Ah, I love little squabbles like this. They are such “teachable moments.” Not sure what they teach, exactly, except that Christian video games are pretty goofy.
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.
The Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, two online political groups, plan to demand today that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens.
The game has been getting abysmal reviews from gamers, but not because of the “convert or die” storyline (gamers are used to slaughtering electrons). It’s because the game has committed the worst sin: it is shitty quality and not fun to play.
Nobody has enough faith to endure a game with such a hokey story, terrible mission design, serious problems with the interface and graphics, and loads of crippling bugs.
Slashdot has additional discussion on the merits of the game and whether it should be pulled from shelves. Personally, do I think it should be pulled or banned? Hell no. Just because a game sucks doesn’t mean we should yank it. Yes, it’s intolerant, but as the GameSpot review makes clear, the game drops into self-parody at several points. I say let people make up their own minds.
The stupidest part about this game, IMO, is how rock musicians are portrayed. Maybe that’s because I’m a rock musician, but I think it’s so fucking lame that rock musicians are a sort of default bad guy. If this is how the Christian fundamentalists perceive us is it any wonder that we think they’re a bunch of intolerant dumbfucks?
Perhaps even more stupid (because it’s not as goofy and laughable) is how Muslims are portrayed in the game as followers of the Antichrist or neutral folks to be converted (or killed if they resist).
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.
Oh really, Mr. Frichner? I guess he’s been too busy drinking the kool-aid (or “blood of Christ” in this case) to notice that Muslims recognize Jesus as a great prophet, teacher and holy man. They may not agree with the batshit notion that Jesus = God, but most rational people believe the same. (Jesus called himself “the Son of Man” not “I am God!!! Worship me, bitches!!”)
I wonder if Mr. Frichner would be interested to know how highly venerated Jesus is in the Qur’an/Koran?
Jesus is described as one who is min al-muqarrabin (among the nearest to God) and as min al-salihin (of the upright) and as wajih (eminent) [Surah 3:40-46]. Baidhawi amplifies this, saying that Jesus is illustrious in this world as a Prophet and in the next as an intercessor (Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, p.229.) Following the Qur’anic presentation of Jesus, he is known among Muslims as Kalimatullah (the word of God), and Ruh Allah (the spirit of God) [Surah 3:45; Surah 4:171]. No other prophets have been described in such terms. No other prophet nor Muhammad has ever been called the spirit of God.
Instead of fostering dialogue between religions Frichner is spouting ignorance and contributing to the baseless Christian hatred and persecution of Muslims, a people whose religion is actually founded on the tenets of Christianity. In essence, this game is a monument to the stupidity and intolerance of the religious right. Leave it on the shelves.