Humanity was the hardest game God had ever played. Thumbing through the strategy guide and selecting an easier difficulty in the options menu failed to help. He rolled the scroll wheel, zooming the in-game camera down through the clouds, dots growing into cities, ants into people. On screen the inevitable extinction level event played out with lots of running and screaming as flood-waters drowned the streets and buildings fell. Elsewhere, fires raged and aggressive weather systems swept away everything they touched.

The tiny people called to each other in their endearingly garbled language. Some of them kneeled and prayed, their faces staring out of the screen display, right at Him. God, of course, couldn’t understand a word of it. He watched the world end once again then hit escape and selected his list of previously saved games from the pause menu. 

In amongst the saved checkpoints were his previous failures. One save for the time the game ended with the sim-people blowing themselves to kingdom come with nuclear bombs, another for when they wiped out most of the planet with a mutated virus. He stopped at the save where he had added a number of extra planets to the solar system. Jupiter had been a good idea back when it wasn’t humanity messing things up. Cataclysms caused by rocks falling from space were rare since he added the planet’s immense gravitational field.

Scrolling back up the list God loaded the save he wanted, only a few hundred years ago in game time, as the computer auto-saved a backup of his latest failure. The loading bar filled slowly and the world refreshed on screen before him. The Industrial Revolution, God decided, was a bad idea. Perhaps by removing that he could prevent humanity’s rampant consumption from destroying the planet. 

He pulled up the menus and started selecting resources he would no longer allow access to. If that didn’t work, it was probably time to go right back and evolve another species into the dominant lifeform. Some species of bird might work better. At least that would remove the environmental impact of mechanised air travel from the equation.