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Left Behind Video Games – Killin’ For The Lord

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Did you know that last year was one of the first years that sales of books had risen? Yup. As you can imagine, book sales have been waning as the Internet and other digital media take hold of our collective consciousness. There was one very specific sector of books that led the whole industry's revival – Christian books. Actually, more specifically, the Left Behind series.

In case you aren't aware, Left Behind is a serial of Christian stories explaining and fictionalizing life on Earth after "the rapture." The Rapture is when God (or Jesus… your call) comes to earth and takes away all the good Christians to heaven and everyone else is "left behind." To say runaway best seller would be an understatement. You may have seen these bumper stickers on cars before: In case of rapture, car will be unoccupied.

Sweet sassy molassy, this shit pisses me off. Know why? Because, I am all for religious tolerance, but these assholes are not. I think it is swell if you are a Christian, or if you aren't. Frankly, it isn't my business. What this bumper sticker means is really this: "I am way better than you. In fact, I am going to heaven and you aren't. In fact, you are going to have to watch me ascend to heaven right in front of you because I am that much more pious. Oh, and good luck with a planet full of sinners and pagans after we are gone. You are fucked, fatso! What do I care? I am a chosen one, bitch!"

Correct me if I am wrong, but that is the message I get. It is elitist, frankly. Maybe I should make a bumper sticker that says "In case of rapture, I am pretty much screwed because I am an Atheist. So, please don't steal my shit because I will be stuck here with you other non believers."

The story takes a much bigger turn, dear reader. I told you that to tell you this: The obscenely popular Left Behind series has spawned a video game. I am cool with that idea. I think it is a good idea for the old school to embrace the new school. I don't think kids are big on reading the bible, so why not be clever with the medium to spread the word of the gospel? I mean, god made everything so god made video games… right? Then it must be pious and worthy.

Hmm, I wonder what they do in the video game? Maybe it is like those Mormon Elders who have to ride around on bikes in t-shirts and ties and convince people about how totally not retarded Mormonism is. That must be what they are doing, because if I explained the entire mythology of the Latter Day Saints, you would say, "That is retarded." Maybe the game involves helping old ladies and volunteering for crap.

Well, let's just take a lookie here at the game and see what it says: "In a new video game for teenagers, players are asked to convert non-Christians and then create an army to fight the anti-Christ."

Hmm, seems rather preachy to me… and pushy, too. I'm not a big fan of fighting anything. Just not my bag, I'm a Democrat. Let's us not judge lest ye be judged… read on: "The game is rated T for Teen. Christian soldiers can kill others and restore their so-called 'spirit level' by praying before they can go on to kill again."

I know I promised I would stop swearing, but what the fuck? Kill, kill again, pray (probably should pray about something killing related) and then kill some more. Listen, I went to Sunday bible school when I was a kid and was baptized and got my catechism and all that… seriously. I totally missed this little seminar. Let's read on, because this dude is writing my material for me. "The game's creators say post-Rapture warfare is the central theme of the Left Behind books and therefore it is integral to the game."

Ah yes, Jesus' last words were "Dude, kill those fuckin' guys. They are a bunch of non-believing, me-betraying douche bags!" I guess I missed that whole chapter. What I remember of the teachings of Jesus were kindness and forgiveness. "Ye shall be treated as you treat the least amongst you." That means be nice to cleaning ladies and crazy people (to me it does). The Lord helps those who help themselves. Truer and better words were never spoken.

Keep in mind, this isn't corporate devils making a game to capitalize on youth interest. This is the Left Behind people making this game themselves. This is a Christian game! Know what? If that is their value system, I think me and the kids will stick with Grand Theft Auto. Better role models. If you think about how things went last time Jesus was here, I can't see him being a big hurry to return. Y'all went Dick Cheney on that poor man. If he comes back, I think he'll be pissed at everyone.

In closing, don't freak out on me. This isn't about Christianity at all (don't worry, I already did that one here). This is about this video game and its hypocritical and dangerous message.

Peace!

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About Lono

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    That’s the wrong message? Have you ever read the bibl? It blatantly states to kill people who either don’t believe or follow the commanments:

    “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.” Exodus 31 verse 15

    “If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars of the sky… Take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.” Deut 17:2-7

    “Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him.” – Lev 24:16

    How is the game taking a path outside of that exactly? A whole lot of kindness and forgiveness there I tell ya!

  • http://www.njiska.com Jason “Njiska” Westhaver

    Me think’s you’ve put a little too much though into a pointless issue Matt. Sure the version of the bible you read said those things, but the fact is that translation appears drastically different the the more the more widely accepted King James version and even that is something like the 26th transloation of translations of the original book. To quote Cheif Wiggum, “The Bible says a lot of things”

    That aside, who really cares? it is just a game after all.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    If the message of the Left Behind people is killing, then so be it. I’m just saying that wasn’t the Christianity I was raised in.

    Oh, and to quote Reverend Lovejoy re: the bible
    “Have you ever read the whole thing? Technically, you aren’t even allowed to go to the bathroom”

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com DukeDeMondo

    Lono, as ever, you get me roarin wi laughter and shittin myself with fear at the same time. that line about a prospective video game title involving helpin old folks… that was magic.

    and in reply to Matt, these folks seem altogether very concerned with the new testament, the new law, which, it would appear, judging on the fella’s words in there, does away with the OLD law. which is that whole Go kill for me malarky. Maybe i’m wrong on this matter, but certainly it seems the Left Behind types are much more concerned with Christ than, say, Moses. Which makes this a tad baffling, as Lono there says.

  • http://midnightcafe.wordpress.com Mat Brewster

    This totally reminds me of the game Ned Flander’s kids played on the Simpsons. It was all about converting the heathens. Less killing though.

    So how will all the christian groups that are against violent video games take this?

    Great stuff Lono. I pissed myself, really.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    AOL.com says “…a positive moral message” somewhere about this game. If we can’t trust AOL.com, who can we trust?

  • Troy

    LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces
    A PC Game

    FOCUS ON THE FAMILY endorses our game. Read below to find out why!
    Our game DOES NOT encourage killing.
    Our game is NOT anti-Semitic.
    Our game is NOT anti-Muslim or anti-Islamic.

    It is anti-EVIL! The ultimate bad-guy is the Antichrist who wants to eliminate all faiths and all religions, except his and he is deceiving the entire world.

    Our game does NOT teach the pre-tribulation theology of the book series, except that this worldview is utilized as a FICTIONAL backdrop of the game.

    In the past several days, numerous people have been and continue to spread misinformation about the game.

    Our game is the first game ever to encourage the use of PRAYER and WORSHIP as the most effective means to resolve conflict.

    Physical warfare is discouraged as the LEAST EFFECTIVE means for resolving conflict…and a gamer loses points for using a gun.

    This is the world’s first high-quality inspirational game which intends to model positive behavior by discouraging physical warfare.

    Please play the game for yourself and help us to get out the TRUTH.

    In an industry which creates so much gratuitous violence and gore, LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces presents a healthy alternative. We need your help to get the word out!

    PLAY THE GAME and find out for yourself that this game is about the battle of good versus evil.

    Here are a few things said by others:
    – The Anti-Defamation League, although they speak out against the book theology, says “Conversion to Christianity in the game is not depicted as forcible in nature, and violence is not rewarded in the game.”
    – AOL says it is a “Positive Moral Message”
    – Focus on the Family says “Finally! A game Mom and Dad can play with Junior”
    – Concerned Women for America says “A game we can wholeheartedly recommend!”
    – Wired Magazine “Few are as ambitious and polished as this PC title.”
    – ArsTechnica.com “This is a game that Christian parents can buy their kids, and one that Christian kids can play themselves without any guilt about “questionable content.””
    – Women of Faith says “In an industry that is full of destruction with no hope, the LEFT BEHIND game
    – Clint Thomas from Chaos Theory says “For years we’ve been telling kids what to run from and not what to run to, until now!”

    Should you have any concerns about this game, please go to the contact us page on our website at http://www.leftbehindgames.com and we’ll do our best to connect with you.

    Sincerely,
    Troy Lyndon
    CEO, Left Behind Games Inc.

  • SJR

    There is a lot of misinformation being spread about LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces.

    This has been written to respond to media reporters who, in most cases, haven’t played our game. They are not credible. Here’s what real experts are saying:

    – The Anti-Defamation League: Although they speak out against the book’s theology, this is what they have to say about the PC game, “Conversion to Christianity in the game is not depicted as forcible in nature, and violence is not rewarded in the game.”

    IGN says, “To keep the balance of power in your favor, you’ll have to find non-violent ways to avoid getting killed. Your units will definitely fight back in a life or death situation but, for the most part, you want to either avoid your enemies or have a ready plan to convert to your side using musicians and disciples. This gets much harder as the game progresses.”

    Wired Magazine says, “So the great surprise of LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces is that it actually kind of rocks…few titles are as ambitious and as polished as this title.”

  • SJR

    Con’t from previous comment:

    ArsTechnica.com says, “Many groups have made inaccurate statements about this game that need to be corrected. For one thing, it is not particularly violent. While there are violent aspects of the game, the game makes it clear that shooting is the last resort. Second, it is not hateful to other religions. It does have an agenda, and I think you need to know that going in, but there’s no bashing of other faiths.” and “…the game is fun, it’ll keep parents happy with its light levels of violence, and it’ll be sold at video game stores, religious book stores, and everywhere else people spend money on God. This game will certainly get the message out.”

    Many of the technical issues these reviewers experienced were with a non-updated version of the game. A brand new free update just went live (for registered owners of the game) and can be retrieved by clicking the update button from the main menu in the game. In the future, we will be offering additional free updates.

    Play the game and decide for yourself. You can download the demo on many sites. This site does not require you to create an account

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    Am honestly honored the Religious Right stopped in to share their say. Though I have WAY too many problems with every single aspect of the RR, I respect them defending their side. Kudos, nutballs, you have done something remotely civil and normal for once.

    By the way, y’all should read my other piece on the RR right here in Blogcritics. I am snowed in for the next several days (again) and would love to spar.

    Good on ya!

    Lono
    Parker, CO

  • http://www.njiska.com Jason “Njiska” Westhaver

    Hey if the CEO of Left Behind Games is so confident of his game maybe he should get in contact with us to properly review it. I’d be more then happy to do the Job myself and give it a fair sake. Though i’m nto an overly religous person the game does kind of intrigue me.