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Monday, June 05, 2006

More On "Left Behind" Game

I do hate giving what will likely be a sub-par title free advertising by writing about it, but "Left Behind" does foster some consideration. Consider Johnny Pi's take:

And like so many forms of propaganda, it is not so much a seed to grow a mental state as it is a reflection of someone's mental reality. People believe in an oncoming conflict, even if they have to bring it about themselves, and what they produce will reflect that internal state.

I have yet to encounter any hate-mongering public figures who developed their hatred and racism from videogaming. Sure, we'll start to see more and more bigotry in games, because games are now a part of our greater cultural landscape. But those same bigots will still print up pamphlets, write blogs, hold recruitment rallies and use every tool available. This is how propagandists work. The only way to stop them is to ban the use of every single medium. Y'know, revoke that freedom of expression that Dick Cheney finds so irksome.
-- Faith as an Excuse

And (linked from that post) ... Orcinus:

The Dominionist -- or, if you like, Christian nationalist -- faction at work here is deliberately targeting young people, as in the recent Battle Cry rallies attracting young audiences in the thousands to their particularly martial brand of Christianity.

And gaming offers a particularly vulnerable recruitment window, because of the immersive qualities of richer, well-designed games like this. The strangely Manichean worldview -- you are either with the theocrats or against them -- combined with the overt eliminationism of the actual play involved seems to suggest the authors are intent on inculcating a deeply totalist mindset.

My friend Mrs. Robinson, a Silicon Valley refugee who comments frequently here, sent me a note along with the link to this piece:

"I spent eleven years in the games business. I left in large part because I realized that most of what was being turned out by the mid-'90s were games designed to desensitize kids to killing, either covertly or very overtly. I felt like I was helping the right-wing train its next generation of soldiers. It wasn't a good feeling. I needed to do something else.

When something like Abu Ghraib or Haditha happens, I feel the weight of that all over again. This game...well, I guess it speaks for itself.

Here it is: your at-home training camp for the next generation of eliminationists."
-- Elimination Gaming

It's interesting to note that even a whackjob like BatJack Thompson can see the forest for the trees on this one. When that guy can't get behind your propaganda, you've seriously crossed some line.

What's sad though is the current state of affairs here in America which is combining an assault on radical fundamentalism with an overdeveloped feeling of morality on videogames which is all too frighteningly producing silence on this game. Here we're paying some company untold sums of money to blame a Battlefield 2 mod which references Team America as an evil subversive al-Qaeda recruitment tool ... but turns a blind eye to a perfectly obvious example of the real thing being developed on our shores.

Between this and Bush's nationalistic gay-bashing, we're broiling up a pretty disgusting culture of fear in this country. We denounce fundamentalism as a plague upon this world, and yet turn a blind eye to the disctintive traits of our own.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media tries to find another excuse to show a dozen screenshots of Grand Theft Auto on the air while decrying violence in the media as poison to the children.

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Anonymous said...

This statement is posted from an employee of Left Behind Games on behalf of Troy Lyndon, our Chief Executive Officer.

There has been in incredible amount of MISINFORMATION published in the media and in online blogs here and elsewhere.

Pacifist Christians and other groups are taking the game material out of context to support their own causes. There is NO “killing in the name of God” and NO “convert or die”. There are NO “negative portrayals of Muslims” and there are NO “points for killing”.

Please play the game demo for yourself (to at least level 5 of 40) to get an accurate perspective, or listen to what CREDIBLE unbiased experts are saying after reviewing the game at

Then, we’d love to hear your feedback as an informed player.

The reality is that we’re receiving reports everyday of how this game is positively affecting lives by all who play it.

Thank you for taking the time to be a responsible blogger.

Josh said...

Oh dear god - please shut the hell up.

You can't even get your own link right - even after I've publically corrected you.

If you can't be bothered to read this blog - GO AWAY.