Whether someone believes in God(s) or not, the idea of shaping a whole world and managing the lives of its inhabitants makes for an intriguing video game concept. However, these "God games" simply fall short of their genre's namesake.

Back in 1982, Utopia was an acceptable title for this game, right?

Don't get me wrong - the top games in this genre normally do [i]something[/i] right, but they merely elicit a flimsy, cheap "imma god w00t" feeling. In order to achieve genre actualization, a developer must combine the best concepts since Hamurabi into a fully-baked, delicious, and moist God Cake. Any takers?

Little Computer People and The Sims show us how micromanaging individual lives should be integral to the God experience.

Players simply must have control of every aspect of reality that technology (and censorship) can allow. The Sims puts a focus on shaping lives, and that is definitely godly.

SimEarth lets aspiring deities control nature, another important duty of a God.

So many God games put a focus on human life. Hovever, the likes of SimEarth, SimLife, and Spore give players more options, and the perfect God game needs that.

Black and White tackles the moral issues of being God.

Peter Molyneux has one thing going for him - his games exhibit consequences for players' actions. If you destroy all life, who will worship you? It's quite the conundrum, and the perfect God game can't be godly without it.

Being a god may be better than kingship, but Fable III will have an element that is missing from most God games: the quest for power.

How do gods come to be? What if a God game could have players go through some sort of origin story? What if a player could go on an epic quest for dominance of their world, choosing to either govern it or remake it? It's a concept that might not be necessary for a perfect God game, but going the extra mile is what makes a masterpiece.

Spore nails the online portion, the creation portion, and the scope, but it's not enough.

Nobody wants to be a god over uninteresting creations. Sure, those aliens you made in Spore are cute, but my creations need histories, not just personality. I want to create intricate/epic stories or relationships between my creatures, or learn about them some other time if I avert my gaze to another issue. It would be awesome, and, yes, godly.

So, according to what I just said, a perfect (or close to it) God game needs: environmental management, deep creation system, micromanagement of individual lives, large scope, consequences for choices, and probably more ideas that the comments peeps will point out.

And the proper frosting for the God Cake: story crafting, online play, and the epic quest for power.

In the end, all God games only give a part of the whole package. We need a more complete God game - it's time for everyone to better realize what it really means to be omnipotent.