God Fingers

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The one-sentence "definition" that should be in italics.

This pattern is a still a stub.

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

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.

The Sims series

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.

Diegetic Aspects

Interface Aspects

Narrative Aspects


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.


Geospatial Game Widgets

Diegetic Consistency

Can Instantiate

with ...

Can Modulate

Can Be Instantiated By

Can Be Modulated By

Possible Closure Effects

Potentially Conflicting With


An updated version of the pattern God's Finger that was part of the original collection in the book Patterns in Game Design[1].


  1. Björk, S. & Holopainen, J. (2004) Patterns in Game Design. Charles River Media. ISBN1-58450-354-8.