In the beginning, there was a GDC presentation. Just a quiet little talk between developers, and a what-if experiment wherein a one-off, modded version of Minecraft was personally passed by Passage/Sleep Is Death/Inside A Star-Filled Sky creator Jason Rohrer to a curious audience member, who would then be the only person to see what Rohrer had built inside the game. The rules: you do not talk about Chain World. You do not keep on playing Chain World once you die in it. You then pass it on to someone who has ‘expressed interest,’ and to no other.
That was the plan, anyway. Then this secret world’s first inheritor, Jia Ji, came up with his own, rather different plan: a philanthropic auction, which closed at $3,300, and a promise to later send Chain World on to gaming luminaries Jane McGonigal and Will Wright. He told us why he did that earlier today, as well as why he offered RPS a copy (the temptation was you-would-not-believe strong, but we ultimately declined). So how did Rohrer feel about his quiet attempt at founding a digital religion being so quickly turned to a new, and very public, belief system? Did he even intend for this to become a talking point that’s infuriating as many people as it’s exciting? Were those rules he made actually designed to be broken all along? And if this is a religion, who is its god? Let’s ask him.
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