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Censorship Entertainment Games

Wal-Mart Asked to Drop Christian Video Game 1535

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-crusades-were-fun dept.
doug141 writes "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.Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on [his] side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics."
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Wal-Mart Asked to Drop Christian Video Game

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  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @08:56AM (#17234840)
    Is it like a critical fairy tale believer?
    • by ifchairscouldtalk (1031944) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:02AM (#17234896)

      Is it like a critical fairy tale believer?
      Kinda, but probably closer to a secure Windows.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:02AM (#17234900) Homepage
      A progressive Christian is someone that does not flip you off before or after they run you off the road in their SUV covered in Christian bumper stickers.

      Either that or a Christian that got a good deal on his car insurance.
      • by yourexhalekiss (833943) <herpNO@SPAMderpstep.com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:17AM (#17235042) Homepage
        A progressive Christian is someone who actually does what the Bible says to do: Love one's neighbor more than one's self Loves God with all of their heart, soul and mind. It's pretty much that simple. Any person that calls themselves a Christian but hates homosexuals, Muslims, non-Christians, liberals, etc. is sorely deluding themselves.
        • by princesspetunia (1039802) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:22AM (#17235102)
          Exactly - a "progressive" christian is "a Chrsitain". As my favorite t-shirt says: "The Christian Right is Neither"
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Aalst (943515)

          I will sweep away everything in all your land," says the LORD. "I will sweep away both people and animals alike. Even the birds of the air and the fish in the sea will die. I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, along with the rest of humanity," says the LORD. "I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship. I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests, so that even the memory of them will disappear. For they go up to their roofs and bow to the sun, moon, and stars. They claim to follow the LORD, but then they worship Molech, too. So now I will destroy them! And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do. They no longer ask for the LORD's guidance or seek my blessings. (Zephaniah 1:2-6 NLT)

          Nice bokk, eh?

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by somersault (912633)
            Wasn't that written by Steve 'Zephaniah' Ballmer when he realised all his staff were moving to Google?

            PS just because it's not PC doesn't mean it's not 'fair' ;)
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Aalst (943515)

          Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

          I sure wouldn't like to meet any of those "progressive" Christians..
        • by LizardKing (5245) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:44AM (#17235356)

          A progressive Christian is someone who actually does what the Bible says to do

          Well I guess that excludes me, as I've been serious thought to coveting my neighbour's ox lately.

        • by yankpop (931224) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:05AM (#17235606)

          Any person that calls themselves a Christian but hates homosexuals, Muslims, non-Christians, liberals, etc. is sorely deluding themselves.

          Ok, but how does this square with Leviticus:

          If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads

          Are you suggesting that you should love homosexuals even while you put them to death? 'cause that's a subtlety that may not be so reassuring to the homosexuals at the receiving end of your loving.

          Seriously, how you can be both progressive and follow the Christian bible is a mystery to me. I know there are in fact a lot of progressive christians, even gay christians, but it doesn't make any sense to me. The book itself contains many hateful passages like the one above. And it's a religion, which means it's not supposed to be subject to rational thought - you take it on faith, unquestioning. If you are both progressive and christian does that not mean that you've decided to disregard the offensive passages? And once you do that, is there any faith left in what you do? If you can rationalize away the killing gays bit, why not the thou shalt not kill bit? Faith is an all or nothing business I thought...

          yp.

          • by hal2814 (725639) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:29AM (#17235960)
            Who is supposed to put them to death? Me? You? The book of Leviticus is a book of directions for the government and the priesthood (which are pretty intertwined in that Israeli government). The problem is that God destroyed that government. There are large sections of the Bible that haven't neccessarily been done away with (I've always hated that wording) but apply to a government that no longer exists. So in the case that you can find a Mushite or Levite priesthood in a God-sanctioned Israeli government, you could have a homosexual executed. In God's opinion, they are an abomination. In the absense of such a scenario, you'd be wise to let God worry about what to do about the homosexual and in the meantime treat them with respect, dignity, and love (not that kind). I wouldn't worry too much about it in either case. Homosexuals don't even get a mention in God's Top 10 List.
            • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:49AM (#17236318) Homepage Journal
              Here's my 2 scents about homosexuality. It certainly is a sin. So, IIRC, is premarital sex. With the possible exception of slashdotters, not too many people are in a position to cast the first stone.
          • by MeanderingMind (884641) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:29AM (#17235966) Homepage Journal
            You're taking the verse out of context. Leviticus is a book of rules established for the nation of Israel because they were too stupid for the Ten Commandments to be sufficient. They were harsh, but if you look at Israel's history anything less than that and they would get crazy deep into every last sin imaginable.

            These rules were only applicable to the ancient nation of Israel.

            This is not to say that other parts of the Bible do not condemn homosexuality, but it is to say that Christians who cite the Bible as a source for their hatred of homosexuals are twisting the work for their own ends. Homosexuality may be wrong, but hating homosexuals isn't right.
            • by yankpop (931224) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:28AM (#17237044)

              I still don't understand this. In the old Israel they were too stupid to interpret the ten commandments themselves, so God lays down additional rules very explicitly. Nowadays, we're smart enough to understand the 10 commandments, so we can now disregard his other rules? If the other rules were there to clarify the 10 commandments for simpletons, should we not assume that they are by design consistent with the spirit of the 10 commandments? Or is it that somewhere later on in the bible Jesus rescinds the anti-gay stuff?

              Honest question, I haven't read much of the new testament, and lots of smart people seem able to reconcile Christianity with homosexuality, so I expect I'm missing something important here.

              yp.

          • by shma (863063) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:24AM (#17236954)
            It really has to do with what parts of the bible you choose to quote. There are plenty of contradictions in there. You can see the biggest differences by looking at the old and new testament side by side. While the new testament takes a softer, inclusive side towards religion, the old testament is full of stories fo the wrath of god. Of course, I should mention, as a jew, that jewish people don't really interpret the old testament as is. There has been plenty of discussion and reinterpretation of the laws, so that, for instance, it is practically impossible under rabbinical law to condemn a man to death for breaking a commandment. No one in mainstream judaism honestly suggests death for homosexuality. Compare this to some of the (let's be honest) hate speech coming from the Christian Right.
    • by slughead (592713) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:24AM (#17235126) Homepage Journal
      What's a "progressive Christian"?

      Is it like a critical fairy tale believer?


      Nah dude, it's totally OK to dis other people's religion.

      Yeah yeah, I know--all Christians are pigheaded morons who take the bible literally.

      And moreover, their whole religion is a fairy tale.

      See because, it's OK for you to hate and belittle their religion, while at the same time damning all the Christian believers for being bigots.

      I guess it's OK to be a bigot, as long as you're not Christian.
    • by mario_grgic (515333) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:36AM (#17235260)
      Progressive Christian is a believer in one God - three persons (as defined in Nicene Creed) who does NOT engage in bibliolatry (i.e. a belief that every single word of the Bible must be taken literally, and for whom Bible is the final authority and not God. Jesus didn't write any books but revealed divine truth to his selected followers only. Hence, continuous Apostolic succession is so important in the Church, and not many churches can lay a claim to that. As a matter of fact the idea that you can "start" a church is absurd, just as the idea that someone in England, decides to "start" a kingdom and proclaim themselves a king of England).

      A progressive Christian reads the Bible and understands it for what it is, a collection of parables and rarely historical accounts of actual events, the purpose of which is to always illustrate a point that God is actively involved in his creation, encouraging trust in him (which means believing his word i.e. believing that he has done or will do what he has promised).

      A progressive Christian is living in the present, and applies the word of God to his situation and does not try to bend the world to fit the Bible and live in the past, avoiding relativism, a great peril of modern world on the way.

      Perhaps that clears it somewhat.
  • by gentimjs (930934) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @08:57AM (#17234842) Journal
    Lions = 1 , Christians = 0
    • by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:35AM (#17235242)
      The Detroit Lions can't beat anybody, let alone Christians!
    • by Brummund (447393) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:27AM (#17237040)
      Version 1.01:
      * Misc bugs removed
      * Fixed Satan exploit, allowing him to take over the world
      * Spawn of Evil will now spawn in lesser numbers
      * The stone introduced as a new weapon, allowing you to stone the infidels
      * The Billy Graham level is now accessible in Realistic mode
      * Kofi Annan removed as head of evil, Son of satan; replaced with generic character awaiting the new appointment of the UN leader

  • by garlicbready (846542) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @08:58AM (#17234852)
    does it have a 100ft robotic Jesus with spinning cross attack?
    How about the star of David Ion canon?
  • I give up. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strider44 (650833) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:02AM (#17234904)
    I have read the article and still can't tell whether the game makers are actually serious or not. I laughed with the it's ok to kill as long as you prey really hard - satire worthy of Stephen Colbert. Either way, I think, the game designers are worthy of our greatest of laughter.
    • Re:I give up. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:27AM (#17235162) Homepage
      This game seems to be, quite literally, preaching hatred.

      I wonder if the books that this game is based on, teaches the same "values".

      Besides, I always thought muslims DID believe in jesus christ, just not in the same way christians do. Quite similar to how judaïsm believes in jesus christ in a different way than christians. Both religions acknowledge the existence of jesus christ, they just have different interpretations. Perhaps people of these, or other, religions can clarify? Either way; having muslims "star" as the main non-christian group seems suspicious, considering the large amount of other non-christians groups.
      • Re:I give up. (Score:4, Informative)

        by tverbeek (457094) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:38AM (#17235274) Homepage
        Besides, I always thought muslims DID believe in jesus christ, just not in the same way christians do.
        That last bit is the issue: they don't believe that Jesus is God the Son and the Messiah, which is one of the basic tenets of Christianity. Under Protestant theology (Catholic is a little different), believing that statement is the one thing that gets you into Heaven.

        Back to the original topic, I think that Wal-Mart should ignore the censors and leave this game on the shelves.

        And so should everyone else.
        • Re:I give up. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Viper Daimao (911947) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:34AM (#17236052) Journal
          I think that Wal-Mart should ignore the censors and leave this game on the shelves.
          Exactly, if it sells it sells. Walmart can sell whatever they want. Whether its this game, Grand Theft Auto, the new Snoop Dog CD as someone said earlier. If you dont like some of that stuff, well no biggie, you don't have to buy it. Just don't deprive me of my free choice to buy what I want.

          Also, how many people here who decry game censorship and hate people like Jack Thompson, are supporting those who want to ban this game now? And what does that say about your intellectual hypocrisy?
      • by anomaly (15035) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <3repooc.mot>> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:54AM (#17235470)
        But I do know about Christian theology. It's my understanding that Jews accept Jesus as a teacher, but *not* as God. Muslims accept Jesus as a prophet, but not as God. Of course, I disagree with them. I believe that Jesus was a real, live person walking on earth about 2,000 years ago, and that he was also God of the universe.

        Slashdot is not known for editorial accuracy. I doubt that Muslims are the non-Christian "star" of the books. Pragmatically speaking, it seems to me that if all Christians are missing, then the 1.2 billion Muslims will be relatively more prevalent. The blurb reads "muslim-sounding" names - showing how ignorant we Americans are. Since we're the population minority in the world, almost everyone has a "foreign-sounding" name.

        According to one line of Christian theology, all Christians are removed from earth by God during what is called the rapture. After this, there are *no* Christians until some people rediscover what the Bible teaches. During this season of time, people can become Christians, and the idea is that these new believers have a compelling reason to challenge others to become Christians, because at the end of that short period of time, everyone who chooses to reject Christ will be separated from all that is good, gentle, loving and peaceful for all of eternity.

        Here's the deal. Either Jesus Christ is God, or He's not. If someone teaches that He is not God, according to Christian teaching, and because of the law of non-contradiction, Jesus cannot simultaneously be God and "not God" in the same time and relationship. Since Judaism, Islam, and Christianity teach different things about Jesus, man's relationship to God and how it may be possible to reconcile to God, logically either all three beliefs are wrong, or one is right and the others cannot be right.

        Christian tolerance teaches me to tolerate people's rights to choose whatever religious belief they want, even if they are wrong. Christian love teaches me to tell people who God is, and how to reconcile relationship with Him, because I want everyone to have the kind of relationship with God that I have.

        Respectfully,
        Anomaly
        • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:05AM (#17236622)
          Here's the deal. Either Jesus Christ is God, or He's not. If someone teaches that He is not God, according to Christian teaching, and because of the law of non-contradiction, Jesus cannot simultaneously be God and "not God" in the same time and relationship. Since Judaism, Islam, and Christianity teach different things about Jesus, man's relationship to God and how it may be possible to reconcile to God, logically either all three beliefs are wrong, or one is right and the others cannot be right.


          Unless of course God chose to reveal Himself differently; we cannot begin to understand His ways, nor divine His intentions with respect to his covenents with us.
      • Re:I give up. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by svallarian (43156) <svallarian.hotmail@com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:27AM (#17235934)
        Vallarian's guide to major religions:
        (pager edition)
        Same god, different prophets. Fighting ensues for milennia.

    • Re:I give up. (Score:5, Informative)

      by krgallagher (743575) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:59AM (#17235542) Homepage
      "I have read the article and still can't tell whether the game makers are actually serious or not."

      They are quite serious. I went to their web site [leftbehindgames.com] and grabbed a list of the games features.

      Wage a war of apocalyptic proportions in LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces - a real-time strategy game based upon the best-selling LEFT BEHIND book series created by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Join the ultimate fight of Good against Evil, commanding Tribulation Forces or the Global Community Peacekeepers, and uncover the truth about the worldwide disappearances!
      • Lead the Tribulation Force from the book series , including Rayford, Chloe, Buck and Bruce against Nicolae Carpathia - the AntiChrist.
      • Conduct physical & spiritual warfare : using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world.
      • Recover ancient scriptures and witness spectacular Angelic and Demonic activity as a direct consequence of your choices.
      • Command your forces through intense battles across a breathtaking, authentic depiction of New York City .
      • Control more than 30 units types - from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!
      • Enjoy a robust single player experience across dozens of New York City maps in Story Mode - fighting in China Town , SoHo , Uptown and more!
      • Play multiplayer games as Tribulation Force or the AntiChrist's Global Community Peacekeepers with up to eight players via LAN or over the internet!

      Personally I think it is funny. I was hoping they had a demo I could download.
  • by d3m0nCr4t (869332) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:03AM (#17234908)
    Can't wait for a reaction of Jack Thompson on this one...
    • by techpawn (969834) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:10AM (#17234986) Journal
      Hopefully his head will explode in a poof of circular logic.
      Video game == Bad
      Chirstians == Good
      Christian + Video game == ??? *pop*
    • by Jackass Thompson (932628) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:14AM (#17235032)
      I enjoy the game and highly recommend it.
    • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:15AM (#17235758)
      He already has responded [answers.com]

      "Thompson has also criticized a Christian video game based on the Left Behind series. In Left Behind: Eternal Forces, players participate in "battles raging in the streets of New York," according to the game's fact sheet. They engage in "physical and spiritual warfare: using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world." Thompson claims that the makers of the game are sacrificing their values. He said, "Because of the Christian context, somehow it's OK? It's not OK. The context is irrelevant. It's a mass-killing game." Left Behind author Tim LaHaye disagrees, saying "Rather than forbid young people from viewing their favorite pastime, I prefer to give them something that's positive." The dispute over the game has caused Thompson to sever ties with Tyndale House, which publishes both the Left Behind books and Thompson's book, Out of Harm's Way. Thompson has not seen the game, which he says has "personally broken my heart," but claims, "I don't have to meet Abraham Lincoln to know that he was the 16th president of the United States.""
  • by PingSpike (947548) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:03AM (#17234920)
    Sounds like a pretty awful game, tasteless and cliched but worst of all unbalanced...the anti-christ team can't even win. But why give them the handy excuse of being censored for its impending failure? I say let them sell it, and let the free kill them.

    Plus, all media must be protected...even, and especially, the shitty stuff like this.
    • by cdrudge (68377)
      Plus, all media must be protected...even, and especially, the shitty stuff like this. I usually agree with statements like this. However I'm also a firm believer that a private store (in the sense it's not government owned/controlled) also has the right to decide what they do and don't want to sell. The publisher of the game would be free to continue to sell their game somewhere else, just not at Wal-Mart if the people fighting this get their way. Let the market decide if it wants to support such a game.
  • by Valacosa (863657) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:06AM (#17234952)
    Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on [his] side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars...
    I want to buy it just so I can hack it and release a patch. Good games should balance the two opposing sides!

    Besides, who wouldn't want to dominate the world for seven years of darkness? I call Marilyn Manson as my right hand man!
  • by RaigetheFury (1000827) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:06AM (#17234954)
    It's funny to me how religious followers are always offended when someone pokes fun at their beliefs, but then they have no problem being judgemental, insulting and forget they are part of one of the most violent and viscious organizations in history. (see: Crusades, Persecution, Inquisition...) Personally I would have made it so the anti christ could win. When you won every corner would suddenly have a starbucks, HMA's would be worse than Stalin, everyone would be driving a gas guzzling SUV and our president would be satan himself... ... wait a sec... crap...
    • by Khomar (529552) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:27AM (#17235932) Journal

      Everyone here is jumping on the misleading article concerning this game. The fact is that killing is strongly discouraged in this game. Now, I am not completely supporting it (there are some pretty hokey aspects in my opinion), but we need to get the facts straight here. This game is not like most RTS games out there. You are actually penalized for killing the opponent's people because the goal is to convert everyone.

      Each unit in the game has a "spirit" score that determines which side they are on. If they have a spirit score above 60, they are a Christian and therefore on your side. If their spirit score is below 40, they are the enemy and will try to kill or subvert you. Anyone between 60 and 40 is neutral and can be converted. If any of your units kills another unit, they lose spirit points. Only through prayer and inspirational music (who defines inspirational anyway, but I digress...) and good sermons can you increase the spirit points. The whole system is designed to discourage combat, but it realizes that in any conflict, sometimes you don't have much of a choice. If someone comes at you with a gun, you either die or your fight back to protect yourself. This is where the combat comes in. This is not a game of convert-or-die. Also, the anti-christ team can "win", but this means that all of the units left in the game are going to hell (according to the game's rules) -- so in essence it is a loss.

      As far as the Crusades, Inquisition, etc., if you actually look at what transpired there, it had very little to do with true Christianity. None of the acts carried out in the name of Christ were actually in keeping with his teachings. Many causes are subverted by those who take matters into their own hands. Sometimes it is because they are too zealous. Sometimes it is because they can use the system to serve their own purposes. Just because terrible things have been done in the name of Christ does not mean that Christianity is in itself evil. All of the Christians I know (including myself) abhor what happened in the Crusades. The Crusaders didn't just kill non-believers when they sacked Jerusalem. They killed everyone: Muslims, Jews, and Christians. It was an act of barbarous and hideous evil that sickens me every time I think about it.

      The problem was not Christianity, but the tightly held monopoly of the Church of Rome that kept its people in the dark about the truths of scripture while allowing corrupt people to wield incredible power. The crusaders were told that they would be "forgiven of all sins" if they went on the crusade, and in their ignorance, they did not know that Jesus gave forgiveness freely for sins confessed (you don't even need a priest). Thus the religion was subverted and misused to the profit of greedy men. As I said, it had very little to do with the religion of Christianity and everything to do with the corruption of man.

      • by JayBlalock (635935) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:22AM (#17236924)
        I was about to cut & paste a whole paragraph, but I think I can just cherry pick one little bit:

        The whole system is designed to discourage combat, but it realizes that in any conflict, sometimes you don't have much of a choice. If someone comes at you with a gun, you either die or your fight back to protect yourself.

        THIS. IS. NOT. CHRISTIAN.

        In this game, the existance of God and Heaven (and by contrast, Satan and Hell) is an established fact. If the good guys die, they go to Heaven. If the bad guys die, they go to Hell. Right? And furthermore, the game makes it explicitly clear (even though no mortal can have this knowledge) of exactly who is Good and Evil. It's all very simple.

        Now, if you're (I'm using the omniscent "you" here) a good Christian, you don't WANT people to go to Hell, correct? You want to save everyone you can.

        Furthermore, if the game labels you as "Good," then your in-game salvation is assured.

        So then, given these conditions which the game has (farsically) set up... why would you EVER kill someone? Even in self-defense?

        If you kill them, they go to Hell, and you potentially go to Hell.

        If you convert them first, they go to Heaven and you go to Heaven.

        If you die non-violently, you go to Heaven and - just maybe - seeing your lamb-like sacrifice inspires them to rethink their faith. This opens the POTENTIAL of them going to Heaven where none really existed before.

        And finally, even if all the Christians die... that's what's going to happen anyway. Christ returns, all the evil-doers are thrown down, etc etc. The ending is pre-ordained. There is no other course. Evil cannot win.

        There is logically NO REASON to risk your mortal soul in the game. If you think through the possibilites, non-violence is the only logical conclusion one can reach - just as Jesus taught.

        (and, needless to say, in real life where you CANNOT know whether the person in front of you is Good or Evil, there is even LESS justification for killing them)

        Yet the game allows for violence... it allows "Christians" to kill the "Evil" and get away with it scot free. It removes the moral burden of hanging onto your beliefs EVEN if it means your death. (like, you know, Jesus was willing to do.)

        It pays lip service to the idea of converting people to "Good" while not really making the player behave in a "Good" way in all but the most superficial ways. And like so many others, when the chips are down, you're allowed to compromise your morals and commit "Evil" anyway... and the game lets you get away with it with just a little prayer.

        And I can think of little that could be more anti-Christian than this sort of amoral evil nonsense parading around AS Christian.

  • by tilandal (1004811) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:07AM (#17234960)
    Among other choice quotes:

    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.

    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
    Thats right folks. Its OK to kill Muslims because they don't believe in Jesus. Its tons of fun for the whole family. Thats right Little Johny, shoot those non-believers.
    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:21AM (#17235086) Homepage Journal
      FTA:

      But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.

      Incidentally, I saw a lecture on the topic quite recently, and learned that Muslims do believe in Jesus Christ. He is a highly regarded prophet, second only to Mohammed, and he plays a key role in the end-of-times scenario of Islam.

      Of all the major religions in the world, Islam is the only non-Christian faith that recognises Jesus.

      This is from http://www.itl.org.uk/Jesus/ [itl.org.uk]. Googling for "jesus islam" gives lots of further reading.

    • by Shivetya (243324)
      I know of lots of games where "Arabian" countries are the bad guys. You can kill them then and its OK? Most RTS games use obvious characteristics of that easily assignable to regions of the world, either race based or religious but why no offense there?

      the game does give the players an out, they don't have to kill anyone and actually lose score if they do so how does the game teach that its okay to kill non-believers? It doesn't, but that doesn't make a good story and we can sit in our coffee shops with
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:07AM (#17234964) Homepage Journal
    and it does look really bad. It does come across as nothing more than "covert or die". If taken in context, the game works just fine. There is nothing PC about religion and trying to apply PC centric ideals to a game based on religion and one groups belief of the end times is even dumber than any game can be.

    The books, yes I read them - I love most end time fiction (whether is religious or not - Zelazny wrote some good stuff). The books deal with a society where the surviving members of society are either members of the new world order and subscribe to that order's church or are denied rights, and eventually killed out of hand. Christians are set as the opposing force, after all its a book from Christians about a story in Bible. Throughout the series they convert many people from various religions and non-beliefs. Though many times that never convert and directly or indirectly stop them. It isn't all happy go lucky and neither will be the game.

    I look at it this way, if those Christian readers who take offense at the game were not offended by the books then they are just hypocritical. Does making it a game, itself just another work of fiction, present it in a way that that is more offensive than print? I guess seeing a visual representation does the trick for many people. I know many who can read murder novels, even graphic ones, but take offense at seeing dead bodies on the TV. Hell, there are many who can read about sex but damn if they would watch it.

    Look, the first rule is no one is forcing anyone to buy it. The second rule is, you have the right to be offended but you do not have the right to suppress what offends you. The third rule is, get over it.

    Leave the game in the stores. There are far more more violent and offensive games that have come out and they are still sold. If we change the rules because the game is based on religious themes how long before we change the rules for everything else?
    • by Garse Janacek (554329) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:11AM (#17236722)

      I look at it this way, if those Christian readers who take offense at the game were not offended by the books then they are just hypocritical.

      Good point -- I'm a Christian reader and I'm offended also by the books. For pretty much the same reason people are offended by the game -- they present a twisted, militaristic, legalistic view of Christianity that completely leaves out one of the two "greatest commandments," that is, to love your neighbor.

      Well, "offended" is maybe the wrong word -- I'm more worried than offended, because the books are so popular. I could laugh them off more easily if they didn't seem to accurately represent the views of a sizable minority of Christians in the US.

      Christians are set as the opposing force, after all its a book from Christians about a story in Bible.

      Allow me to nitpick here: I've read the Bible, and I never saw that story. The closest it came is a lot of apocalyptic, highly symbolic imagery, especially around Revelation. The writers of these books, and some other Christians, have chosen to interpret that imagery as an explicit, highly literal timeline of events during the apocalypse. They are free to argue for this interpretation (though I strongly disagree), but it is drastically oversimplifying to say this view is "in the Bible," since no one noticed it was in the Bible until at least the 1800s or so. That is, this peculiar literal spin on unclear prophetic imagery is something that no one even thought of until very recently in history.

      So, you can try to argue that this interpretation is the correct one, but the blanket assertion that these people are just "telling a story that's in the Bible" is inaccurate.

  • Wow! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:10AM (#17234998)
    "It pushes a message of religious intolerance."

    Talk about realism in video games! I'm amazed! How did they get it so life-like?

    They don't dislike the 'Left Behind' book and game series because it's inaccurate. They dislike it because it's TOO accurate. It shows how religious people really think and act. Okay, so maybe the Pastor at the local church doesn't use a gun to convert people, but the message is the same: Convert to my religion or burn in everlasting flames. And maybe if they left it at a statement, it wouldn't be so bad. But we still have clergy that do completely immoral and unethical things, sometimes not even to further their cause, but for personal gain. And they get away with it.

    I used to call myself Christian, but not really name which type (Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, etc). Now, I say I believe sort of like they do, but with a few major differences:

    God doesn't care what religion you are, so long as you are a good person.
    God doesn't care what name you call him by.
    The Bible was written by man, not God. It was then translated by man, not God. Several times. It is a tool to guide you to the correct path, and nothing more. All holy books serve this same purpose, no matter the religion. Church is also such a tool. (I won't get into corruption, that's a long debate.)

    Instead of merely tolerating other religions, I embrace them. They are God's methods of helping us be better people.

    So far, I'm pretty much alone in my religion. I don't imagine I'll be setting up a church any time soon. ;)
    • Re:Wow! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kthejoker (931838) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:15AM (#17236794)
      Here's a good theological question:

      If there is a God, and he has been around since the beginning of creation, why do you think you are allowed to define was he does and does not care about?

      This isn't a troll, this is actually a serious (and much-debated) critique to your argument. Thomas Aquinas definitively believed that the Christian God was immutable - that is, he definitely was either for or against slavery, definitely for or against homosexuality, definitely for or against coveting your neighbor's wife.

      So if two people stood up, and one said, "I believe God does care that you call him by the correct name" and one said, "I believe God does not care that you call him by the correct name", then only one of these people was right.

      Now here's the interestint thing: if you reject Aquinas's notion - that is, you think both people are right, that we can manifest our own God for our own purposes - then you must reject the existence of God, because at that point there can be no such thing as an eternal God because our own God dies with us.

      So in order to believe in God, you must believe that God has always existed AND that he is immutable. So then the question merely becomes "who has the right idea about God?" And while that question is of course unanswerable, it is very easy for me to say that your idea of God and the Christian idea of God are incompatible.

      And only one of you is right.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:13AM (#17235024) Homepage Journal
    the gameplay really sucks [avclub.com] anyway, so maybe the game will do more harm to the cause they are trying to promote than good....


    At any rate, didn't a parody of a game similiar in mechanics to this appear on the Simpsons like 10 years ago?
  • by tiedyejeremy (559815) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:18AM (#17235048) Homepage Journal
    Is Wal-Mart actively promoting some religious idea or merely delivering a product for which there is demand? It pains me when people forget that freedom OF religion does not mean freedom FROM religion, regardless of the religion or ideas. It's even worse when people decide to use something like supply and demand to promote their dislike for "big businesses" like Wal-Mart and go on a near religious crusade of their own to undermine the very ideals our constitution guarantees
  • by singer-scientist (956421) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:18AM (#17235052)

    The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names
    Presumably it also includes:
    • Gays
    • Bisexuals
    • Atheists
    • Biologists
    • Geologists
    • Cosmologists
    • Anyone from France
    • Anyone who has used any form of contraception
    • In fact anyone who has ever had sex for reasons other than making more christians
    • Anyone with a brain
  • by trianglman (1024223) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:22AM (#17235100) Journal
    I thought it would be a cold day in their Hell before I did but...

    Unfortunately, creating this game is Constitutionally protected free speech, and selling it is completely up to Wal-Mart and other retailers. I think it was done in very poor taste but should be treated no differently than GTA or any other games that are similarly in bad taste.
  • Fable (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aitikin (909209) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:26AM (#17235140)
    Interesting because I know someone at my university who will probably buy this game. He commented about playing fable and how he doesn't take the evil branch because, "I don't think going to heaven and saying 'Hey God, I like killing people in a video game,' is a good idea." But you know, killing them in a game where he's doing it in God's name certainly is!
  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @09:40AM (#17235304) Homepage
    I'd actually like to see this thing in action. Who cares what the slant or "message" may be? It's up to intelligent people to decide for themselves what they like, think or believe. And we'll never evolve as a people, a species or a culture if we constantly go about trying to stop people from seeing and thinking things.

    It was only yesterday when I had a moment of reflection on my own changes in perceptions of things. I was born in 1968 and was very young when I first saw Star Wars. During that same area in time, I saw a black bell on a daycare building and thought to myself, "That bell looks like Darth Vader!" I now think that Darth Vader looks like a bell. The difference in perception is pretty clear to me but it also goes to show how minds change, develop and evolve over time and with life's experience.

    So yes. Let it be. Let kids play games where they are evangelical Christians or characters from greek or other ancient mythology and legend. You cannot really condemn one game without condemning them all.

    Here's one take on the game I'd like to hear: Who is that nut always trying to get violent video games banned? Yeah, that guy. What's his take on the game? "Convert or Die!" sounds pretty gruesome to me...
  • by coyote-san (38515) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:04AM (#17235590)
    The games is based on the wretched (as a theological work even more than as a literary work) "Left Behind" series.

    I can't recommend Slacktivist [typepad.com] highly enough. He's a true evangelical associated with a seminary and has been writing "Left Behind Fridays" dissecting the first book for over a year. (He also discusses many other things.)

    For those who have only seen screeching TV evangelicals, Fred ("Slacktivist") is an old school one. As he has repeatedly said, he reaches out through hospitality. Here, I see you are tired. Let me offer you a chair. Are you hungry, let me check my kitchen. You're free to ask him how he can be so pleasant and helpful and he'll tell you about Christ. You're equally free to enjoy his hospitality and then move on.

    It should go without saying that he's appalled by this game.

    P.S., I'm now more Buddhist than anything else, but I wouldn't hesitate to go to a weekly sermon by him. I rarely come away from his blog without fresh insights.

  • by ChePibe (882378) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @10:20AM (#17235830)
    Think about it - in Grand Theft Auto, you routinely kill innocent people and police officers, beat women, commit various crimes, and do terrible things that all (well, most of us) would never do in real life for fun. Yet this game receives the greatest protection from the Slashdot community because, after all, what we do in a violent video game doesn't define what we do in real life, right?

    Along comes this "Christian" game (as a Christian myself - well, Mormon, but I most certainly consider myself Chrisitian and couldn't care less what the Southern Baptists, et. al. believe - I would never consider purchasing this trash) and suddenly it's a terrible sign of what's wrong with the country, the people, etc.

    I say let Wal-Mart sell the 3 copies of this game they'll sell and let the publisher of the game take a bath on it. It looks like total crap, it's offensive, but if we're going to protect other violent video games filled with scenarious we'd never condone in real life, then why not this one?
  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:31AM (#17237148) Journal
    Some of the character classes that are available in the game:

    Televangelist: You get XP for getting folks to send in their social security benefits to "buy Bibles for Africans". Character starts with a broadcast license and a Makeup Kit +3

    Street Corner Lunatic: You get XP based on how fast people scurry past to avoid you. Character starts off with a Sandwich Board of Hysteria and 50 Pamphlets of Harassment.

    Perverted Priest: Each boy you molest gains you XP. Innate abilities include Charm Children and Lie To Parish.

    Sanctimonious Believer: Gets XP for passing judgment on others. You lose XP if people point out your own failings. Character starts off with a Bible of Convenience +3.
  • But... (Score:4, Funny)

    by jcostantino (585892) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:01PM (#17237746) Homepage
    But is there a God Mode?

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