God's Finger

God's Finger

A God's Finger is a game element that allows the player to affect the game world, but which cannot be affected by events in the game world itself.

Example: many real-time strategy games make use of a God's Finger in the form of a cursor that is used to select individual units or groups. Similarly, the Sims makes use of a cursor to let players move between the different characters in the game and to manipulate the game world.

Example: the cursor in god-game Black & White is literally a God's Finger.

Using the pattern

The simplest use of a God's Finger is to let players navigate the Game World to select the Units they wish to use. However, a God's Finger can act as a Focus Loci for actions that are independent of Units or to specify the effect areas of ranged actions, for example, by selecting an area by stating its boundaries. Often the God's Finger is outside the Consistent Reality Logic of the game but exceptions are possible, e. g. through using spirits and possessions.


A God's Finger lets the players navigate the game world regardless of where their Avatars and Units are. By doing so, they may limit the use of Surprises and the feeling of Immersion as the God's Finger does not typically provide a point of identificationfor the player and is outside the Consistent Reality Logic of the game.


Instantiates: Focus Loci

Modulates: Units

Instantiated by:

Modulated by:

Potentially conflicting with: Surprises, Consistent Reality Logic