Chain World: a game intended to inspire a religion

A report from GDC describes the "Game Design Challenge 2011: Bigger than Jesus" winning entry, Chain World. The challenge had been to design a game that's also a religion, and so winning designer Jason Rohrer created Chain World, based on Minecraft, intended to be played in series by individual players, each of whom change the world, leaving a legacy for the next:

The result is Chain World, and a strict set of laws that all Chain World players must follow. There's only one true copy of Chain World and it exists on a USB drive Rohrer carried with him into the GDC session. This USB drive contains a Minecraft world and a custom script that Rohrer created. A player of Chain World inserts the USB stick and loads a Minecraft world onto his PC. He then plays in this Minecraft world as usual and does whatever he desires.

He plays until his character dies. Following the character's death, the player must immediately save, quit to the main menu, and leave the game. Rohrer's script than creates a duplicate of this altered world, saves it onto the USB drive, and deletes it off the player's PC. The player can never play again and must pass the drive on to the next player.

Put simply, this is a video game only one person on Earth can play at one time — a chain of people that influence a single world. Rohrer was the first to walk through this world and, following his character's premature death, was the first to influence it for the next player.

GDC: Chain World: Crafting a Religion

(via Super Punch)