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Jonathan Hutson's two-part expose of the  Left Behind interactive video game has generated outrage and commentary all over the blogosphere for days. (It was originally front paged at Talk to Action, and crossposted, here, and at Political Cortex.) The game, slated for release by October 2006 in advance of the Christmas shopping season will undoubtedly find itself under many a Christmas tree, and be opened and played by children all over America on Christmas morning -- and for a long time afterwards.  Little of the press coverage has highlighted that the game has forced conversion and mass murder of New Yorkers as its central premise.

Hutson's two posts have begun to force a public discussion of the implications of this profoundly antisocial instructional video. Instructional? Don't I mean entertainment? Nope. The video teaches children that that mass murder of New Yorkers who refuse to convert to your religion is the kind of thing to imagine and to enjoy, right on Christmas Day.  (Watch out Bill O'Reilly!)

One helpful aspect of the video game is that it simplifies the ideology inherent in Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series -- leaving little room for doubt about how those who believe that the end times are not only near -- but here -- view what may happen in their lifetimes, and/or those of their children.

One aspect that Hutson highlights in part II, is that when the Christian paramilitary groups, directed by the young Christmas gifted gamer, blow away a New York infidel, the characters shout "Praise the Lord!"
Here is how he summarized the story in the opening of Part II:

A top aide to mega-church pastor Rick Warren is advising the makers of a children's video game in which characters kill New Yorkers while shouting "Praise the Lord."

When children tire of converting or killing New Yorkers, they can switch sides and command the demonic armies of the AntiChrist, and kill the conservative Christians. The real-time strategy game, slated for release in October 2006, is based on the best selling series of Left Behind novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. The web site of Left Behind Games states the involvement of Mark Carver on its Advisory Board. This web-based marketing tool also highlights his role as Executive Director of Mr. Warren's Purpose Driven Church. What appears to be going on here is an old-fashioned business practice called "endorsement by association."...

Strap on your seat belts and hold onto your dashboard Jesus, because the story of how this violent, theocratic video game is being network marketed through pastors and churches only gets deeper and stranger from here. But bear with us as we wade into the corporate mindset of mega-church marketing; the long, strange trip will be worth it.

Along the way, we'll point out four remarkable, man-made features like giant, painted, concrete cowboys along Route 66 - wondrous to behold, and worth a closer look.

First, we'll meet the designers of Left Behind: Eternal Forces and learn what kinds of "Christian stuff" and "cool stuff" this game features - like rotting bodies of New Yorkers piled high on city streets. Seriously: it's a game feature. You cannot make this stuff up.

Second, we'll meet the spiritual warfare practitioner and celebrated management consultant who shaped Mr. Warren's life over the course of more than 20 years. Yes, although Mr. Warren is hailed as "America's minister," he's actually a businessman and a disciple of the most famous management guru of the 20th Century.

Third, we'll meet the man who directed the marketing plan that drove Mr. Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life to the top of best seller lists. And we'll hear the surprising story of why Mr. Warren tried to censor this man's how-to book on network marketing, which treats churchgoers as customers, and converts customers into evangelists for corporate products.

Fourth, we'll find out what Mr. Warren means when he compares his corporate management and marketing practices to an Intel operating chip. Holy Motherboard of God!

Left Behind Games executives Troy A. Lindon and Jeffrey S. Frichner told the Los Angeles Times of their plans to build buzz for Left Behind: Eternal Forces by distributing 1 million sample discs directly through churches nationwide. This is a sign that their approach follows the same marketing strategy that Mr. Warren used to ramp up early sales numbers for his international best seller The Purpose Driven Life. The L.A. Times reports:

" 'Left Behind' has the Antichrist, the end of the world, the apocalypse," said co-creator Jeffrey S. Frichner. "It's got all the Christian stuff, and it's still got all the cool stuff."

That's why industry watchers predict that titles like "Eternal Forces" will find a broader audience in the same way Christian houses of worship like Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest have attracted followers -- in part by not being overly doctrinaire.

"The reason that I think this game has a chance is that it's not particularly preachy," said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities. "I will say some of the dialogue is pretty lame -- people saying, 'Praise the Lord' after they blow away the bad guys."

Okay, so we've got Christian paramilitary forces loose on the streets of New York, fighting to turn the United States into a theocracy, and shouting "Praise the Lord!" as they blow away those who refuse to convert. In the virtual world of Left Behind only the conservative Evangelical Christians were "raptured" - spirited into heaven for the big Super Bowl party and skybox seats to the ultimate battle between absolute theocracy and the absolutely AntiChrist. So who's "left behind" to blow away? Catholics, mainstream moderate Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, suspiciously well-groomed men, lesbians, and conservative Evangelicals who are closet gays. (As Congressman Barney Franks (D-Massively Funny) has said, "Throw the gays out of church? Who do you think has been playing the damn organ all these years?") Blowing away these good folk ("Praise the Lord!") - is that supposed to be the "Christian stuff" or the "cool stuff"?

How about this nifty game feature: the bodies of slain New Yorkers don't disappear after a battle, and no one gives them a decent burial. Instead, the festering corpses just keep piling up: left behind. Is that "Christian" or "cool"?

Much more.  

A number of people, mostly evangelical Christians and gamers have responded defensively, and issued strong denials that what Hutson is reporting could possibly by true. Well, although he does not have a copy of the game (yet), all of what he reported is from the company's own promotional materials, and reliable (usually friendly) reviews of the product itself.  This is a controversy that is not going to go away, and we will continue to report on it.

Originally posted to Frederick Clarkson on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 06:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The next major terrorist attack (21+ / 0-)

    I fear that the next major terrorist attack on the United States will be carried out by domestic fundamentalist "Christians".

    George W. Bush makes Reagan look smart, Nixon look honest, and his dad look coherent.

    by Dave the pro on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 06:43:17 PM PDT

  •  You'd think... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shadan7, G2geek, scottman

    the "christians" would object to the whole turning into the anti-christ thing.

    When the rest of the world decides to take care of the bully, I hope I'm not in Columbine.

    by georgeNOTw on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 06:50:18 PM PDT

  •  This makes me ill (18+ / 0-)

    I'm a non practicing Catholic and I find this game to be obscene.  Christians are so up in arms in wanting the 10 Commandments posted everywhere, but do they even know what they say?  What happened to Thou Shalt Not Kill?  

    This game is sick.  All it's going to do is push more hate to the surface.  I was raised to believe that my faith was between myself and God and encouraged to think for myself.  The God that I grew up learning about would not condone this sort of thing.  I can't believe that a sane church would allow this sort of thing in their church.  

  •  Per their site (5+ / 0-)

    They expect to have either E or T ratings for their games (everyone and teen).  Apparently this will be the first of many games they produce.  But probably only if this game does well, and I can see it might have that potential.

    It also says it will have less gratuitous violence but the description of the game doesn't really make that seem likely.  I suppose at least your character's spirit level goes down after battle.

    -HK

     

    Home is where the cat is

    by HK on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 06:58:19 PM PDT

  •  Funny that (14+ / 0-)

    if someone on our side proposed, say, raising taxes on the rich, cutting pentagon spending by 5%, and bolstering our public health programs, they'd be considered beyond the pale of any acceptable discourse.

    Yet this is perfectly acceptable.

  •  To Paraphrase The Matrix (6+ / 0-)

    We need guns, lots of guns.

    •  Seriously. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius

      It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument. -- William G. McAdoo (-5.88/-5.23)

      by Shadan7 on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 07:14:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah really! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FaithAndReason, Cynical Copper

      If the little sociopaths who grew up playing these Left Behind games start doing this in the real world, as undoubtedly some willl, the NRA will turn Democratic with all the liberals signing up & getting guns to protect themselves.

      "Excuse me sir, have you read the Bible lately...?"

      (apparent victim pulls out pistol....)  "Hands in the air, terrorist!  I'm calling the cops, don't move or I'll shoot!"

      "Eeek!   No, wait, I'm a Mormon!"

      "Oh, LDS, that's cool, youse guys are OK.  Sorry'bout that, thought you were one of those Left Behinders"  (puts away pistol)

      "No, no, of course not, we've got both halves of our behinds!  Whew!...."

      •  when that happens (0+ / 0-)

        at long last, the Bush Administration will start moving on gun control. (with a grandfather clause so that currently armed right-wing crazies can keep their guns)

        At that point, DLC Democrats will come out of the woodwork to help Bushco create "bi-partisan" anti-gun laws and publically rejoice that "The Bush Adminstration Has Seen The Light".

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 12:59:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Of course... (0+ / 0-)

        Mormons get Dogs in the Vineyard, a game wherein you get to play "Avenging Angels" type characters and go around blowing away infidels (and before you ask: yes, also gays) in the pseudo-historical West. Of course, that game's redeeming feature is that it's actually got a few clever mechanical ideas and you can swap out "infidels" (and gays) for whatever group you like.

        "But Shapeshifter," i hear you ask, "What if I am an angry and sexually frustrated white supremecist? Don't I get a game of my own to play where I can just get down to the business of blowing away the brown-skinned and independent thinkers without all this religious hoo-ha attempted justification business?"

        Why yes, yes you do!

        You get Racial Holy War, a game whose only redeeming feature (contrary to that review: it has one) is how unintentionally and hilariously pathetic it portrays its "master race" to be.

        (Shall i go on?)

        The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

        by Shapeshifter on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 07:15:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I did a diary on this too (9+ / 0-)

    Over at the lil' blue Street Prophets back in March. From a little snip in a Newsweek article. I'm glad to see more attention to this hypocrisy. It's okay if.....(sigh).

  •  under the Patriot Act (14+ / 0-)

    Is this advocating of mass murder and terror a capital offense? Any attorneys out there?

    -6.63, -3.59 If we shall fail to defend the Constitution, I shall fail in the attempt.

    by spoon or no spoon on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 07:09:53 PM PDT

  •  Perfect Christmas present! (18+ / 0-)

    Nothing says "Peace on Earth" like taking an AK-47 to the godless hoarde.

    •  No, no, no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrankFrink

      Not the AK-47 of the godless Communists. More likely an all-American M16.

      Does anyone else remember the theory that VR games were a form of early training for the military? At least we know what kind of war the LB'ers are planning for.

      Horrible. And to think that the family values crowd will make money off this virtual slaughter, visceral hate, and plain old bad taste...

      •  America's Army (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FreedomFighter

        America's Army is a (free) video game paid for by the US Army (our tax dollars).

        •  right, but that's the Army... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scottman

          ...there is a serious difference between playing Army, which is a socialized role in our society, and playing terrorist.  

          If you grow up and join the real Army you immediately get the whole package: discipline, chain-of-command, following lawful orders, and all.  

          If you grow up and join a terrorist gang, what you get is the whole outlaw package.  

          There's a world of difference.  By analogy, the difference between working in a pharmaceutical company vs. working in a criminal gang's meth lab.  

      •  M-16 vs AK-47 (0+ / 0-)

        Well, the goal is to hit the heathens.

      •  Could it be this article from 1997? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        monkeybiz

        Does anyone else remember the theory that VR games were a form of early training for the military?

        I was a wired magazine subscriber back then. I remember the cover had the Doom Mod on it.

        It seems that the Marine Corps is using a modified version of id Software's Doom II, the addictive and hyperviolentPC-based videogame, for training purposes.

        from the archives

        We have no future because our present is too volatile. We only have risk management. The spinning of the given moments scenario. Pattern Recognition. ~W. Gibson

        by Silent Lurker on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 03:56:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rhetorical Point (4+ / 0-)

    I find the notion of a video game with an elimiationist theme totally disgusting-- not to mention one that places the player's avatar in the position of praising God as each body hits the floor-- but I have to stop short of suggesting that this is "training" anyone to do anything.

    It is, in the end, like all games, a work of digital fiction. To suggest that the teens playing this game are too stupid to tell a game from reality goes too far and, frankly, smacks of the BS the Wingnuts scream and cry when the latest title in the GTA series comes out.

    My point: there is enough wrong with this game to attack it on its content without resorting to dubious claims of "video game brainwashing".

    Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. --Ambrose Bierce

    by kingubu on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 07:12:35 PM PDT

    •  Training (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mediaprisoner, stagemom

      It only takes one suggestible kid to get the idea that aping the game might impress somebody. By and large violent video games don't breed violence, a history of physical violence in the home is much more indicative of violent behavior.

      However some violent offenders do gravitate toward violent games, though I would think usually not the ones that require skill, concentration, and confidence. Columbine kids were gamers, but I think they weren't very good, since if they had any avenue in life from which they could have derived a sense of accomplishment, they might not have turned homicidal/suicidal.

      Let's just say, games like this one aren't helping.

    •  So media doesn't effect behavior ? Umm...... (4+ / 0-)

      No comment.

      •  Of course it can. (0+ / 0-)

        But the answer is to teach critical evaluation: what is the message? who is the messenger, and what is their stake in getting me to believe the message? how does that message fit in with my experience?

        Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. --Ambrose Bierce

        by kingubu on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 10:01:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and let's say we're in a pinch (0+ / 0-)

          and neither have that kind of time nor a constituency interested in learning about critical thinking...

          you can rearrange my face but you can't rearrange my mind -8.63,-7.28

          by mediaprisoner on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 10:14:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Expediency (0+ / 0-)

            Okay, I'll grant your premise. Now please provide a list of those works of imagination that we all can safely see without fear that it might misconstrued by those you fear.

            Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. --Ambrose Bierce

            by kingubu on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 11:11:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i'm not saying (0+ / 0-)

              it's gonna be easy.  i actually don't think most people are as dumb as i feel like the powers-that-be would like them to be, but so long as news is entertainment and stories are reduced to hyperbole and 3-second clips, we've gotta find them on their turf.  we're still bringing fists to gunfights.  we are in our elected officials.  sometimes i think they're not as "democratic" as we are :P

              you can rearrange my face but you can't rearrange my mind -8.63,-7.28

              by mediaprisoner on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 11:56:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  you forget one thing (23+ / 0-)

      This is not a random video game.

      Like you, I trust teens and adults to reasonably distinguish between fictions of all kinds. But this is not fiction.  

      This is a product extension of the novel series Left Behind, by a prominent minister who presents his fiction as true to Biblical prophesy, and most premillennial dispensationalist agree with him.  (Tim LaHaye wrote some unreadable books about this as non-fiction before they popularized it via novels, movies, and now a video game.)

      So yes, I stand by all of my characterizations here. We are in the area of ideological indoctrination --  not hard core perhaps, but certainly part of an overall a development of a worldview.

      This is very different from bored teenagers in the suburbs playing Grand Theft Auto. It does not turn them into car theives.  But if you are a young evangelical Christian of the stripe that is, say attending a private Christian school where they teach Tim LaHaye style premillenial dispensationalism, and they get this video for Christmas, the reenforcement of the message is pretty clear.  

      And I might add, no matter what age the video is intended for, you know as well as I, that it will be played by children much younger.

      •  Rough Guess.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..How many children do you think will play this?

        100? 200? Less?

        Less would be my guess.  

        Please don't revive the ghost of Tipper Gore.

        •  huh (0+ / 0-)

          the company thinks otherwise. And these are businessmen who do not dump millions of dollars into a product they don't think will sell.  They plan to disseminate one million free copies to church leaders just to get things started.

          The people behind it have a lot of expertise in their market, and by all accounts, know what they are doing, and even the gamer magazines found the game to be good from that stand point. yeah, it will get played.

          They could be wrong, of course. But at this point, I don't think so.

      •  Yes it is fiction (0+ / 0-)

        And that some well-heeled propagandists are selling that fiction as fact doesn't change that.

        I'm not going to put myself in the postion of defending  a stupid game whose message I find offensive and disgusting. As I indicated downthread, since you posted the link and summary to the story on Talk to Action I've been pointing everyone I know there. Its a brilliant piece of investigative work and I'm thrilled that it is getting the attention it deserves.

        I'm only suggesting that there's enough wrong with the the game's message to warrant legitimate outrage. Let's stick to the firm ground.

        Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. --Ambrose Bierce

        by kingubu on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 10:55:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kingubu

          we are going to have to agree to disagree on this.

          I think the ground is very firm and have yet to hear a good reason not to continue to stand on it.

          As I said at the end of the diary, the main criticisms of Jonathan's diaries, and my comments along the way, are from evangelical Christians and gamers. They are both pretty thin, and do not take the substance of this matter into full account. It is as if they are rehashing arguments they have made at another time, about something else.

          Although you are coming from a different place, and I know you are genuinely concerned about this -- I get a similar sense.

          The problem is not just the message, but he entire system of delivering the message; and the larger movement and its component institutions, ideologies, and players -- of which this video is but a highly refined product that in many ways epitomizes what the movement is about, rather than standing out as an exotic exception or excess.

          That is one of the things that is most remarkable to me about this entire matter. Consider that they are going to dump a million copies distributed through church -- especially megachurch -- leadership networks.  

          This is the first big worldview reenforcement interactive game. It will not be the last. Let's not fall victim to reductionism of concern such that we miss the bigger picture.

          •  I think I'm getting it. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            darrelplant

            It seems you are saying that, irrespective of the game's actual usefulness as a "training" program, it is the producer's intent that it be seen or used as such. True? If so, that (the producer's intention) is worth raising a hue and cry over.

            It is as if they are rehashing arguments they have made at another time, about something else.  

            Although you are coming from a different place, and I know you are genuinely concerned about this -- I get a similar sense.

            Perhaps. But I have a lifetime of hearing (most often from the very Dominionists whose network the Talk to Action pieces are exposing) that this or that movie/book/rock band/video game/etc. should be pulled from the market because its very existence will somehow overpower the mind of its consumers and lead them astray.

            The Left Behind game can no more make teens into little Dominionist brownshirts any more than Ozzy Osbourne's songs made teens kill themselves during the 80's. That the game's producers might think it can, and that that belief is the motivation for producing the game-- that's the real story.

            Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. --Ambrose Bierce

            by kingubu on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 09:52:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  you're missing a key fact. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean, kingubu, teresab, buddabelly

      Suggestibility varies along a normal curve.  

      You may play blast-em all night and laugh it off as fiction.  About 15% of the population is like that: low suggestibility.  

      Someone else may play and become totally immersed and then get delusions of identifying with the characters.  About 15% are like that: high suggestibility.  

      The rest are in the middle, in-between.  

      Kids who play regular violent games do not get pats on the back from their parents reinforcing the social message in those games.  

      Kids who play these Left Behind games will no doubt get plenty of pats on the back from their parents reinforcing the social message.  Some of those kids are high-suggestible, and will become susceptible to being recruited for terrorist gangs.  Some of those in turn will kill people and blow up buildings.  

      That's the risk.  The Left Behind game plus the social context plus the positive reinforcement from parents, pastors, and so on.  Putting that mix into a high-suggestible kid's brain is irresponsible at best and dangerous as hell.  May as well dose the kid on acid and send him to a Nazi rally.  

      •  I'm not missing that, actually. (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, some people are more suggestable than others. And? Where does a society draw the line on your suggestablity curve that says "anything beyond here is simply too dangerous because those people might not get it"? More to the point, who draws that line?

        And, yes, obviously, parental reinforcement of the game's anti-social message would cause it to have a greater impact. Are you honestly suggesting that those sicko parents will fail to find another way to communicate that same message absent the existence of this awful game? "Gosh, I'd like to teach little Tommy that I approve of genocide; if only I had a video game that communicated that message... oh well, who wants pie?"

        Look, I'm not defending this piece of shit game. I find its theme atrocious, and since Fredrick posted the link to the story a couple of days ago I've been shaking the trees in every coder-geek community I hang out in to draw negative attention to it. But my reasons for doing so are based on the fact that I find its content offesive, not because I think the game is "dangerous".

        Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. --Ambrose Bierce

        by kingubu on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 10:34:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  offensive vs. dangerous (0+ / 0-)

          We draw that line when it comes to obscenity, and make it illegal on the grounds that it is offensive.  IMHO that's absurd because "offensive" is a highly subjective judgement, and the present standard enshrines puritanical prudishness.

          We draw a harder line when it comes to kiddie porn, and make it illegal on the grounds that it is dangerous.  Even kiddie porn that is composed entirely of animations, where there is no actual abuse of actual children.  Clearly the theory here, embodied in our laws, is that kiddie porn encourages child molestation: a person looks at kiddie porn and after they look at enough of it, they may go out and molest a child.  And so we put people in prison for having kiddie porn even if it's graphics done by animators and software.  

          So, what says you about animated kiddie porn, where no actual children are used to make the films, it's all done by animation artists and computers...?  Would you put people in prison for having kiddie porn animations?  

          •  Rather, let's compare apples to apples (0+ / 0-)

            The game store shelves are filled with titles whose primary theme is killing. Killing one-on-one, in groups and by the multitude-- often in very graphic fashion. Why does this game warrant a special ban, when those do not? Or would you ban those, too?

            Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure. --Ambrose Bierce

            by kingubu on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 11:23:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Equal treatment under law (0+ / 0-)

              Do away with the puritanical double-standard between explicit sex on one hand, and explicit hatred and violence on the other hand.  

              Either of the following will accomplish that:  

              a)  Both legal.  Anything you want to represent with drawings, graphics, animation, or other purely synthetic media, is legal.  Anything you want to represent in photography, whether still photos or motion pictures, using adult actors, i.e. age 18 and above, is legal.  Not legal to use children for depictions of criminal activity of any kind, since doing so would open a loophole for child porn made with real children.

              b)  Both illegal.  Definition of obscenity revised to include graphic depictions of act of violence and acts of hatred, subjct to the existing standards for "redeeming social value" i.e. peer-reviewed scientific publications, journalistic activity, and so on.  No differentiation as to the medium, i.e. still photography, motion picture photography, or synthetic means such as drawings, graphics, and animation, are all treated the same way.  

              Both (a) and (b) do away with the double-standard: by either eliminating the legal concept of obscenity and pornography, or by defining it in a manner that applies equally to sex and violence.  

              So, pick one.  

    •  Snakes on a Plane (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FreedomFighter

      My first inclination was to be disgusted by this, but then I thought, this is just Grand Theft Auto 3 with a different storyline.  GTA3 earns all the same criticisms as this game--suggestible children will suddenly start running over hookers with carjacked Hummers, engage in gunfights with the local constabulary, etc.  It's all overblown "think of the children" hype for GTA3, and it sounds like more of the same for this game.

      The two ways I would choose to view this:

      1. As camp.  When it comes to camp, I ask myself "What would John Waters think?"  And I think he'd love this game.
      1. As a digital-era Chick tract.  A certain crowd is going to love it without irony, and another crowd is going to love it for the cultural significance and corniness.

      Snakes on a plane, man, snakes on a plane.  Save the outrage for something else.

      •  The problem with the GTA3 comparison... (0+ / 0-)

        In GTA3 the game is all about choices. Most of the choices are bad, but as you can find out: you can play the game running a delivery service and staying completely within the law and not mowing down random bystanders, etc.

        But you can also go out and mow down those bystanders.

        With this game, you can wander through the streets of New York City and blow away infidels, etc (praise the Lawd!) and forcibly convert others...

        Or...

        You could be the antichrist. Literally, the antichrist.

        That's a little bit different than GTA3.

        The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

        by Shapeshifter on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 07:22:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This game is different (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, kingubu

      Games like Grand Theft Auto are fantasy violence.  The violence is random, disorganized, and fantastical.  I think it's likely that GTA has inspired some real world violence, but for most gamers it is clearly not reality.

      This LB game is different because the violence is organized and fits in with the world view indoctrinated by the fundy churches.  Kids are taught from a young age about the sinful ways of liberal heathens, the bastions of which are great cities like NYC.  Along comes this game that gives a solution to the "problem" of liberal heathens:  mass murder.  The final solution.  It will be interesting to see if the game portrays the fundies as all-white, and the heathens as mostly brown/black.  

      I'm not sure how I feel about this game as far as whether is should be permitted in the marketplace, but I'm far more troubled by it than by something like GTA, and I'm not entirely cool with GTA, either.

      Perhaps it would be illuminating to consider a game in which the goal is to kill the president.  The gamer has to organize a hit on the president, and gets to carry it out with his weapon of choice.  Would such a game be allowed in the US?  I doubt it, it's too close to reality.  This LB game is pretty much the same, except replace the president with a political party/philosophy.

      "Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." ~ Benjamin Franklin

      by Subterranean on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 12:02:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean, Shadan7, moiv, aitchdee, stagemom, cfk

    It's OK if you're a Republican. What they are doing tells me less about the nature of their concerns about morality and more about the fact that they are drunk with power. The nature of power-hungry people is that it is OK for them to do certain things, like play violent video games, but not OK for other people. That is when so-called "moral values" kicks in. Moral values are used for power, not for any real concern about moral values.

  •  money, money, money... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    monkeybiz, mrblifil, CD in TX
    make a buck.

    bleah.

  •  I certainly share the (5+ / 0-)

    disgust you express for this game.  I predict, though, that it will be a commercial flop.  The movies didn't cut it.  Whatever it is about this phenomenon, it only works in the books.  I have my own hypothesis.  Fundamentalists are raised with a heavy obligation to do devotional reading every day.  Their approach to the Bible, however, makes it a flat book and makes reading it a dull experience (I say this as a professional biblical scholar, who finds the Bible endlessly fascinating, but I don't approach it with the same assumptions that fundamentalists do).  I suspect that many of them have replaced Bible reading with books like the Left Behind Series.  It fulfills their reading obligation and is more interesting to them.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 07:29:08 PM PDT

  •  This is ridiculous and funny (12+ / 0-)

    ok, funny only until someone gets killed, but my point:

    There was a journalist back in the 1950s who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. He went undercover, and was able to learn their secrets, including handshakes and passwords (which all began with "KL" like "yes, Klaptain" instead of "yes, Captain"). What he discovered, which may not surprise anybody, was they were a bunch of ignorant cowards.

    And he published these stories revealing the idiocy and frankly the silliness of their rituals. And with that he stripped them of their mystique, and hence, their power. Eventually they went from being feared to being practically pitied.

    So good for Frederick for publicizing this diary. Sunshine, as they say, is the best disinfectant...now let's all have a good laugh at their expense!

  •  gawd, lahaye is creepy (7+ / 0-)

    and don't forget his...ahem, lovely bride, beverly lahaye, founder of concerned women for america.

    Concerned Women for America is “the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization...[CWA seeks] to protect traditional values that support the Biblical design of the family.”

    CWA is anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-feminism and anti-sex education. Beverly LaHaye started CWA to respond to the advances of feminism after watching NOW’s founder Betty Friedan on television in 1978. CWA identifies feminism as “anti-god, anti-family.”

    CWA identifies state-level Equal Rights Amendments (ERAs) as responsible for the breakdown of families, “The ERA proposes the elimination of our God-given roles as men and women, resulting in the redefinition -- and eventual destruction -- of family.”

    weather forecast

    The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

    by Cedwyn on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 07:31:25 PM PDT

  •  I Am Glad About This (6+ / 0-)

    I have many friends who are evangelical / conservative. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church is a rock star to these folks. They have waited in line at Christian bookstores to buy the next book in the Left Behind series to be released at midnight.

    I am hoping that this will be the moment that they finally see through the hypocrisy. If this game hits the big time, they will have to address the hypocrisy.

    Do you think this will be the beginning of the end of Saddleback's rockstar status among evangelicals? Will they finally come to face the fact that the Left Behind series is not a Christian book? Will they finally truthfully live WWJD?

    Personally, I am an unbeliever. I don't want my friends to give up their faith. However, if they truly lived their faith, they would be liberal.

    Am I too optimistic?

    •  No, no, no. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lucysdad, boofdah

      Seeing through the hypocrisy would require an element of reason and critical thinking.  This is a faith-based crowd of tribalists we're talking about.  

      I can't take credit for it, but this line sums it up:  "You can't use reason with people who cannot respond to it.  It's like trying to medicate the dead."    

    •  here here (0+ / 0-)

      Personally, I am an unbeliever. I don't want my friends to give up their faith. However, if they truly lived their faith, they would be liberal.

      oh I couldn't agree with you more! I swear, I have my evangelical friend soooo close to crossing over. I don't think she'll ever change her party, but I don't think she'll be voting in her party's direction very much in the future.

      The only Bush I trust is my own - I want my freaking democracy back! My Little Tribe

      by mytribe on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 07:50:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for Doing This (7+ / 0-)

    After witnessing "Battlecry" two weeks ago, I'm still freaked out about this kind of rabid dominionism.

    What I'm also noticing is that the resentment at the dominionists seems to be reaching critical mass, both among secular people and liberal protestants.

    We need to find some way of spinning this into real political action.

    This might be of interest to people on this site in the NYC area:

    http://worldcantwait.net/...

    Tuesday, June 6th

    Event- Esther Kaplan, author of With God on Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush's White House speaks on the alarming rise of the Christian Right under the Bush Administration @ 6:30pm; The Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, 263 West 86th Street (at the corner of West End Ave.)

    There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing."

    http://worldcantwait.org

    by WorldCantWait on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 07:33:18 PM PDT

  •  Well, isn't this part interesting.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, aitchdee, homogenius, boofdah

    When children tire of converting or killing New Yorkers, they can switch sides and command the demonic armies of the AntiChrist, and kill the conservative Christians.

    Well, this Christians-slaughtering-Christians angle certainly raises some intriguing questions:  

    • Are the fundies so desperate to fulfill their persecuted-martyr fantasies that they need a way to turn their guns on each other (after they finish slaughtering all the infidels, of course)?  
    • Do the gamers suspect that these Christian kids, given the choice between killing Bible-bangers or infidels, would really prefer to kill their own parents and preachers?  
  •  I was quite disturbed when I (6+ / 0-)

    learned about this game . I promptly emailed the story to a couple of my 'evangelical' pals. One is a PTA president with 4 sons. She is always trying to 'slip in' her Christian perspective at PTA meetings. Another, my sister inlaw who is a faithful convert of Dobson's Focus on the Family.

    I was able to discuss in person with the later, and she is NOT happy about this. "Disgusting" is actually what she said. That gave me a bit of hope.

    I haven't had a reply yet from the former. I have a gut feeling she will find a reason to defend the game.

    Spiritual people inspire me; Religious people frighten me.

    by Esjaydee on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 07:44:01 PM PDT

    •  yeah (6+ / 0-)

      there are plenty of decent people who when given the opportunity to see the implications of thier views, or the views of people with whom they might usually agree, come through and do and think the right thing.  Most conservative Christians, even rather politially oriented ones understand that at the end of the day, whatever our differences, we still have to live together.  

      Some, but far from all, are actual theocrats, or actual armaggeddonists -- in a way that includes the idea that they might have to slaughter their neighbors.  It is part of the task of our time to sort these kinds of things out.

      The reaction to your email is encouraging.

  •  we need an intervention (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Freedomfreak, boofdah

    Seriously folks, this is starting to look like some kind of freeper knitting circle.

    Has anyone actually read the reviews?

    http://www.gamespot.com/...

    I don't see anything resembling what is currently being described.  It's like a game of telephone gone bad.

    I can't stand literalists, millenialists, rapturists, and the Left Behind series is seriously gawd-awful.  But it's sci-fi.  Come on now.

    •  I just finished looking up (0+ / 0-)

      game reviews on this myself. And I now have the same question you do. What is bugging me now...
      Not one of the three sites mentioned the "Praise the Lord" after a 'conversion' or 'kill'. That is what really griped my at first of my offense at this game.
      I would think that would be mentioned in their reviews!?
      One more thing...these reviews pretty much refute a lot of what is being blogged about...in fact,the players apparently lose points for killing. ?

      I think more investigation is due, and I may have to email my 'pals' that I warned about the game. Looks like I may have jumped to conclusions.

      Spiritual people inspire me; Religious people frighten me.

      by Esjaydee on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 09:11:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not JUST for Christmas... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cynical Copper

    ...but just in time to rile up the base before the midterms:

    The game, slated for release by October 2006 in advance of the Christmas shopping season

  •  their problem is that the game sucks (4+ / 0-)

    no matter what the ideology, if the game sucks, it's toast.

    And as a video game market researcher, I've heard it through the grapevine: it sucks.

  •  After this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah

    editorial appeared in my local paper, I forwarded the story about the Left Behind game, and mentioned that I expect an editorial about this game too.

    No response. No editioral. No suprise.

  •  in case you REALLY want the visual (3+ / 0-)

    Here's a clip from the manufacturer's website. Warning - it's a LARGE file.

    Actually, it's not that graphic - just menacing.

  •  I look forward to it. (10+ / 0-)

    I've always wanted to play a dual-class Neutral Evil Half-Christian Douchbag/Asswipe. I hope I make level 12 because I can gain an extra level of hypocricy and also be able to fight with both my thumbs up my ass at the same time. Fun, fun, fun.

    It's the beat generation, it's be-at, it's the beat to keep, it's the beat of the heart, it's being beat and down in the world and like all time low-down

    by Splicer on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 08:02:05 PM PDT

  •  So? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homogenius

    Where's our game? Hunt the Christists in the fields and wide open spaces of the true Red States. Only instead of killing them, we enforce Rapture on them and we get all their stuff.

    Fight insanity and inanity with insanity and inanity.

    C'mon now, you tech-ies and gameers, get to it!

    Against silence. Which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 08:10:09 PM PDT

    •  Great opportunities (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius

      Hmmm..
      -Force the enemy to watch men kissing
      -Show a nipple
      -If you can flirt enough, there will a gay wedding

      Force the poor soul to accept universal healthcare?

      But if you would kill christians, well just look at the Da Vinci code- nonsense. Death threats etc..

      No, Turn them into Liberals!

      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

      by allmost liberal european on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 08:17:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like other RPGs, characters can take on classes.. (0+ / 0-)

        Lots of gross stereeotypes here, but they fall short of exhortation to murder.  Like AD&D, there can be general classes and specialists within the classes.  For example, fighters could be fighter, paladins and rangers, clerics could be clerics or druids, and so forth.

        I can only speak for some Christians --

        Seven Sisters

        No unique weapon, but they get a +4 bonus using the Beatitude/Anti-beatitude ("Woe to the rich...") Howitzer.

        Subclasses, with specialized attack.

        UCC:  Cookie shurikens
        ELCA:  Casserole stickyfoam
        ECUSA:  Sherry bombs
        UU:  Coffee-bean machine gun

        Liberal Catholics

        Unique weapon:  Bombshell (For some reason, most Catholic conversions came through marriage until very recently.  Useful as lure.)

  •  Two major problems with this game (6+ / 0-)
    1. If the Christains say "Priase God" then the New Yorkers have to say "Whaddya gonna do about it?" and "Fuck You!"
    1. A real New Yorker wouldn't put up with their shit that easily.  There would be drive by shootings, and on the other end fakers and crazy people that would infiltrate and anhilliate the Christains without warning.  You mean a bunch of white guys are going to kick the crap out of a bunch of mexicans, puerto ricans and black people?

    I mean c'mon.  It's not about reality, its all about the money.

    Can you just feel the love?

    Either way I can't wait til' this thing comes out on Bittorrent.  

    Apologies to anyone that thinks I mean offense or thinks I'm off the mark in New York.

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 08:18:08 PM PDT

  •  I'm glad the truth is out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, ilyana

    Way too many people--nice people, old people, Christians, non-Christians, Mormons, Democrats, pagans, little kids (in fact there's a Left Behind sub-series expressly for young adults) heck, even a lesbian/atheist friend of mine--bought the Left Behind books believing they were just, you know, fun. Fun like any other pot boiler/airport thriller: fluffy, non-taxing entertainment. And these same people keep rushing out to buy each new episode, never seeming to get the picture, therefore unwittingly contributing to the normalization of the Left Behind phenomenon, its way of thinking about life, and the outrageous appearance tim LaHaye on tv shows like Larry King as somebody with a legitmate religious point of view to contribute.

    In a stomach-churning sort of way I think this is a good thing. It makes the message of the LB series plainer than I ever could. Not to say it was ever particulary opaque, but this drives it home. It should.

    Is nothing secular?

    by aitchdee on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 08:29:03 PM PDT

  •  Some criticism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Freedomfreak, moiv, pinkhardhat
    1.  I can't help but notice that the diarist has a habit of dropping the word 'game' in several instances, thus referring to the target of his ire as a 'video'.  I was in fact rather confused by this, to the extent that I wondered if he was talking about some sort of promotional marketing film rather than the game itself.  Please stop doing that.  We're living in a world of DVD's and a wide variety of downloadable movie formats.  The word 'video' brings to mind videotape, which modern youth are probably still aware of, but probably can't help thinking of as obsolete.  If you seriously intend your criticism of the game to affect its target audience, you probably ought to portray yourself as being technically savvy, not dated and out-of-touch.
    1.  Have any of you replying to this thread actually read any previews of the game?  I suspect not, because the commentary indicates that many of you are making unwarranted assumptions about the game.  First, it is not a first-person shooter, it is a real time strategy (RTS) game.  For those of you who don't play video games, this means that the player is not personally shooting his virtual opponents, he is commanding troops.  That may not make much of a difference to you, but it is technically different in terms of the experience.  Second, the game is not about blowing away New Yorkers.  Most RTS games are about controlling and making effective use of resources.  The resources in this game are the New Yorkers.  Murdering them is not the goal of the game, rather, the point is to convert them to your side.  That fits thematically, it is morally distinguishable from simple mass murder, and from an objective standpoint as a video game enthusiast, it's an interesting mechanic.  And, keep in mind that other RTS games, such as the popular Warcraft series, which feature potentially more violence as they give you no choice but to completely eliminate your opponents in most cases, also receive E or T ratings.

    Now, this is the bit where I try to cover my ass.  Is this game making some rather ugly assertions about New Yorkers (big city liberals) being sinful?  Yeah, probably.  Is it claiming that the UN is a tool of the antichrist?  Yep, no doubt about that.  Is the game a blatant attempt to market Premillenialist religious views to the youth audience?  Uh huh.  Is Tim Lahaye creepy?  Oh yeah.

    But:

    If we ourselves are paying more than lip service to the concept of the 1st amendment, then I think we have to acknowledge that these people, as odious as they might be, have the right to attempt to proselytize by video game.

    By all means, criticize the game, criticize the motivations behind making it and the ideology that produced it.  But please, please, criticize knowledgeably.  The kind of ignorant, hate-filled call and response commentary in this thread is nothing but an embarrassment.  It's the sort of thing that freepers can point to as evidence that we are no better than they.  And if at the end of the day, we are not better, then really, what the hell was the point anyway?

    •  Strawman. (3+ / 0-)

      Nobody claimed they didn't have the right to market this noxious game.  
      Just as we have the right to criticize, mock and ridicule it.  

      •  I feel a bit of pity (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shapeshifter, Silent Lurker

        for the poor fundie kids that might buy this game.
        The RTS l33t d00ds are going to have a field day with them.

        In a day they will find the optimal units to use.  That same day they'll get a email from one of their buddies that has already made hacks for the game.  
        Why would they even bother to get this game?

        Mom:  Honey, why aren't you playing that game we got you?

        Kid:  I can't, they're out there...waiting for me.

        Mom: Who?

        Kid: THEM!!

        Just to screw with some "noobs".

        ah, I can already smell the carnage.

        Does that make me a bad person?

        •  You are spot on. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Freedomfreak, Silent Lurker

          We PC gamers are a cynical lot.  We have to be.  How many glossy ads have you been drawn into only to find a resource-chugging, underperforming piece of crap, littering your hard drive and leaving little bits of itself all over your system?

          Savvy gamers will shred anyone who steps on to mean streets of Manhattan if they're pushing an agenda.

          •  Yeah, (0+ / 0-)

            and you know it's going to have a second rate security on it.  They're is going to hacks galore.

            They won't even bother buying the game.  They'll just wait for crack version to come out for D/L.

          •  ... (0+ / 0-)

            How many glossy ads have you been drawn into only to find a resource-chugging, underperforming piece of crap, littering your hard drive and leaving little bits of itself all over your system?

            Oh? You've played EverquestII? ./bonk /snark

            We have no future because our present is too volatile. We only have risk management. The spinning of the given moments scenario. Pattern Recognition. ~W. Gibson

            by Silent Lurker on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 04:40:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with some of what you say. (0+ / 0-)

      Specifically about criticizing knowledgeably.  However, the one thing you are NOT hearing here is anything about censoring this game.  As someone stated upthread, sunshine is the absolute best thing we can do.  We're pointing out hypocrisy.  Let them send out 1 million copies for free and then sell a few tens of thousands (How many fundie kids have high-end gaming rigs and the patience for patch downloads?).

      Then we'll ask them, point blank,

      "What does this have to do with Jesus?"

    •  hmm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KathleenM1

      so really all you have is a geeky point about the use of the words video and games. Fair enough, but not much to hang your hat on.

      The game exists in a context of the Left Behind series, which in turn is a representation of what premillenial dispensationalists believe will happen in the end times -- an era in which many, including Tim LaHaye, believe we are already in.

      The option to covert or die results in mass murder of New Yorkers, even in the context of the game. Bodies pile up in the streets and characters say "Praise the Lord" when they kill the infidel.

      No one has challenged anyones right to publish or watch this video. In fact if you had taken the time to read Part I, Jonathan makes this view explicit. He and I are fierce believers in,the first amendment and in religious freedom, as even a casual reading of either of our work would show.

      But we also reserve the right to criticize and to publish. That's what the first amendment is about too. Jonathan and I have both written about these subjects for many years in different contexts. We do criticize knowledgably, even if as any human being might, make a few minor mistakes along the way. I mean, did anyone not understand what was being talked about here?

      There is often a great deal of ignorance and spew that comes out in response to my diaries. This is unfortunate and I have called out and troll rated more than a few religious bigots on my threads. The purpose of these diaries is to educate and activate, more than to alarm. Some subjects are by nature alarming, and we are not going to hold back when the situation calls for it. There is some obfuscatory blather out there about how benign this game is. But I have yet to see an argument that is more than a seat-of-the-pants defensive reflex.

      I would appreciate it if, in making your criticisms, of me, or my subject matter, you would distinguish between the diarist, the diary, and the worst of the comments and commenters.

    •  I saw your posts on Talk2action as well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allmost liberal european

      You've piqued my curiosity for sure, David. Let's see here.

      Your complaint against Frederick Clarkson, this time for referring to a video game as a mere "video," is of profound import, and I'm sure Fred will pleased to be shed of his mistake. Is there anything else he should know before speaking so erroneously again?

      You lodge a complaint against the "hate-filled call and response commentary" going on in this thread, and I'm darn glad of it because I dislike that kind of thing too, but there's a problem: I can't find any. Can you point it out?

      Finally there's your grievance with all the frothing-about-the-mouth censors among us, and I agree there's nothing troubling than that. I'd like to join you in your in your protest except, once again, I'm unable to locate the party against whom to protest. Can you help me out?

      .

      Is nothing secular?

      by aitchdee on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 10:04:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are You Tipper Gore? (0+ / 0-)

    Why don't you just let the gauranteed dismal sales of this game do the talking?

    If you're going to steam about this game you might as well start steaming about GTA, Unreal, Doom, etc.  Heck, almost every single game made today deals with some sort of violence and/or suffering.

    I've watched hyper violent movies and played (and enjoyed) hyper violent games for a large portion of my life.  Yet, magically I've turned out to be an extremely normal person.  

    This diary is garbage.  

    Sorry.

    •  no way dude, this is different (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TalkieToaster

      this is using the church to teach hate.  much deeper than just a violent videogame.  this is one of the things they'll mention in history classes in 50  years  as one of the depraved things the American youth did for entertainment during the 'last' crusade.

      you can rearrange my face but you can't rearrange my mind -8.63,-7.28

      by mediaprisoner on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 10:10:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ya.. (0+ / 0-)

        This game is going to change the delicate balance of good and evil on Earth!  Fer sure!

        •  um.... (2+ / 0-)

          where have you been living?  that balanced was tipped to evil long ago.  but we ought to do what we can to stop the decay.  this videogame is bullshit.  nobody's calling for it to be banned.  we're calling it out so that they get stuck with a pro-violence, corporate, anti-jesus's-values albatross around their necks.  and we're trying to give it a negative stigma such that people will frown upon their associates who purchase it.

          you can rearrange my face but you can't rearrange my mind -8.63,-7.28

          by mediaprisoner on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 10:17:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Thought You Were Being Sarcastic (0+ / 0-)

            But now I think you're serious..

            Damn, man.. it's just a friggen game.

            •  i agree on almost any other game/violence case... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shapeshifter

              believe me- i still enjoy GTA whenever I need to truly unwind.

              but i have read a few of the Left Behind books, and in combo with the game and, well, for lack of a better way to out it, the "lifestyle" - this is like a freaky crazy cult that literally thinks they need to kill people to follow their raptured loved ones up to Jesus.

              They're always looking at world events as a sign that we're in the "end times."

              I would normally be right there with you on the "it's just a friggen game" bit, but this is more Davis Koresh / Jim Jones ? the freaky San Diego guy can;t think of his name right now.

              Or a much more widespread version of the extreme mormons.. just google Warren Jeffs & Colorado City ...
              these people learn from childhood that the streets will literally run red with blood at some point.

              I don't know, i could be wrong, and I still can't wait to try it & laugh my ass off - I mean, it sounds so hilarious to me, in spite of eveything...

  •  Madrasahs (0+ / 0-)

    Tell me again, what happens at the radical Muslim schools funded by Saudi Arabia?

    Sounds like we can figure out where these guys got the idea for the videogame.

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 09:36:03 PM PDT

  •  So? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmgotham

    Aren't we the same people that defended Rockstar's right to make Grand Theft Auto? This whole thread has a weird Tipper Gore vibe.

  •  I'm a pagan and a gamer (6+ / 0-)

    And I can't wait to play this game. I actually get to blow away Christians in service of the Antichrist, and it's not a wet dream brought on by watching too much Charmed and Buffy!

    Course, the fact that the makers of the game are serious about this is kind of scary. I could see this as satire, but I know they think it's real. There's the trouble with this, the people likely to play are the people you don't want gaming, the ones who already have slim holds on reality.

    I don't think the game is even remotely Christian, but I'll let you know if it's cool or not. And yes, I will be looking for a pirated version so I don't contribute to the nutbags.

    Somebody really needs to tell the White House that "1984" is a cautionary tale, not a political guidebook.

    by jabbausaf on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 10:20:23 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, I can't wait to play this game. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phemme texxii

      I haven't read the books, don't plan to(or absorb any other form of them), but I love video games, and I think this game has potential.
      It will probably have bad gameplay, controls, cheap graphics, ripoff some other shooter-game's engine, etc. but at least they're saying they'll include the other side(the Antichrist's legions). I'm skeptical that they'll actually do that(why would they do all this direct marketing to Christians if they have both sides in the game?).
      I don't buy the line that video games push kids to violence, but that doesn't seem to be the point with this game. It is pure propaganda and, along with the all the other Left Behind crap, will push all of these Christianists closer to the edge.

      It takes a Revolution to make a solution. -RNM

      by rpm5250 on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 11:05:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm glad to hear you're (0+ / 0-)

      looking for a pirated version!  I was getting ready to ask if you could really support such propaganda.  Glad to hear you won't contribute to the nutbags.

      We Need REGIME CHANGE

  •  Does anyone know the quick keys (0+ / 0-)
    that will unlock the porn in the game?

    Gotta be there.

    Do you get to catch Gerry Falwell in the toilet reading Hustler?

    The sooner they line up to drink kool aid the better.

    Catch that comet!!

  •  Has anyone heard of the Columbine video game? (0+ / 0-)

    It's called the "Super Columbine Massacre RPG," I believe, and you get to be Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
    There have been a few articles here in CO about in the Rocky Mountain News. They interviewed the creator of the game(he used a downloadable RPG-game creator off the internet to make it, I think).
    I haven't played it, but the articles have been interesting. Apparently this guy was shocked by the massacre's because the two killers were so much like him, and the incident forced him to change his life away from its suicidal/homicidal path.

    It takes a Revolution to make a solution. -RNM

    by rpm5250 on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 11:22:25 PM PDT

  •  To tell you the truth (0+ / 0-)

    ...this game seems kind of twisted in a fun way.  But it's not appropriate for kids, and it needs to be clearly marked that way.

  •  Having read through many of the responses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frederick Clarkson

    I have to say, I am appalled by the seemingly lack of understanding as to the implications of this "game"...this is NOT merely a game...it is training for a Theocratic Holy War.

  •  I want a game (0+ / 0-)

    called "Final Judgement" wherein I can baste virtual fundamentalist ministers in buckshot whilst yelling "Hail Satan," splattering their bibles with their shitty cankerous brains whilst their parishoners run screaming into the parking lot to be devoured en masse by my accomplice Cthulhu.

    that's my idea of fun.

    Capitalism is the most barbaric of all religions. - Mark Stewart

    by RabidNation on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 12:47:44 AM PDT

  •  Excuse my French (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sally in SF, tryptamine
    or Latin, whatever...but, Un -Fucking-Believable!

    I've encountered some fundies here in SF when I was taking the ferry & busses.  A young woman engaged me once at a bus stop.  There were tents set up in the area & she was very wild eyed but engaging.  I took her pamphlets, & used eye & body language, to sow the seeds of doubt in her.  I was polite & open.

    It's a tried & true Rethugly MO.

    I hope she started to have doubts about what she was doing.

    When they came to SF for their God Hates Fags demo, they were pelted with tomatoes, so I guess they decided to go more subtle.

    I'm surprized the game wasn't about killing San Franciscans, but I suspect we're next.

    I hope that this intolerance line will backfire with the young people they are targeting.  If the young-uns on our side are representative, these kids are much smarter & more tolerant than the Talebangelists can imagine.

    This could blow up in their faces.  They're transporting their kids to the most tolerant places in the country.  We're more likely to influence those kids than they are to change us.

    "The last third is usually backwash." Stephen Colbert

    by x on Sat Jun 03, 2006 at 01:57:52 AM PDT

    •  From a fellow SFer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x

      I loved the tomatoes they got thrown at them.  We sure don't need those hate mongering, bigoted AHs in our city!  And I hope you're right that this whole thing blows up in their faces, but I suspect too many people will suck this shit up and the propogating of hate and violence will continue.  The sheer hyprocisy is mind numbing.

      We Need REGIME CHANGE

  •  That's utterly and totally despicable (0+ / 0-)

    and it's really, really a perversion of religion to even think of making such a video game, much less produce it and them promote it through religious channels.  That's so repugnant it makes me want to throw up.  Talk about sick.

    We Need REGIME CHANGE

  •  It's ridiculous to call this training (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darrelplant, Cmyst

    Many rightwing whackjobs have said the same about Grand Theft Auto, which I've played quite a lot, and I've carjacked very few people.

    When we start using rightwing demonization tactics for our own causes, it's time to take a deep breath and slow down.  Particularly when this is, as everyone admits, all based on second-hand information.

    •  what is rediculous (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jhutson

      is your assertion that is it not training.

      Tim LaHaye is a lifetime proponent of premillenial dispensationalism. He has written many books and is one of the most well known ministers of the day. He wrote the Left Behind series to further his religious ideas -- and to make a buck along the way. He, and his religious colleagues, say that the novels, while fiction, are true to what the Bible says about the End Times. By the same token, the game is a further extension of the teaching, and is certainly intended to reenforce the message each step of the way.  

      I agree that Grand Theft Auto does not make bored suburban teenagers into car theives. But this, Junior Bug, is a completely different matter. This is about further ideological immersion of evangelical youth into an end times psychology, and teaching children about the meaning of thier lives. The company intends to market the game through church networks.

      I would make the anaology that it is as if car thieves gave their children Grand Theft Auto. But even that is too superficial an analogy compared to the depth of the belief system -- and the stakes -- involved here.

      •  Slippery Slope (0+ / 0-)

        You know what? I have no problem with the concept of this game. I've played games for thirty years on topics ranging from interstellar conflict to nuclear war to secret societies vying to control the world. I just wrapped up a couple of hours of shooting people and vehicles in Battlefield 2 online, playing on American, Middle East, and Chinese teams against gamers from around the world. BF2, by the way, was mentioned just a couple of weeks ago here at DKos because a company working for the government claimed that a video of stock scenes from the game put together by a guy in Holland was a special version modified by al-Qaeda for use as a recruitment tool.

        So excuse me if I don't share your view that the mere existence of the game and its premise is itself a sign of the end times. I've seen worse premises, and while it doesn't sound like something I'd particularly enjoy, who knows?

        However, the hypocrisy of a game where you shoot people (blood or no) being marketed by proponents of the King of Peace -- well, that's a little rich.

        I'm a member of the International Game Developers Association, and I can assure you with a fair amount of certainty that their position on something like this is going to be very much on the side of the developers despite the fact that they'd likely not receive reciprocal support. If the pushback against this game goes on the grounds that the concept should be off-limits or that it trains kids to kill, the game industry (which grosses more money than Hollywood) is likely to be fairly vocal in the defense of the idea that games don't kill people, people kill people.

        Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

        by darrelplant on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 01:31:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  'Nother strawman (0+ / 0-)

          Darrelplant writes: "So excuse me if I don't share your view that the mere existence of the game and its premise is itself a sign of the end times."

          Ummm... No one has advanced such a view.

          •  Literalism (0+ / 0-)

            Are you and Freddie as literal in your readings as the LaHaye folks or something? Because you seem to have lost your senses of proportion, analogy, and interpretation.

            I mean, I agreed with you about the fact that people in a religion supposedly founded by a man of peace were promoting a game about shooting religious rivals to death. You got that part, didn't you?

            What I specifically think would be the wrong approach to take, however would be to attack the concept of such a game. For the same reason, while I'm firmly against any kind of real-life intervention in Venezuela, I can't support a ban on an upcoming video game with Venezuela as a backdrop. Back in the mid-70s, I bought a magazine containing a game called "Oil War", which postulated a US invasion into the Persian Gulf.

            I've also been on the side of the people others have tried to shut up. A quarter century ago, I was scheduled to give a talks at a children's library about role-playing games, including Dungeons & Dragons. The local "youth pastor" threatened to picket the talk unless he was given time before me to speak about the evils of D&D, and the library caved. The guy showed up with his cohort of fresh-scrubbed high-school kids (just a few years younger than myself at the time) and told the wide-eyed audience of ten and twelve-year-old boys about the evils of D&D and how it led to Satanism and how it cost hundreds of dollars for armor and on and on.

            So on the free speech issue, I'm kind of an absolutist. I'm halfway tempted to write my own game where you bash people over the head with dino bones to convince them that evolution is real, but I'm sure you'd have just as much moral outrage over that, wouldn't you?

            Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

            by darrelplant on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 10:40:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  if the gamer industry (0+ / 0-)

          wants to defend the indefensible. I can't wait.

          •  Indefensible (0+ / 0-)

            What's indefensible about it? It's a free speech issue.

            Free speech includes speech you disagree with. That's not indefensible. But criticizing the content of the game is a lot different than criticizing the hypocritical stance of the game's perpetrators. Personally, I hope protest about the game does the public esteem of LaHaye and his buddies down a couple of notches, but I also recognize the right of anyone to make a game on this topic. If you don't, then maybe you need to reacquaint yourself with the First Amendment.

            Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

            by darrelplant on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 10:12:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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