Here On GP, Left Behind Employee Comments on Game Controversy

January 3, 2007 -
While going through the overnight comments here on GamePolitics, we were surprised to find this one from "Sandi," apparently an employee of Left Behind games, publisher of the controversial RTS of the same name. Sandi writes:
There has been alot of misleading information spun throughout the public and media regarding Left Behind Eternal Forces game. I encourage you to... download a trial version. I believe the first hand experience will allow you the opportunity to judge for yourself and put these rumors to a rest.

A lengthy statement from Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon is appended to Sandi's comment. Lyndon's remarks include:
Our game DOES NOT encourage killing. Our game is NOT anti-Semitic. Our game is NOT anti-Muslim or anti-Islamic... Our game does NOT teach the pre-tribulation theology of the book series, except that this worldview is utilized as a FICTIONAL backdrop of the game.

In the past several days, numerous people have been and continue to spread misinformation about the game. Our game is the first game ever to encourage the use of PRAYER and WORSHIP as the most effective means to resolve conflict.

Physical warfare is discouraged as the LEAST EFFECTIVE means for resolving conflict…and a gamer loses points for using a gun.

GP: It is quite interesting to see Left Behind Games taking their case directly to the people by posting comments like this. The company is obviously feeling the heat from the nonstop criticism in the mainstream media. We're curious as to whether they hit any other sites' message boards overnight.

Comments

It's certainly not spamming. When the discussion is about the content of the game - and there is misinformation, isn't it nice to get the real story?

The game does have killing, but you are severly penalized for it. Yes you can pray to get your spirit points back, but what about the game point you lost when you killed? You can get that back...ever.

Bottom line - if you play as the Trib Force and you kill, you lose.

Where is the controversy?

It would be amusing to see them defend the design flaws in a debate with someone from gamerevolution.com

@Jabrwock

I'm sure you knew my point wasn't to ignore it. And, I'm also glad that they chose to speak for themselves and their product.

I just wonder how much of the argument brought up at this point is original and not rehashed from earlier discussions.

I guess I'm just exhausted of holding the stick over the dead equine.

@Jim

But it's not a representation of Christian beliefs, any more than Catholic views necessarily represent the views of all Christians.

It's a fiction account based on the beliefs of Pre-Tribulation Rapturists, aka Premillennialists. Believers in a literal train of events mostly described by Revalations, with some interpretations on what "left behind" means (physically or spiritually).
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Can't forget Populous & Populous II! Or Black and White. At least in Black and White, you didn't need to convert everyone, just the other guy's followers. Neutrals could be left alone (although they were always handy if you needed more followers later). And you had your choice of prayer types too. Simple worship, human sacrifice, offerings, etc. Each had it's advantages and disadvantages.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

I did download a trial version of the game a week ago from Gamespot. And as a "radically religious fundamental Christian right-wing conservative," and gamer, I have to say that Left Behind: Eternal Forces is the first video game that ever has truly made me angry (besides witnessing the ending of Halo 2). It's greatly disappointing to see this being put out as representative of Christian beliefs . . . or good gaming, for that matter. >.>

Not the first game to involve prayer and religion, actually. Anyone remember Actraiser? You play a God and his trusty angel and oversee the people, whose prayers and offerings give you the strength to help punish those of the army of darkness. Granted you still have to fight, but it does encourage worship in a way.

@JohnnyQDoe

Why are we still talking about this? Every comment (sadly including this one) is only providing more publicity for a publicly-ranked poor and flawed game.

Lest we forget and have history repeat itself. ;)

It may be a crappy game, but the media is certainly exacerbating things by, as usual, resorting to crappy reporting. I think the producers have a right to at least have their say in response.

Doesn't mean I'll ever buy the game, but it's nice to see they consider GP an avenue for getting their side of things out to the masses. :)
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Why are we still talking about this?

Every comment (sadly including this one) is only providing more publicity for a publicly-ranked poor and flawed game.

I think it is safe to say that we all have pretty much heard the full gamut of opinions and have mostly made our minds up.

I can kill......then go somewhere and pray and get my points back.
Yea, real great thinking there for something promoted along the lines of a game that religeous people should play. Might be a good system if it wasn't being promoted as such.

But they have every right to make the type of games, books, whatever they want. Bottom line, it's a mediocre (at best) game based on a poorly written book sereis. (based on what my gal tells me. I can tell it's not the kind of book I would be into so I haven't tried it, but she's usually a pretty good critic on literature.) So in the long run it makes little difference. The people out there who would take the hatefull meaning to the game, be it implied or nonexistant, are filled with hate already so there is nothing to worry about.

Good, the company realises that all this religeous mumbo-jumbo is a fictional backdrop. I'm actually glad that they are willing to step up and admit that the Christian themes of this game are just myths and legends. I tip my hate to these guys. Here's looking forward to some more fictional games based on that great mythic character "God".

@BurntOutTech

I can kill……then go somewhere and pray and get my points back.
Yea, real great thinking there for something promoted along the lines of a game that religeous people should play.


Hey, Catholics were doing it for hundreds of years. ;) Besides, it's a FICTIONAL account. If it was called Kr'Nathicism (or some other fantasy name), would people have cared at all? Or is it just the fact that it's vaguely related to an interpretation of Christianity that's got everyone up in arms?

Are games based off of "what if" historical fiction about Nazi's offensive to Germans? Should we be getting mad that Return to Castle Wolfenstein implies that the Germans developed zombies... Or was it ok because they were the bad guys?
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Whether it encourages killing is a matter of interpretation. I'd say, while it penalizes you for killining, it's essentially presenting it as a viable, just not ideal, solution.

He posted the same comment over on Blogcritics as well:

http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/12/18/223118.php

Comment 7.

The fact that they are spamming blogs doesn't surprise me...lots of right-wing groups operate like this. They attempt to "infiltrate" different places in order to build up a false level of respect, while at the same time planting seeds of doubt in entities like "the media" or other perceived authorities.

For another example of this behavior, I go to a private, religiously-affiliated college. The church we are associated with is politically moderate, and on some issues a bit liberal. An extremely right-wing church in our metro area employs three people full-time as "missionaries" to our college, who "recruit" students with tactics very similar to those used by neo-nazi groups. They then use their "friendship" with these students to gain access to campus, allowing further recruitment efforts, etc.

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