Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This game should be "Left Behind" on the shelves...

I was in a video game store some time ago and saw on the shelf in the 'Coming Soon' section something that made me groan aloud: 'Eternal Forces'. A game based on the 'Left Behind' series, a rather popular religious series of novels relating to the Rapture. Popular? I dunno. I certainly do not know anyone that has any of them (same for anything by that wacko L. Ron Hubbard, perhaps the most boring science fiction novelist in history but his books seem to be always on best seller lists even though no one has any), but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

I really can't imaging a religion-based video game having any appeal, being a hard-core Grand Theft Auto fan myself, but then I read a review on the game's contents (
CTV news story and The San Fransisco Chronical). If there's violence in it maybe it ain't all that boring.

But trust a fundie to take all the fun out of violent games. "Our game includes violence, but excludes blood, decapitation, killing of police officers,'' the company says on its website, noting that a player can lose points for "unnecessary killing'' and regain them through prayer. Wow. Prayer works just like in real life! The ol' "I-killed-someone-but-it's-okay-now-because-I-prayed-about-it" trick. So much for love in fundie Xianity, but then, that goes without saying. I wonder, though, if killing atheists gets you bonus points in the game... Wouldn't surprise me.

Worse, you can't win if you go 'dark-sided':
Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. Now if that just doesn't suck.

"Part of the object is to kill or convert the opposing forces,'' said the Rev. Tim Simpson of Jacksonville, Fla., who heads the Christian Alliance for Progress. "It is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.'' Is it? I could quote a few passages here to the contrary, but at least there is one Xian organization out there that is fighting the good fight. The Christian Alliance for Progress was founded in response to the growing Xian right.

Wal-Mart demonstrates the moral superiority they've always had: "The product has been selling in those stores,'' said spokeswoman Tara Raddohl. "The decision on what merchandise we offer in our stores is based on what we think our customers want the opportunity to buy.'' So, we should have a market-driven morality, eh? How Republican. Sounds like the mission statement for Halliburton. I want a George Bush voodoo doll, and I'm sure a lot of other people want one as well, but I can't seem to find THAT in a Wal-Mart.

In response to their critics, CEO of Left Behind Games Troy Lyndon replies: "They're good-minded people,'' he said. "They want to keep us from making games that are jihad in the name of God.'' This is not something an imam in the Middle East is saying, but a fundamentalist game developer (I would never have thought I could string those words together...) in California! And people say religion doesn't spawn violence?!?
The gaming company's president Jeffrey Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game. So you get to mow them down, too. Ann Coulter would be proud.

Another critic, author Frederick Clarkson, is spot on: "It becomes a tool of religious instruction,'' he said. "The message is. ... there will be religious warfare, and you will target your fellow Americans, people from other faiths, people who you consider to be sinners.''

I've said that I am a hard-core fan of the Grand Theft Auto series of games. Does this make me hipocritical? No. I enjoy playing them, but I do not even for one moment relate the cartoonish violence in GTA to reality. Hollywood action films are no different than GTA in their subject matter, not to mention much more graphic in their violence, and are the greatest influence on their story lines.

So what's the difference? The difference is that people that play this game are generally going to be believers in the Rapture. This game represents a scenario that they believe will actually play out in the near future. This is their future reality and a game like this simply serves to reinforce their intolerant beliefs that they are our moral superiors and that violence against all others is not only okay, but commanded by God. This game is more like a religious terrorist training manual than a form of entertainment. It would not surprise me in the least if this game shows up in 'Jesus Camp II'.

But Plugged In, a publication of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, gave the game a "thumbs-up." The reviewer called it "the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior -- and use to raise some interesting questions along the way."
Isn't that just heart-warming? Now Mommy and Daddy can play Religious Rambo with little Johnny.... gives this game a 3.4/10. Guess fundies really CAN'T write good game software.

UPDATE: It gets even worse. I read one user's review at "women cannot be any unit except a nurse. Want to preach the Gospel and convert other people to your side? You need a man."

Or, how about this?
"All the good units are white. Full-white mayonaise-eating Cuacasians. That's not to say there are no African-Americans in this New York City, there are. But they are the "evil musicians". All of them are black. They play guitar riffs which were about the only cool sounds in the game but are labeled as "the Devil's Music" in the game."

And this piece of trash if rated "T"?!? How progressive....


Secret Rapture said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions!
My Site =

Matt said...

Well, I've got MY xmas shopping done!