Pharyngula

GTA, meet LB:EF

Are you ready for the hot new game of the 2006 Christmas season, Left Behind: Eternal Forces?

Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission – both a religious mission and a military mission — to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state – especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is “to conduct physical and spiritual warfare”; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.

I’m impressed. This sounds like it’s going to top Grand Theft Auto for the glorification of thug life. This is exactly how I imagine the Christian ideal…is this your picture of a benevolent Christian conversion?

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This game immerses children in present-day New York City — 500 square blocks, stretching from Wall Street to Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the United Nations headquarters, and Harlem. The game rewards children for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian. The game also offers players the opportunity to switch sides and fight for the army of the AntiChrist, releasing cloven-hoofed demons who feast on conservative Christians and their panicked proselytes (who taste a lot like Christian).

Is this paramilitary mission simulator for children anything other than prejudice and bigotry using religion as an organizing tool to get people in a violent frame of mind? The dialogue includes people saying, “Praise the Lord,” as they blow infidels away.

Here are more screenshots, and in case you find the whole premise difficult to believe, there is an official website.

This is one of the screenshots, which I find hilarious. It aptly represents how this game can turn an icon of Christian thought (which, no matter how wrong it is, at least is a beautiful representation) into pure cheese.

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It’s tasteless, crass, stupid, and cheap…and the Left Behind fans will probably eat it up. It’s the perfect symbol.

Comments

  1. #1 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkZqbt_zOb2Sxqdt-iHOkkGGr-Xrm5XTbs
    July 18, 2010

    http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/left-behind-eternal-forces/749748p1.html

    “[A]nyone looking for explicit “Kill the unbelievers!”-style content to justify their fear of the game won’t find it here.”

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2006/12/leftbehind.ars

    “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.”

    http://pc.ign.com/articles/745/745956p1.html

    “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.”

    http://www.adl.org/Interfaith/leftbehind.asp

    “Conversion to Christianity in the game is not depicted as forcible in nature, and violence is not rewarded in the game.”

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