Monday, May 29, 2006

Blessed Are the First-Person Shooters 

From our eminent colleague Mike at Crooks & Liars, an exciting new product for young Christian gamers who want some attitude in their beatitudes:
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.

The game, slated for release by October 2006 in advance of the Christmas shopping rush, has been previewed at video game exhibitions, and reviewed by major newspapers and magazines. But until now, no fan or critic has pointed out the controversial game's connection to Mr. Warren or his dominionist agenda.
The game, entitled Left Behind: Eternal Forces, is based on the bestselling rapture-porn series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. However, no prior knowledge of the LaHaye-Jenkins oeuvre is required to enjoy the high-octane, heavy-ordnance action. In fact, the designers clearly hope that the game's appeal will extend beyond the obvious demographic (pimply, forlorn teenage Christers who know they will get plenty of dates on that glorious day when the Lord lifts them up to heaven) to a more general audience (pre- and post-pubescent death-metalheads whose other interests include Gummo, kohl, and animal sacrifice):
Tyndale's licensing of the project infuriated one of its authors, Jack Thompson, a conservative Christian attorney and outspoken critic of video game violence, who told the Los Angeles Times that he severed ties with his publisher in a dispute over "Left Behind: Eternal Forces."

"It's absurd," said the video critic. "You can be the Christians blowing away the infidels, and if that doesn't hit your hot button,
you can be the Antichrist blowing away all the Christians."

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