Faith-Based Killing? Critics Rip Christian Video Game
Dec. 24, 2006 — -- The antichrist has come to Earth, and the forces of good are battling the forces of evil. Your mission: to convert or kill the non-believers.
That's the premise of the new personal computer videogame "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" -- a game caught in a harsh theological and political controversy.
Liberal Christian leaders such as the Rev. Tim Simpson, a Presbyterian minister and the interim president of the Christian Alliance for Progress (LINK), are demanding the game be pulled from store shelves.
"It's essentially faith-based killing," Simpson says, arguing that the game twists the Gospel. "The religious right envisions sitting down by the fireside -- Mom and Dad, Johnny and Susie -- killing all their non-Christian opponents inside the game and imagining this is what, in fact, God wants."
But Troy A. Lyndon, CEO and co-founder of Left Behind Games (LINK), disputes this notion, arguing players learn the value of prayer -- key to success in the game.
"The truth is, you can win our game without firing a single shot," Lyndon says.
True to the popular "Left Behind" book and film franchise, the game begins with a short video of the Rapture, when believers in Jesus are whisked away to heaven, leaving behind non-believers and Satan's forces -- a secular United Nations-esque army called the Global Community Peacekeepers, led by a smooth-talking anti-religious man named Nicolae Carpathia.
Then the game begins. In New York City, settings that include Soho and Chinatown, the "good guys" form the Tribulation Forces, a Christian community and militia that battles the evil Global Community Peacekeepers. In 40 comprehensive and, at times, complex missions, players evangelize New Yorkers and gather resources while fending off their enemies. Good guys need to pray throughout the game in order to function, while also killing the enemy using tanks, helicopters and rifles.
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