The following is a guest post from Diamond Kelley, a children’s author, talented writer, gamer and lover of Christ. She has joined the Gaming & God team, so I hope you look forward to her upcoming articles.
Let her know your thoughts on the post in the comments, and I hope you enjoy it!
One day, as I was scrolling through the Google Play Store cruising for more cute games to satisfy my cravings for happy, wholesome games, I stumbled across an adorable title called A Street Cat’s Tale. Briefly gazing over the pixelated, RPG kitty and relatively positive reviews, I quickly downloaded the app with eagerness to play.
Little did I know, I would be first in line for a fine twist between a heart wrenching and heartwarming rollercoaster of a ride. A Street Cat’s Tale knows just how to pluck the strings of your heart and relies on moments that bring prickly tears to player’s eyes like a freshly picked bowl of onions.
The main story follows the life of an abandoned baby kitten fighting to beat hunger and loneliness on the cold streets of a small town. After witnessing her mother get run over by a car and taken away to a hospital by humans, the kitten realizes how hard life is on her own and desperately tries to survive. The player then has the choice to befriend several human and animal NPCs in hopes of being fed a can of fish or starting a new family. Likewise, the player also has the power to make the kitten fearful of others and lost in solitude by not successfully completing NPC interactions.
Destiny of Choice
Depending on the way the player interacts with surrounding NPCs in the town, our precious baby kitten can finally be welcomed to a home full of love or be wounded by a terrible fate of misery. Each NPC human has been crafted with a unique personality and special requests that will strengthen their bonds. If the player works hard to be kind and build relationships of trust with people, endings of blessings and goodness are assured.
One ending rewards players with the noble rescue of a fish merchant NPC, Bobby Kim, saving the kitten from being abused by a drunkard. Bobby then adopts the kitten and makes her feel loved again. The pair work together to bring each other true happiness as they fill each other’s voids through companionship.
This is one of the many pretty endings’ players can get from being shown love from NPCs. Unfortunately, in the absence of love and failed NPC interactions, the kitten suffers. One particular ending sees such a tragic relationship with a human NPC that the kitten starves to death in his carelessness and absence at home. Many more bad endings lead to a fatal end of the kitten’s journey as she crosses a rainbow bridge into a heaven where she is warm and no longer hungers.
A Heavenly Purpose
As I played through the game multiple times and watched walkthroughs of the 11 total endings, I began to notice a central theme: love.
Yes, the kitten’s main goal was to survive the best she possibly could on her own, but underneath that surface, the kitten longed to feel accepted by warm hands and not have to fend for herself alone through the freezing, rainy nights. The kitten longed for something to fill the emptiness her mother left her and that something was love.
That same underlying desire is embedded within all of us, whether we want to admit it or not. That is why Christ calls us to love one another. One of His greatest commandments come from the book of John:
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” John 15:12
Jesus fully understands the need to feel accepted and loved that humans face. We were crafted with love and care to live upon this earth after all. That is why numerous times throughout Jesus’s teachings, He emphasizes to love our brothers and sisters above all.
As stewards of His earthly kingdom, it is our responsibility to love others and especially those who are hurting and cannot fend for themselves like the baby kitten. When we love one another, blessings are sure to follow like the happy endings with the kitten.
In the best possible ending, a human brings the kitten to the hospital where her mama is (she survives the crash!) and adopts them both. This selfless culmination of love from an outsider had the power to reunite a family and bring healing peace. Despite this being a simple game, when we as outside Christians look into a hurting individual’s situation with love, we too can bring that healing.
Just like the kitten found comfort, peace, and happiness in love with the NPCs who cared for her, so can we in real life. As Jesus said love covers a multitude of sins and can save others from loneliness and sadness. Whenever love wasn’t shown in the game, the kitten was miserable and even died alone. When we leave those who are suffering in this world in a state of loneliness, pieces of their souls die also.
It’s true that not everyone can rebound so easily in trusting others after they have been hurt and confused by love. Even the baby kitten faced an ending where she figures she’d be better off on the streets than to ever face abandonment again.
Just as Jesus would never give up on us, neither should we on Him. We have the power to make a difference in every life financially, emotionally, or in whatever way that person or animal may need. Even if it takes a hundred years for them to open up and accept that love, the most beautiful thing we can do to model our Lord and show that we care is to be there every single step of the way.
After all, love is patient and love is kind.
Diamond Kelley is an ambitious, self-published, children’s author/illustrator with a great love for Jesus. She seeks to grow God’s kingdom and fellowship with others through her creative passions in writing and art. When she isn’t taking a writing new stories, she can be found binging My Hero Academia or playing Overwatch for hours straight.