Monday, October 8, 2007

Salvation from the barrel of a gun

Regular readers and listeners will know that don and I are both avid video game players. In addition, as a filmmaker I look at videogames a lot for ideas on where film may be headed in the future. 300, for example is, in my opinion, the best video game movie yet made and it's not even based upon video game source material.

You might also know that we've referenced the Left Behind films several times. I specifically mentioned it when I was talking about art and Christians.

Well, the Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game is in the news recently. For those who don't know, the game is a tactical strategy game that puts the player in command of a small army of christians to work against the anti-christ. Your primary weapons in the battle are prayer and worship(singing to convert enemies) but you also have the ability to simply kill the non-belivers. Apparently an expansion to the game is being released soon, and in order to head off bad publicity(mainly since the game was highly criticized and recieved generally bad reviews), the producers have decided to address criticism directly, contacting websites that have made negative comments about the game.

What did they say? Did they accept constructive criticism and go forward in the spirit of, as Paul said, "Live at peace with all men?" Not exactly.

They sent out letters threatening legal action for the websites hosting "false and misleading" information.

That seems like just what Jesus would have done in such as situation, doesn't it? I believe the Gospel of Luke records Jesus sending several strongly worded legal letters to the Phairsees informing them that it was in fact libel for them to say that he was "a madman" and "the Devil."

The really funny(and sad) thing is that the letter doesn't specify what "false and misleading" statments are being made. Gameology has posted all their stories on the game, and a quick perusal doesn't reval anything that bad. All christians are white, all women are barred from leading christian forces. It is possible to kill the bad guys but not necessary. All that jives with what I've seen from the game.

So, just for the record, Left Behind: Eternal Forces does not stink like a 3 week old dead lion with a beehive inside its festering torso. Not literally.

(Gamepolitics story)

(Gameology story)

(Kotaku coverage)

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1 comment:

Jason said...

Left Behind Games produces a product and their product is being smeared by a great many people - often sight-unseen. How is this any different than a food producer threatening legal action if people who hate the company and its product were to spread false rumors that the company's food is being deliberately poisoned? Or what about an author threatening legal action if someone who hates him claims his books promote pedophilia? People have a right to protect their products from false information about them. At least LBG was nice enough not to immediately start out with legal action.

Jesus confronted the people smearing his name, although he did it in person instead of in letter form. It just wouldn't work in this day and age for LBG to confront their critics in person.

All christians are white,

Untrue. Bruce Barnes definitely isn't white and other characters are definitely not white, though their character model appears to be. They did limit their character models, though. Perhaps that's something they'll improve in the sequel.

all women are barred from leading christian forces.

Really? So the female Worship Leader and Prayer Warrior (the most powerful characters in the game) don't really exist in the game?

It is possible to kill the bad guys but not necessary.

But that's not what many, many of the critics are saying about the game. They are claiming that the game is about "convert or kill" - i.e. if you can't convert someone, then you *MUST* kill them. My guess is that's primarily what LBG is going after since it is completely untrue and highly damaging to their product.