Trivia Crack the American Dream and the Gospel

Trivia Crack is a game that is like words with friends but with trivia questions. You answer questions to get "crowns" and the first to get six crowns is the winner of the game. The game gives you a sense that the smartest ones among us will win and that, theoretically, if you study you will win the games you play. This game is, in many ways, the American Dream in game-form. Those who work harder than others will win and those who lose are less deserving of the top prizes. Underlying the game, and the Dream, is that there is mobility that can be achieved. 

What is less obvious is the inherent advantages some people have in both Trivia Crack and the American Dream that make it easier to "win". In the game, you can use coins to increase the odds you can answer the question correctly and thus gain crowns faster. The way to get coins is by winning games (or by using real money to purchase them!). You see the feedback look that is created. Those with coins tip the game in their favor to win and those who win get coins to tip future games in their favor to win more coins, ad nauseum.

This should sound similar to those who see the feedback loop that America has. Those who are successful get advantages, but in order to get those advantages you have to be successful. For instance, a college education can boost lifetime income by a lot. But to get a college education these days also costs a lot, outpacing all other sectors. Additionally, the average college graduate has about $30,000 of debt which, by the most estimates takes 15-20 years to pay off. That is 15-20 years of potential savings growth that is lost. Those born into money, who can graduate debt free, have a massive advantage in wealth accumulation over time to their peers. And the gap between rich and poor widens exponentially faster with each generation.

We are surrounded by images, stories, and even games that feed into the notion that we live in a meritocracy and that social mobility possible and that we are all playing by the same fair rules. The Gospel of Christ confronts this narrative in a way that say it is all an illusion. In fact, in the Kingdom of God the first will be last and the last will be first (Mark 10:28-31). Those who have little will be given more and those with enough will be given less (Luke 6:24–26) . Those who worked all day will get the same pay as those who worked an hour (Matthew 20:1-15).