Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Believe in a Loving God, or Die! Department

Yeshua ben Yosef would not be filled with joy by this video game, which seems to miss the point in a particularly pathetic way:

Blood & Treasure: convert or die: The war over Christmas, it seems.

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.... Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens...

...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 -- and use to raise some interesting questions along the way."


'Convert or die' game divides Christians / Some ask Wal-Mart to drop Left Behind: A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the retailer has no plans to pull Left Behind: Eternal Forces from any of the 200 of Wal-Mart's 3,800 stores that offer the game, including just seven in California. The nearest are in Chico and Redding. "We look at the community to see where it will sell," said Tara Raddohl. "We have customers who are buying it and really haven't received a lot of complaints about it from our customers at this time."... In Left Behind, set in perfectly apocalyptic New York City, the Antichrist is personified by fictional Romanian Nicolae Carpathia, secretary-general of the United Nations and a People magazine "Sexiest Man Alive."

Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story. 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.... Frichner said that... his company's ultimate goal in offering the game: to bring parents and kids together to talk about the Bible. He said most teens are playing video games, so it was natural to turn the books into one...

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