Yesterday I visited my friend Sandra with her little daughter Chiara. On relation how much time I spent with Sandra vs. the time I spent with Chiara, it was, that I visited my friend Chiara with her mother Sandra.
Anyway - Chiara, now 6 years old, but not yet in school is crazy for horses - she told me, that horses mean more to her, than her life. She has some Computer games for kids, some of them about horses, little adventures where you're in the role of a girl on a horse farm, - you have to take care of your horse, you have to ride on it, have to solve some little tasks, explore the surroundings, get ready for a tournier etc. -
Chiara wanted to show me, how she mastered her games & proudly showed me how she fulfilled the given tasks in the game, sometimes giving me the control over the game for some minutes, and telling me how stupid I am, for not finding at once the route to ride to beach to find the hidden medaillon, or for not finding at once the route to the broken fence near the apple tree by the bridge where the secret passage to the hidden well lies..
I thought it a better idea to let her play..
Somehow the goal in this game was to find a mysterious sometimes on seldom places appearing horse. There was somewhere in this game a little riddle, where you had to make frogs - solitaire-like - hopping about each other to make the way free for the frog king to relinquish that golden coin in his mouth - I helped Chiara with that little riddle which she never solved before - you know, she plays this game since 2 years & played that game about a trillion times before - so for the first time she got that golden coin - hmm - I couldn't resist to give her the little hint, that shouldn't in the least way diminuish her gained merits to the advance of the story - I gave her the little hint, that - hmm - maybe the golden coin should maybe be thrown in the well of wishes (you know that one on that hidden path behind that broken fence) - after a while she decided to follow my advice & ride to that well, pressing all the time the 'arrow-key-forward' for moving & 'Return' to make the horse jump across an obstacle - And thus it happened that she threw the golden coin into the well of wishes - a voice out of the PC-speakers said in a misty fairy voice: "Now you can make a wish!" - And my little Chiara, fully involved in that game, said: "I wish, I'll find that little foal!" - She said it full of enthusiasm & conviction with the belief, that her wish was part of the game - she would never find that little mysterious horse, if she wouldn't had made that wish. - You press some keys, you make a wish & you come to the goal of the game. Adults press only keys & pull on triggers, but don't believe in thought or spoken wishes to make a computer fulfill his task.
In a second horse game "Wendy, the tournament" - Chiara played later on - It was a bit difficult & she needed my help. One of the first tasks was to heal her horse, which was apparently sick, didn't eat any hay, apples, carrots etc. - After calling the veterinary & some tasks later she had the receipt to heal her horse, by finding some special herbs on a meadow. So when at last Chiara had found & collected that herbs an brought them into that stable, eager to give them to her little 'vitual' horse - she began to pray loudly: "Please Dear God, make that she eats the herbs.." Bitte Lieber Gott, mach daß sie die Kräuter frisst..
She was just sitting in front of a computer, staring to an absolutely artificial world and prays for beings origined by some programmers & game designers minds & built & constructed only by bits & bytes -
No - she didn't pray for bytes & programers mind's - she prayed for the tragedy in the story - for the idea to help a suffering beloved creature. She will learn that praying for a story doesn't help. The story is already decided & fulfilled and no interception can disturb the storyline. - But having deep emotions in a virtual reality, be it book, film or PC-Game concerns even us adults. I remember having seen films, having read books that moved me so much, that I had tears in my eyes (very seldomly indeed) - & I hope God forgives my little Chiara for praying for virtual beings - I would!