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Old 12-09-2006, 08:37 AM   #1
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Normal Left Behind the computer game...Christians are to kill based on faith.

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The Rapture Takes Manhattan
New Evangelical video game meticulously re-creates the city so you can destroy it in a battle against the forces of darkness.
By Michelle Goldberg


Millions of American Evangelicals believe that, any day now, the world will be engulfed in a series of horrific wars and natural disasters during which time a charismatic Antichrist will arise to try to establish worldwide hegemony. This will lead to the biggest war of all, to be fought in Israel, after which Jesus will return. But not to worry: Before things get really bad, “true” Christians will be gathered up to Heaven, leaving piles of clothes crumpled where they stood.


The aftermath of this mysterious and untidy abandonment of clothing is the starting point for Left Behind, the massively popular series of end-time-themed thrillers that have sold over 60 million copies. Just in time for the Christmas season, the series is now also a computer game, called Left Behind: Eternal Forces, out next month. Strangely, although very little of the action in the books takes place in New York, the game is set here, offering a lovingly detailed rendering of Manhattan as battleground in a holy war. “I’m hopeful, from a popularity point of view, it becomes as popular as Christian rock,” says Troy Lyndon, CEO and co-founder of Left Behind Games. Players of the video game control a religious militia battling U.N.-style “Global Community Peacekeepers.” To triumph in Eternal Forces, players need to make converts, so in addition to snipers, tanks, and infantrymen, the Tribulation Force includes Evangelists and worship leaders. (The Global Community, meanwhile, has “rock stars” and “cult leaders” to pull souls into darkness.)


The novels’ Antichrist is one Nicolae Carpathia, who’s the secretary-general of the United Nations when the Rapture comes (and, incidentally, is the bioengineered son of two gay men). Soon enough, he becomes Global Community Supreme Potentate, masking his diabolical intentions with promises of peace and disarmament. The heroes of the series—including a born-again rabbi—battle Carpathia’s attempts to impose an abortion-promoting one-world government. Much hinges on the conversion of the Jews, who must repent their “specific national sin” of “rejecting the messiahship of Jesus,” or spend eternity in hell.


As it happens, before they were Evangelical entrepreneurs, the people behind the game were New York Jews. Lyndon, 41, whose secular-gaming résumé includes helping design Madden Football, was born to a Jewish mother on the Upper West Side. While she raised him as a Catholic, he identifies as a Jew—albeit one who believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God (he also describes evolution as a “hoax”). Jeffrey Frichner, 48, the company’s president and co-founder, is from Rego Park and went to Hebrew school at Forest Hills Jewish Center; he found Jesus while serving in the Marines in the eighties. Senior vice-president David Klein, 49, one of the original employees at gaming powerhouse Electronic Arts, was born in Israel and raised in Canarsie. He’s now a Christian, though he says, “I haven’t converted. I’ve completed.”


There are hundreds of ordinary New Yorkers in the game, and you can click on any of them to read a short bio detailing their life and faith. In the course of play, they all have to take sides. As the game’s Website says, “their choice is to either join the AntiChrist—which is an imposturous one world government seeking peace for all of mankind, or they may join the Tribulation Force—which seeks to expose the truth and defend themselves against the forces of the AntiChrist.” Gamers can themselves join the forces of darkness. When I played the evil side while visiting Left Behind Games’ bland, office-park headquarters outside of San Diego recently, I started with two soldiers in my Satanic army, one of them a Muslim named Amir Mohammed Salem.


The game itself is set in the streets of Soho, Chinatown, and midtown. There’s a Payless, a Lucille Roberts, even a digitized version of the somewhat well-known Israeli restaurant Hoomoos Asli on Kenmare Street. The CBS building in midtown is recognizable, and in ruins.


In its investors’ press materials, Left Behind Games points to the success of Christian product like The Passion of the Christ. There is a built-in market—polls say about 40 percent of Americans believe in some form of biblical Armageddon—and a built-in distribution system. Until a few months ago, Mark Carver, the executive director of Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church, sat on Left Behind Games’ advisory board, and Lyndon intends to market Eternal Forces using the same megachurch-based networks that have made Warren a publishing phenomenon. His plans include sending a million demo discs to churches throughout the country.


If Eternal Forces does well, Lyndon plans to develop another game set in an end-time Israel where Jerusalem’s ancient temple is rebuilt. Currently, that plot of land is occupied by the Dome of the Rock, which is the third-holiest site in Islam, so any demolition would likely spark a big war. “Imagine how exciting it will be, in this day and age, to be able to bring to life, in 3-D, the new temple!” exclaims Lyndon. On the other hand, if it were to happen in real life, he’d be plucked out of the mayhem, leaving only a pile of clothes in front of his PC.

http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/22335/

Yay let's train our kids to kill based on their faith!!


God help us all. I see this as worse than the Grand Theft Auto type games because this encourages violence based on religion...far more powerful then some scenario where you go around picking up prostitutes.
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:07 AM   #2
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I find this game hilarious, but have to say that I sincerely don't think, and there is also no evidence or something, that computer games make anyone violent or killing other people in reality.
Otherwise I would have to be afraid of myself.

This game looks pretty much of propaganda, but I wouldn't fear any Evangelicals because of that game.
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:08 AM   #3
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I've read about this....everything about it is just WRONG. The antichrist a son of two gay men, pro abortion, friends with muslims (or "terrorists" as they're now known) jews needing to convert...its just fucking wrong.

Could you imagine the FURORE if an islamic game came out with an islamic army invade the usa and trying to convert christians to the "way and the light" or chopping their heads off if they didn't agree.

(btw i liked GTA! )
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:13 AM   #4
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If it's anything like the books they probably can't even get the geography of Manhattan right. Drive for four hours and you're still on the island.

A minor quibble, of course. Basically it sounds horrible. But the first sentence of that story should answer the age old question: why the weird nexus between fundies and Israel? It surely isn't because they rooly trooly want Israel to do well.
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:19 AM   #5
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people are fucked up...
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:22 AM   #6
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Augh, this does not sit well with me, for all the reasons that dazzlingamy said....everything about it.

There's also a review from a magazine by Focus on the Family, if anyone so desires: http://www.pluggedinonline.com/thisw...y/a0002989.cfm

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"Eternal Forces is the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior"
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:06 AM   #7
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This game is considered a big joke on another site I visit, arstechnica.com.

Funny enough, the game also has spyware embedded in it:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060623-7122.html

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Now, as if the game itself was not controversial enough, it has been discovered that the publishers, Left Behind Games (a publicly traded company, even) have added money-changers to their particular temple. The game comes fully loaded with what some would term built-in spyware, in the form of in-game advertising that tracks the amount of time ads are seen, how often the game is played, and the player's geographical and personal information. It then sends this data back to the advertiser's servers. From the horse's mouth:

"All Double Fusion campaigns provide detailed campaign reporting for full accountability, and, unlike other media, advertisers only pay for the time their ads are seen...unlike TV, unlike the web, and unlike print. No medium is more accountable and measurable in terms of the actual time spent with advertising."

"Double Fusion's In-Game Ad Engine is a software component that gamer developers insert in their games. The Ad Engine is the seamless interface between the game and the advertiser servers, and works as a broker between the two, calling advertising creative elements as needed, providing them to the game to be displayed as ads in the game, and tracking impressions and views and reporting back to the advertising management servers."
As I said before in the "Concerned Women for America" thread, the founder of the organization, Beverly LaHaye, is the wife of the author of the "Left Behind" series, Tim LaHaye.

"Religious nuts, political fanatics."
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:22 PM   #8
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I for one think it's great, without piss poor games like this publisher might ask "why don't we try a faith based game".
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:43 PM   #9
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It's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.
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Old 12-09-2006, 01:15 PM   #10
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The Christians go marching on hurrah hurrah.
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Old 12-09-2006, 01:40 PM   #11
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that's pretty sickening.
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Old 12-09-2006, 03:00 PM   #12
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Oh great. Heaven's gonna be populated by a bunch of naked fundies? Doesn't sound all that heavenly to me...are they sure they aren't in the other place?
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Old 12-09-2006, 03:30 PM   #13
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Re: Left Behind the computer game...Christians are to kill based on faith.

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Originally posted by U2democrat



http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/22335/

Yay let's train our kids to kill based on their faith!!


God help us all. I see this as worse than the Grand Theft Auto type games because this encourages violence based on religion...far more powerful then some scenario where you go around picking up prostitutes.
I think this game is about as stupid as the source material it's based on (which fails both as theology and as art), and I think this game is yet another misguided attempt to capitalize on the $$$ from the "Christian audience." However, to say that this game is worse than one which exalts thug violence, prostitution and drug running as an end unto itself (trading on the worst possible racist and sexist stereotypes), is itself obscene. Why not tar them all with the same brush?
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Old 12-09-2006, 03:44 PM   #14
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Re: Re: Left Behind the computer game...Christians are to kill based on faith.

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Originally posted by nathan1977


However, to say that this game is worse than one which exalts thug violence, prostitution and drug running as an end unto itself (trading on the worst possible racist and sexist stereotypes), is itself obscene. Why not tar them all with the same brush?
One is claiming moral superiority.
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:03 PM   #15
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Re: Re: Re: Left Behind the computer game...Christians are to kill based on faith.

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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
One is claiming moral superiority.
I believe this to be the distinction, as well. For groups like FOTF to decry violent video games--and then endorse one that is as patently offensive as this--is hypocrisy.
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