of Mahadev’s names would be used (at least by me). Mahadev is, after all, the one who’s dance brings actual, lasting balance as it eliminates the entirety of phenomenal good and phenomenal bad, the result of which is the Mahapralaya – when everything phenomenal and causal is finally given rest.
I can see, given that folks raise hell over our gods showing up increasingly in secular usage, that some would be offended by the idea that a devastating disease would be named after something holy. I’m not, although I did hesitate to share all of this because I know many non-saivas already have an inaccurate and incomplete understanding of Shiva to be that He’s primarily known for destruction – and even then the common understanding of that word, destruction, is misapplied. However, in regard to gods in secular settings, in my opinion this isn’t the same as putting god on a pair of socks or a bikini bottom. What do you think?
For your viewing pleasure I’ve included many shots of different parts of the game in its progression.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha