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Author Topic: 'Convert or die' game divides Christians
snopes
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Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season and that Wal-Mart, a major video game retailer, should yank it off its shelves.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/12/MNG8TMU1KQ1.DTL

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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Wait, I don't see anything wrong with a game that replicates most of European history. Those children need to know where they're coming from!
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Paul Ortego
I Saw Three Shipments


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Wasn't there a game like this in The Simpsons? Rod and Todd were playing "Convert the Cannonite" or something like that. Stealing ideas from decade old cartoons. I guess the video game industry never has been the paragon of originality, anyway.
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KaiTheInvader
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Ortego:
Wasn't there a game like this in The Simpsons? Rod and Todd were playing "Convert the Cannonite" or something like that. Stealing ideas from decade old cartoons. I guess the video game industry never has been the paragon of originality, anyway.

yep, it was called "billy Graham's Bible Blaster". my favorite line comes from that...

"I got him!"
"Nah, you just winged him and made him a Unitarian."

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Resurrection of mankind to careen in silent pace. Feeling lonely. I am the dream that nobody dreams of, but will you dream of me, and dream of eternal desire? If you dream of me, will you live for me? Will you? Will you?

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Cactus Wren
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quote:


Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story.

When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.

"That is so obvious," he said.

Can the Muslim-named characters be converted? Or are they only cannon (or hand-cannon) fodder?

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Cactus Wren:
Can the Muslim-named characters be converted? Or are they only cannon (or hand-cannon) fodder?

Good question! You should be able to potentially convert anyone (other than, presumably, the Antichrist himself). (Besides, according to Jack Chick, you can convert a Muslim to a Christian in a dozen or two panels....)

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Major D. Saster
The First USA Noel


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... And of course, the Antichrist happens to be Secretary General of the United Nations.

This trash obviously comes from the same factory as the "Liberality for All" comics.

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AdmiralDinty
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Meh, the graphics don't even look that good. What self-proclaimed gamer would want it, evangelical or not? These Christian video games are always on the wrong side of the curve.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I think someone is missing the point.

ETA: That would be the makers of this game fwiw.

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Richard W
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The Onion's AV Club have reviewed it:

Left Behind: Eternal Forces

It gets a D, but for what it's worth they've resisted the temptation for cheap shots or sensationalism, so I guess that's fairly objective.

I always wonder about the developers and staff that make these games. Unless there's a specific subset of purely Christian / "whatever-the-term-for-people-who-believe-in-the-Rapture-is" software companies who don't employ anybody else, there's no way (given typical developers and software industry types) that they can believe in what they're doing. There has to be somebody, somewhere in the process, that does - but I'd assume that would usually be at a "commissioning" level rather than any other level. Either that or a cynical ploy from a CEO who knows there's a ready-made market.

That would probably explain why these games (apparently) tend not to be any good.

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Pseudo_Croat
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This is wrong on so many levels. It's the same kind of logic that people used in the Crusades and the Inquisition. Why are some people who profess to call themselves Christian feeding themselves this garbage today? It's the last thing we need in these modern times.

Besides, don't the Muslims believe that Jesus Christ was an important prophet? They just don't believe in His divinity, or that He was the Son of God.

What's so wrong about "Love thy neighbor as thyself?" C'mon people. [Roll Eyes]

- Pseudo "leave this title behind, please" Croat

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by E. Q. Taft:
Good question! You should be able to potentially convert anyone (other than, presumably, the Antichrist himself). (Besides, according to Jack Chick, you can convert a Muslim to a Christian in a dozen or two panels....)

Of course you can. All you need to do to convert anyone is tell them that Jesus was the son of God, and it'll happen instantly. Chick is wise in all things.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Ah, memories of Bible Adventures and Noah's Ark 3D...

There is quite a market for Christian videogames, mostly by basement developers. It's not a new phenomenon, it dates back to the 8-bit dates (if not to the dawn of videogaming).

quote:
I guess the video game industry never has been the paragon of originality, anyway.
Au contraire. It's extremely creative, but the sheer volume of output makes the samey games stand out all the better.

The Simpsons, by the way, took the Xian game idea from the videogame industry, not the other way around.

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Mickey Blue
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Man, thats almost a game I want to own, just to fight back..

quote:
Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season
Wow, so you have to be a liberal and/or progressive Christian to be against killing non-Christians? Kinda scary.

quote:
Left Behind Games' president, Jeffrey Frichner, says the game actually is pacifist because players lose "spirit points" every time they gun down nonbelievers rather than convert them. They can earn spirit points again by having their character pray.
You know these are probobly the same people who complain about GTA...

quote:
"You are fighting a defensive battle in the game," Frichner, whose previous company produced Bible software, said of combatting the Antichrist. "You are a sort of a freedom fighter."
Thats it.. I'm leaving the country..

quote:
In Left Behind, set in perfectly apocalyptic New York City, the Antichrist is personified by fictional Romanian Nicolae Carpathia, secretary-general of the United Nations and a People magazine "Sexiest Man Alive."
Wow..

quote:
Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story.
Ok the rest sort of make some sense (from a warped pCm's point of view) but why "medics"? How did my profession get wrapped up into all of this..

Clearly these people have never met any REAL medics, cause I assure you we are all going to hell.

quote:
When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.

"That is so obvious," he said.

We don't endorse prejudice, but all muslims must be converted or killed.

quote:
But Plugged In, a publication of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, gave the game a "thumbs-up." The reviewer called it "the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior -- and use to raise some interesting questions along the way.
Its this enough to get whatever funding they have pulled? I mean really, its a game where you literally convert or kill nonbelievers.

quote:
Frichner said that is precisely his company's ultimate goal in offering the game: to bring parents and kids together to talk about the Bible. He said most teens are playing video games, so it was natural to turn the books into one.
Hey lets let grandma take a turn! Blast that mo-fo grandma, kill him dead! Yay Jesus! Praise him!


That said, I may have to go out and buy this game.. First lemme look at some reviews, if you can play on the "evil" side it could be fun, gunning down pCms (I presume).

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Ortego:
Wasn't there a game like this in The Simpsons? Rod and Todd were playing "Convert the Cannonite" or something like that. Stealing ideas from decade old cartoons. I guess the video game industry never has been the paragon of originality, anyway.

This was the first thing that came to my mind.

"Aw. Darn. Winged him. Now he's a Unitarian".

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Blue:
That said, I may have to go out and buy this game.. First lemme look at some reviews, if you can play on the "evil" side it could be fun, gunning down pCms (I presume).

You can, but according to the article, you can't win that way.

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
You can, but according to the article, you can't win that way.
According to some reviews I read (aside from the game sucking) you can only play the evil side in multiplayer anyways, dont' feel like being preached too while I'm online any more then I have to.


I would like to add that there is nothing wrong with a game where Christians get to convert/kill nonchristians in itself.. Its just a videogame after all, fictional. The "wrongness" to this all, IMO, is that apparently many Christians/Christian groups are getting behind this as a positive message..

To put that in perspective, thats sort of like saying killing all the cops you see is a positive message in GTA, as opposed to an interesting fictional videogame.

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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A game where you can play either of two opposing sides but only one side can win sounds like the crappiest game ever.

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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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Yeah, because there are so many Muslim rock stars. There's...er...uh...Cat Stevens?

For what it's worth, from a kid's point of view, aren't fictionalized rock stars a whole lot more awesome than medics, gospel singers, and healers?

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"You can't play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble Puppy."
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Midgard_Dragon
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
The Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, two online political groups, plan to demand today that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens.
As horrible as this game sounds, should a group named "The Campaign to Defend the Constitution" really be getting into battles where they demand retailers not sell something that's perfectly legal? Isn't that going a bit against the Constitution?

ETA - I'd love to hear what Jack Thompson thinks about this game. Anyone hear anything about it from him?

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
For what it's worth, from a kid's point of view, aren't fictionalized rock stars a whole lot more awesome than medics, gospel singers, and healers?
Eh, something tells me kids who would find the premise of this game "cool" would not like those particular groups, odds are they'd be well into brainwash land... And everybody things medics are cool.. Everybody you hear! EVERYBODY!

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Izzy Quigley
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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Blue:
quote:
Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season
Wow, so you have to be a liberal and/or progressive Christian to be against killing non-Christians? Kinda scary.
FWIW, I'm a Christian and not particularly liberal, and I'm disgusted that there are actually Christian groups supporting this game.

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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quote:
Originally posted by Midgard_Dragon:
As horrible as this game sounds, should a group named "The Campaign to Defend the Constitution" really be getting into battles where they demand retailers not sell something that's perfectly legal? Isn't that going a bit against the Constitution?

Sure, why not? They are not asking the government to remove the item, they are asking the stores to not carry the item. Censorship is perfectly Constitutional when done by businesses or private citizens. It is sort of away from their name-sake, but not against it.

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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htonl
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quote:
Originally posted by Midgard_Dragon:

ETA - I'd love to hear what Jack Thompson thinks about this game. Anyone hear anything about it from him?

From here:
quote:

Christian attorney Jack Thompson, a fervent anti-video-game-violence activist in Miami, says the makers of "Left Behind" are compromising their values as they try to provide an effective substitute for mainstream games.

"It breaks my heart to realize that the culture has basically transformed the church rather than the church confronting the culture and trying to transform it," Thompson said.

Having litigated and been involved in many cases fighting against violent video game content, Thompson said studies show young people's brains are not developed enough to properly process simulated violence. He thinks the company is counting on a naivete within the Christian community to embrace the "Left Behind" game just because it is produced by self-proclaimed believers.

The negative effects of violence in video games should not be underestimated, he said, even if it's delivered in a box that is supposedly blessed.

"You've got a generation of boys in this country who are spending sometimes dozens of hours a week blowing away people," Thompson said. "Now they're going to have the opportunity to do it in a Christian setting and, you know, where does it stop?"



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Avril
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
"whatever-the-term-for-people-who-believe-in-the-Rapture-is"

Dispensationalists.

Avril

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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season and that Wal-Mart, a major video game retailer, should yank it off its shelves.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/12/MNG8TMU1KQ1.DTL

Apparently all the other video games where you just kill everybody you don't like the look of, without even giving them a chance to join your side, are much more morally uplifting. [Roll Eyes]
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LeaflessMapleTree
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I don't see how this is worse than sexist, law-breaking games such as Grand Theft Auto. It's based on an offensive concept. But who cares if stores sell it?

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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Does GTA use a religion to justify its violence, though? Especially a religion whose founder, as it were, is known as the Prince of Peace?

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LeaflessMapleTree
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr:
Does GTA use a religion to justify its violence, though? Especially a religion whose founder, as it were, is known as the Prince of Peace?

No, but does that make GTA better? Does it make a crime better if it's done for secular purposes?

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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Better? Meh...

I think the issue I have is the notion that somebody's view of Christianity is that those who won't/don't convert should be killed.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Absolutely. And it's a sick, horrible attitude to have. I am just wondering why people want this game yanked from Wal-Mart's shelves, but they don't care if Wal-Mart sells stuff like GTA.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Ah.

Well, I want every item yanked from Wal*Mart's shelves, so perhaps I should exit this conversation. [Big Grin]

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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snopes
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quote:
When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.
What about the Jews, then? They're obviously not on Christ's side (since they already killed Him once), but they certainly can't be on the same side as the Muslims.

- snopes

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Salamander
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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season and that Wal-Mart, a major video game retailer, should yank it off its shelves.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/12/MNG8TMU1KQ1.DTL

Apparently all the other video games where you just kill everybody you don't like the look of, without even giving them a chance to join your side, are much more morally uplifting. [Roll Eyes]
Which would be fair criticism of someone who defended GTA but was crying out for this to be removed from the shelves.

Yet I would be reasonably surprised to find that the Christian groups in the OP who are objecting to the release of this game would be in support of games like GTA. Therefore I find your snark to be misguided.

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"victory thru self-deception"

Posts: 2211 | From: Western Australia | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Michigan Girl
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
Of course you can. All you need to do to convert anyone is tell them that Jesus was the son of God, and it'll happen instantly. Chick is wise in all things.

I see the light! I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE!

Michigan-former Muslim who became a Unitarian when she was winged and who now Found Jesus™ thanks to trollface-Girl

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~ Yep, I'm in Michigan ~ My blog http://catsrule2k.blogspot.com/
I am not willing to give up my constitutional freedoms just because I have nothing to hide

Posts: 142 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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