More groups at odds over Left Behind

Tyndale Publishers stands behind PC game based on its books; American-Islamic group says game damages "interfaith relations."

by

Fire, brimstone, and bullets.

In the arena of game controversy, the title currently getting the most daggers thrown in its direction is Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a Christianity-based real-time strategy game. The PC title, from developer Left Behind Games, is based on the Left Behind books that portray a world after the Rapture.

Since its release, Christian organizations have attacked the game en masse, saying that it teaches un-Christian values such as intolerance and violence.

As pointed out by GamePolitics.com, it isn't just Christian groups that are displeased with the game. Earlier this week, The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked Wal-Mart to stop carrying the game, saying that it promotes religious violence and "may harm interfaith relations."

"We believe the message this game is promoting is one of religious intolerance. The game's enemy team includes people with Muslim-sounding names," said CAIR executive director Nihad Awad in an open letter to Wal-Mart. "In the post 9-11 climate, when improving interfaith relations should be a priority for all, this type of product only serves to dehumanize others and increase interfaith hostility and mistrust."

The letter continues, "We have no desire to stifle creativity or inhibit freedom of speech. However, it is our duty as America's leading Islamic civil rights group to promote mutual understanding and ensure the safety of Americans of all faiths."

Amid the vocal opposition, one group has come forward to defend the game--the publisher of the Left Behind books, Tyndale Publishers.

"We are careful to guard the content of our own products, and we worked with [Left Behind Games] to ensure that the content of their game is appropriate. There is a certain level of violence inherent in the story, just as there is a certain level of violence in the Left Behind books," said Tyndale House Publishers president Mark D. Taylor. "The game is designed to be a classic battle between good and evil, but it does not gratuitously depict violence or death."

While organizations debate the appropriateness of the game's content, game critics have agreed that its gameplay isn't praiseworthy. For Left Behind Games' take on the controversy, read GameSpot's recent Q&A with Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon.

Discussion

212 comments
grimzeus
grimzeus

I agree with the Islamic group for once, but there is freedom of speech.. and hey look.. you can take the evil side and kill the Christians..

johnpombrio
johnpombrio

I think that there are much worst games out there, especially to ALIENS! Do you know how many Aliens (and Nazis) have been gratuitously killed? And these aliens are protected by the US government in the phrase in-ALIEN-able rights! Folks, let us focus on the true message here, protect and defend beings that have come to enslave (and eat) mankind!

Unkillable
Unkillable

This is why I don't believe in religion...(or God)

Axe_336
Axe_336

I'm not going to get into the religion debate because so many people hold firmly to false and unenlightened ideas of religion that its not worth wading through them to find an argument worth arguing. I will however make this comment on the following statement made in the article: "We believe the message this game is promoting is one of religious intolerance. The game's enemy team includes people with Muslim-sounding names," Muslim sounding names? Do some of the people also have Christian sounding names names David or Isaac or Joshua? And since when are names defined by a religion? That would be like a Trekkie bad mouthing a Star Wars game because you kill someone named Jim (And if you don't get the reference thats fine) in the game. The man is trying to promote religious tolerance but broadstrokes an entire people group as being Muslim automatically, how does that work out? Sure most of the Muslim nations in the middle east say that you're a Muslim from birth, but there are people from those nations with the kind of names he's talking about (I'm pretty sure) who aren't Muslim. I dunno, I'm probably putting more effort into this than I ought to for a Gamespot article comment.

necbone
necbone

I will seed this game for an EXTRA amount of time....GG

Zumafire
Zumafire

You all are god, I am god, What anybody says is valid and in-valid all at the same time. The game is poop and poop is poop. Repent and you're soul shall be set free. Only if you reconize what the poop is to god. Sounds like every sermon I've witnessed. Saying nothing and not making any sense. Let's just play games!

AzureCuzYeah
AzureCuzYeah

Personally I think it is pathetic that everyone is so worried about censoring what everyone sees. You'd hope parents were responcible enough to keep this out of kids hands. For those older playing you'd think they could understand fiction from non-fiction. The 21st century is the UN-enlightenment.

AzureCuzYeah
AzureCuzYeah

Personally I think it is pathetic that everyone is so worried about censoring what everyone sees. You'd hope parents were responcible enough to keep this out of kids hands. For those older playing you'd think they could understand fiction from non-fiction. The 21st century is the UN-enlightenment.

Zirowan
Zirowan

ok, they complain about left behind and do nothing about GTA,i dont get it

og8440
og8440

I'm surprised Christians are complaining about this game. The game looks pretty accurate to the Left Behind series. ie Anyone who isn't a Protestant Christian will burn in the pits of hell.

Cobra5
Cobra5

lol, religion and the internet, again, again. It never stops being funny.

zintarr
zintarr

AidenPryde3025 WROTE: "Why else would mankind have created religions to explain his environment. Since the earliest times in recorded history we have as a species created religions to help us understand and accept the sometimes harsh reality of this world." What you wrote sounds lovely but you are candy coating what religion actually is. All religions have been created and then spread either through persuasion or threat of violence for the purpose of control. In the end ,control is what religions are about. That is not necessarily a bad thing but it is the truth.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

whoisduley - My thoughts exactly. Though personally I think this game can be used as our own bulletpoint to say that, while distasteful, games like this proove the validity of videogames as a form of expression. Besides, I don't know why CHRISTIANS are getting so riled up. From what I've heard, their depiction in the game is pretty spot-on.

Luminatus
Luminatus

AidenPryde3025, You write with wisdom, and your words contain truth.

nappan
nappan

"Tom_Benson Nappan, you actually associate the CAIR with RIght wing religious nuts. That is the exact opposite." I don't know anything about CAIR, and didn't even know such a body existed until I read this article. You seem to think I'm some kind of extreme leftist anti-theist, when the truth is that I'm just laughing at the kind of insane ideology which is spouted by people who think that jesus is getting ready to scoop their sorry little butts up to heaven as the rapture is ah-comin'. It's not leftist or anti-christian to laugh at the tiny minority of people in the world who live in this kind of rich fantasy life, because most christians aren't right-wing evangelical nutcases. So don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm better than some people because I don't do or don't believe in god: I think I'm better than some people because they live in a delusion where a fairy tale about the end of world is happening all around them, instead of normal human strife that's been going since some plains apes figured out how to bash each other with rocks.

AidenPryde3025
AidenPryde3025

I've noticed that several of you have justified your beliefs about humanity by saying that religion is worthless and that "its all just junk anyway." I however disagree. I believe that religion, or the belief in something bigger than yourself, plays a very important role in the human experience/psyche. Why else would mankind have created religions to explain his environment. Since the earliest times in recorded history we have as a species created religions to help us understand and accept the sometimes harsh reality of this world. In addition religion also caters to our ability to imagine things. Now this belief in something bigger than yourself does not mean that your are missing something if you don't believe in God or a God. Believing, or having faith, can be as simple as a army solider having faith in his supperiors, or you having faith in your president (and don't you dare dismiss my argument because of these two examples). By the way. Kodai_kun: stop making a fallacy of reasoning. The fallacy you are making is called the "Straw Man Fallacy" and well, if you are going to have a fallacy of reasoning at least choose something that is a less common mistake. -Aiden

Tom_Benson
Tom_Benson

Nappan, you actually associate the CAIR with RIght wing religious nuts. That is the exact opposite. They are part of the Leftist Liberals that you are part of. Once again a liberal ignores the facts that the CAIR are attacking this game and they are not Right wing fundamentalist. Where is your attacks against Islam. Nowhere. Only rude comments about christianity. Why? who knows. Everything that you post here is just a blatant attack against Christianity. No one cares that you don't believe in a God or a creator. This does not make you smarter or better than someone else. It is obvious in your arguements that you take this elitest view that you think are better than someone because you don't believe in a God. You dont beleive in God, then big deal.

nappan
nappan

Deep thoughts: By Luminatis "Jack Handy". *passes out laughing*

Luminatus
Luminatus

Something to think about. The laws of nature and the laws of physics appear to us to govern the universe since the Big Bang and into the unknown future. Did they come into existence from nothing or were they created? Why did these laws develop the way they did? Do they have a beginning? Do they have an end? If the laws of physics were created, then by what or whom? Does this creator break these laws so that his/hers/its will be done? Perhaps the creator is perfect and so are the laws so that his/hers/its will becomes true by the manipulation of these laws. What should we call this creator? Does it really matter? I am very strong in faith and religion, but I am not religious. I am a physicist by trade and study the natural laws, and the more I learn the stronger my faith becomes. I consider myself a Roman Catholic Christian, but I disagree with the church on a great many things. Indeed, it seems to me that the church cannot agree even with itself. Such is the way of an imperfect existence. The more I study and investigate, the more I realize of how little I actually know and the less I understand. Perhaps that makes me know more than most? Probably not. I do not know if God exists or even if there is life after death. The laws of physics mandate that energy is neither created nor destroyed, so where dose the energy than burns inside me come from? Where does it go when I die? I do not speak of the energy that allows me to move, think, feel, or live. I talk about the energy that makes me who I am. I do not know, but I have faith. I do not fear death nor what comes after, since I have no control over it. I simply accept it. Yet, I try to question it, study it, and understand it. What I have seen is that the truth is everywhere, but the whole truth is nowhere. It is a balance of all extremes, and without them it would not exist. Consider my words or ignore them for I know nothing and understand even less. Be good to everyone simply to be good and not for fear of punishment in the life after if it even exist.

GANGSTA287
GANGSTA287

People take religion way to far, but arent better people for it...

magesx
magesx

Wait, CAIR is protesting this? Those Islamists who think that anything in a minute, miniscule way that could possibly be interreted as "anti-muslim hurrrrrrr" is bad and worthy of whining? Retards. I stopped reading the second their name was mentioned.

diminiansk8er
diminiansk8er

Truthfully, it is only a game. If it had a label on it saying "These are real Christian/Islamic/Judaic principles" , then, and only then could you be angered at this game about ENTERTAINMENT. Even though this game may be crappy, that doesnt really give you the right to stab at it.... oh wait, yes it does.

whoisduley
whoisduley

well, so far this game is hated by Christians, Muslims, pretty much all faiths, GAMERS, feminists, and ANYONE ELSE THAT HEARS ABOUT IT!!! what is the big deal over a crappy game anyway?

headcrab
headcrab

"Headcrab, do you realize how creepy it is when you make declaritive statements about what a guy who's been a corpse for 2000 years "said" in a book that's more edits and re-writes than quotes. As soon as someone writes or says "jesus said" or "what jesus meant", I'm already running out of the room as fast as possible." You can run away if you want to, but it would be wiser to keep an open mind and attempt to see it from my perspective. I don't mean to attack you at all, I'm just stating that I don't really see how my post was all that "creepy." We have very good records (from Roman scholars, for example) of specific quotes from a variety of people that lived long before Jesus did, so it's not terribly hard to believe that the people who followed Jesus and heard him speak to large crowds during his life would have written it down. As far as the bible being composed of "edits and re-writes," that's just not true, according to students of religion on all sides of the debate. Most everyone agrees that although the wording has changed quite a bit through the various translations (as is necessary for the average person of this generation to comprehend it), the meaning of the words is virtually the same. It's not like we lost the meaning; there are plenty of experts living today who have scrutinized the original wording in the books of the bible and matched them up with today's latest version to make sure nothing is missing or distorted.

nappan
nappan

"marcosa73 its all just fiction anyway" I think we'd all be a lot happier if so many evangelicals and other fundamentalists thought that too. I get the sense that a lot of them look at this kind of game, more as a sim, than an RTS. I can't help but break out laughing every time I see some bright-eyed idiot on television spouting off about "the rapture" coming, because the middle-east is in turmoil. Violence in the middle east... yep, it's a new one all right, it was so darned peaceful except for the last 5 or 6 THOUSAND years or so... *goes off to laugh up a lung* P.S. Headcrab, do you realize how creepy it is when you make declaritive statements about what a guy who's been a corpse for 2000 years "said" in a book that's more edits and re-writes than quotes. As soon as someone writes or says "jesus said" or "what jesus meant", I'm already running out of the room as fast as possible.

headcrab
headcrab

Kodai_kun said: --- "If you are Christian, you are just as required as a Muslim or Jew to smite the infidels Jesus agrees: Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." So if you're a Christian, get murdering., or dump it, and join the rest of us in reality --- Did you actually crack a bible to find that quote or just google it? Be careful not to take sentences out of context, because that one you referred to has nothing to do with your post. First of all, Jesus was using a parable to explain how we should use the gifts we're all born with, such as how some people are naturally talented in mathematics, art, or just especially charismatic. And whether you really know God or not, I'm sure you agree with that. Secondly, Jesus was quoting the king in his story, and this ruthless king wanted the citizens who opposed his position in leadership to be killed. Not a nice guy, and definitely not a Christian. Sounds like a modern-day politician actually, stealing and exploiting others to increase his own power and wealth. But that's a fun topic for another day. My point is, Jesus constantly taught about acceptance, and never promoted killing people who oppose you. Whether you find the bible ridiculous or enjoy studying it, you should spend a minute to research what you're talking about before you give people the wrong idea.

marcosa73
marcosa73

its all just fiction anyway, but I can understand why some groups would be concerned, after all the story goes that God is torturing and killing off all the non christians in fire and destruction, wow what a nice way to share the love of God(which is all inclusive- we are all equal, loved and accepted) Anyway, this is a junk game, based on junk doctrines.

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

Omg, quick GS writers, write another article about this dog of a game its going to fade out of the spotlight. There must be someone else who can hate it, get some Mormons on the line, or perhaps some Hindus or Shintoists. I know maybe I will strap some really good games into a vest attach some broken radio parts to the vest and run amuck in the left behind games offices, that is if they still have offices.

malikmmm
malikmmm

the most "worst game of all time" and i have played all other games

XVoltiareX
XVoltiareX

If someone acts on "encouragement" of this game then they must have thought about it before, maybe people should stop being scared about everything, I mean all they are doing is creating a bigger problem. Honestly I am sick people saying they accept everything but if anything disagrees with their believes no one else can experience it. If they dont experience something how will they know...

wrect
wrect

I feel very strongly about this!

coldness6
coldness6

We should leave faiths alone of all kinds,why the hell are they after prophet mohamed? what do they want with muslims? aren't the crusades over?? damn,if what i heard true about them putting an unlockable mohamed,then that will be like commiting suicide...remember that fuss around that dutch incident with them drawing prophet mohamed???

thepyrethatburn
thepyrethatburn

I think that CAIR should clean up a little bit more of their own side's garbage before concerning themselves with someone else's garbage (Having played the demo, garbage is an accurate term). Making announcements with veiled threats doesn't raise "interfaith relations".

I also find it interesting that the violence doesn't bother CAIR so much as "'Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ' - - and therefore cannot be on the side of Jesus in the game." My suggestion, in this case, would be .... don't play the game then. (Actually, given the lack of quality, that would be my suggestion regardless of faith.)

Besides, if all of you think the contraversy is bad now, wait until 300 comes out.

CookiesCream
CookiesCream

shame. the books were alright, but this is over the @#%^ edge. Games on this book?!

necbone
necbone

Why don't these groups do some actual good and stop protesting a video game....if Christians and Muslims would be more "god-like" and help their fellow man, the world would be a much better place....however, these protests are nothing more than publicity stunts to push their organizations into the media and get some recognition.... its a sad situation, the dev company who's making this god-awful game is sad, and all demostrators of this game.... why would someone, especially christian, support the killing of people... WWJD, well, Jesus wouldn't want people to make a game about killing non-christians, then he'd be mad that there's a religion made after his image.....sad world..

diablobasher
diablobasher

devahsa: That would be funny, but the mere mention of the prophet mohamad being an unlockable would be enough to get you killed. Remember the fuss about that dutch newpaper a while ago that printed a simple picture of him? For a fully animated character model of him, you would have signed your own death warrant.

Ark_Fatalis
Ark_Fatalis

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

MOSSBERG-SHELLZ
MOSSBERG-SHELLZ

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

nappan
nappan

"sSubZerOo The game is said to be god awful, don't these groups have anything better to do like protest a actually POPULAR game. " This is what right wing nuts do when they need a break from burning harry potter books :). They cannibilize... lol

davahsa
davahsa

They should make a Religious Olympics game. Then we could see what side is the best! If you get enough gold medals than you could unlock allstars like Jesus, Mohamad, Buda and L. Ron Hubbard! Sweet!

UltimaCloudX
UltimaCloudX

Yeesh. I love when self-righteous gamers get political. If you don't like the game don't buy it. I respect your freedom of speech, but when you try to force-feed your own ideas on others, you're no better than the people you are crying out against. Quit trying to start riots or push your own beliefs onto the rest of us.

sSubZerOo
sSubZerOo

The game is said to be god awful, don't these groups have anything better to do like protest a actually POPULAR game.

Mr_Saturn26
Mr_Saturn26

MasterIsHere O_O look at the eyes, im brain washing u to like this game rofl, anyway, seriously what do u have agaist america, and brittian? Dang it people i wish religion would leave everyone alone, especially me when i anser my door, and when i go to the movies like the divince code, and The Omen. Nuns gotta stop protesting at the movie theather, its annoying. thier signs reads "The price of the ticket is ur soul", well the thing is i dont give a crap there u go.

bybeach
bybeach

Geek12,tho` I`m walking on thin ice(and know it),it`s not necessarily 'overseas.' After all,I remember very well the Twin Towers w/ my own eyes.. And my reaction to what you are nailing (besides agreement) is that 'some Muslims do not seem to get the messege of a even semi free society,such as ours. One can rail against percieved evil,and should. But some(not all,but unfortunatly,enough) Muslims always demand that it be removed from their eyes,despite others opinion. And it seems w/ it the veiled hint by proven example now,that they will throw a hissy fit all over the place,sorry. I hate sounding so predudiced. If it was me,we would neither be in Iraq,and I would not support this game w/ my money or time.

MasterIsHere
MasterIsHere

I read much about what has been written in the comment section The whole rapture stuff is not from the Bible. When martial law is enforced and Prince Charles comes to throne (whom we agree is the anti-christ, even if you do not believe me)...Christians will not be raptured. Indeed, they will be tortured with everyone in FEMA camps and such. Too bad the modern "Christian" is too scared of death and violence...there is a fine line between "promoting murder" and "seeing people murdered". I am writing my own book about this, for I do not believe the Left Behind series. All I see in this forum are prideful people that believe they make the laws for themselves, or follow the laws the media gives them. If nature is "naturally" amoral because of the big bang, then what gives you the right to enforce your opinions on others? The crusades were started by occultists (knights templar), not Christians. Christians should believe dinosaurs exist...the behemoth and leviathan (and maybe ziz) are old names for them, since the word dinosaur is a very new word. By the way, a religion is your view on what God/god(s) is...everyone has a religion, for you believe that God/god(s) is nothing. ...the world is lost. Your god is but a television, a video game, another thing. If life was created for nothing, if it is nihilistic, then why are we following rules? Look at it this way, if we did not follow any rules, we would pretty much all be dead. By the time emotions were "created" in your mind by some random order that lasted billions and maybe trillions of years... Religion and science do not go together...and by that I say "Says who?" You? If the world is amoral, then why are you forcing me to believe something I do not believe in...I should just eradicate you. But I believe that my Redeemer lives, and extirpating you from the face of the earth is not something I am capable of doing, but I could take blame for it. Even if you do not believe in God, that doesn't mean that God does not exist...to believe something that you cannot in hard evidence prove...is faith. To believe something that you cannot see, and while under opposition, is an actual "true believer". Of course, a lot of different things can be in opposition against you... The Bible is accurate, according to all the hard evidence. We do not have the original manuscript, but we have so many documents...that finding the original is somewhat worthless in doing. Besides, seeing all the millions of people that were killed because of their belief in Jesus' resurrection, would one just put it away as "cult activity"? A lot of things happened a long time ago...it does not mean you should not believe it. All people are strugling for a truth, many have been brainwashed, while others rely on their self-study (like me) of what seems to me to be true. It was Jesus who said, "...and the truth shall set you free." People who force information into the right side of our brain tell us that "this can happen and this can't". The teachers who run schools say this. Therefore, the box in your head is small because you believe only a few things are real and can happen. If I told you that the molecules that made up my body changed frequency so that I could travel through walls, you would not believe that! Radio waves travel through walls...what are they? People do not believe God because they were told it was an "impossibility", and they give enough minor "evidence" to make you believe their view. Just look at the mind control experiments brought together by the CIA...with Nazi scientists thanks to Project Paperclip...they are quite successful in changing your mind. Thanks to all our FPS, RTS, etc. games and violent movies...we have become killing machines to be used as pawns for foreign policy (aka, soldiers). The really dangerous people are the ones who do nothing in times of distress. Stop playing this worthless game and actually stop the real whore of Babylon...the Policed States of Amerika, and its mother, Britain. And all those who wish to control you. End message.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

After playing this game, all I can say is, I can't wait until all the True Christians are rapturizized. Post-rapture America looks like a blast.

thestrateger
thestrateger

looks good. RE: to grendal66: this is not so bad game.

Grendal66
Grendal66

Why are we still talking about such a horrible game?

shadowfan2456
shadowfan2456

givemethepatch When you said “God doesn't deal in proof - he wants faith without proof." You could not be farther of the truth. Please read one book "more than a carpenter" it is a short book and will at least prove that not all Christians are following blindly, and further more God does not want Christians to follow blindly. Take the crusades for example, people where led into doing wrong because they followed blindly.