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Old 12-19-2006, 04:56 AM   #1
KaVir
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While not technically about muds, this article reminded me of the heated debates that spring up whenever someone talks about creating a Christian mud:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6178055.stm

A new Christian video game has sparked calls for a boycott from groups who say it is "training for religious warfare".

The game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, is based on a wildly successful series of novels about the struggles on earth after true believers ascend to heaven.

Players can command the army of good - the Tribulation Force - against the anti-Christ's Global Community.


I also find it somewhat ironic that despite the objections that are often made by religious groups in regard to violent games, "Pastors and youth leaders recommend the game to their parishioners".

Personally I think the concept would make a pretty good mud, too, although I'd rather give players the choice between good and evil (I often thought the movie "The Prophecy" would make a good mud).
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:44 PM   #2
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Even as a non-believer, I enjoyed the books immensely. Not for their religous message, but because it was a compelling story that kept me interested and eagerly awaiting the next installation through a dozen books. That's more than Robert Jordan can say, and look how many Muds that crap spawned. Woolheaded jackassery. {Keep rocking RJ}

Would I play a console or PC game dedicated to the series? Doubtful. Would I play an RPI mud? Possibly, but only if I could be Carpathia and a slimy Fortunato assistant.

*skary laugh*

People will find anything to have fits about. This isn't even that bad. There are protests going on in Florida{I think it was} right now, because of naughty Christmas tree ornaments sold at Spencer's. Spencer's. The tackiest place on earth sells some junk that's on a par with all the other occasionally amusing but mostly useless crap they sell, and the morality police are suddenly on a crusade.

Come on. Even Christ would snicker at a penis-wielding snowman, or a pair of suprised reindeer, frozen forever in mid-hump. And if he didn't it would be because someone without a sense of humor ruined the joke for everyone else.

Yeah.
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:56 PM   #3
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Some other fun facts, based on other articles I've seen on this:

1) You can play on the Anti-Christ's side.  Just like in the Bible, the bad guys don't get the sexy magic powers, however.   You can't win the game from that side either-- it just becomes impossibly hard after a while, and the Christian side always triumphs.

2) The game brags about how there are no neutral combatants.  To win, you have to convert who you can and exterminate the rest.

3) The key bad guys tend to have suspiciously Muslim names, and include a suspiciously United Nations-like organization, rock stars, all based out of San Francisco and other godless heathen cities.

4) If you murder too many innocent people, you have to press the "pray" button repeatedly until all is well again.

Focus on the Family (the same group that decries games like the ones most of us run) gave it a glowing review, and specifically praised how family-appropriate it is.

Of course, I'm just a heathen who helps run an especially violent (even for the genre) text-based fantasy game.  I'm probably just too deep in the swamp to see the high road they're taking.

Won't someone think of the kobolds?
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:10 PM   #4
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I found the Focus on the Family review, for those who are interested.  I think my favorite part is how your musicians play hymns while the bad guys use electric guitars.  Oooh, scary.

Strangely enough, the same site has a largely positive review for Guitar Hero 2.
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:10 PM   #5
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I'd heard about an attempt of a "Christian" variant for Dungeons & Dragons, back in the mid-80's. Only those playing Christians could be good-aligned... or for that matter, have any ability to survive past 1st level. This despite the fact that the party couldn't have any magic-users or thieves (as those classes were automatically evil NPCs). The Christians would be able to call for miracles to get past the situations requiring such spells or skills. Not sure what the viewpoint was about non-human races, but since elves and dwarves weren't mentioned in the Bible -- I wouldn't give good odds of their being anything other than evil NPCs, too.  

And I can say this since I actually played DragonRaid, having been introduced to it by a friend of mine who was trying to wean me over to something more acceptable. I'd seen worse RPGs, but it felt more like it was preaching to the converted than winning over new people.
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:40 PM   #6
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Oh, and to add something else. According to the developers the game is "pacifistic" because you are not "supposed to" kill people and you pray to recover.. I am not freaking kidding here.

See, apparently, (and this hardly surprises me at all), games are bad of the get harder to play the more bad things you do in them, have real consequences for such acts or portray them in a non-buggy and realistic way. Good games are ones based on total BS reasoning, in which there are no real consequences at all for being a complete ass and (its not just one sided against the bad guys), you can't *ever* lose as the good guy, no matter how much of a clueless moron with no game playing skills you may be. As far as I can tell, from the descriptions I have seen, you could turn on the computer, start the game then go do something else for several hours and *still* win, because you are on the side of God.

I think it, sadly, describes the thinking of this particular brand of religious nuts that created it perfectly. If you are on the side of good, nothing you can do is "ever" wrong, you can't "ever" lose and anything you do, including murder, is "absolved" by praying to the one true God. Or did I completely miss the part where it even vaguely tries to teach moral action and ethics? lol
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:11 PM   #7
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I don't play graphics games but man if that was a mud...with an emote system (or even just the primitive "act" verb)...

I'd roll up one of the good guys. And then I'd walk around town:

>Jazuela the Just does a bunch of assorted things with vegetables and small farm animals, then pinches the butts of a few people kneeling down to pray.
>Jazuela the Just will be loved and saved because she's one of the good guys, and is guaranteed not to lose, so there.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:49 AM   #8
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I love how exploitable the Christian community is. This is a bad game. Not because of the 'free thinkers are with the Devil' card that they try to play, but on technical merits alone. The game runs slowly, looks awful and crashes frequently. In multiplayer, one of the sides can't actually win the game. Download the demo and see for yourself.

In spite of this, the creators are well on their way to becoming millionaires.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:28 AM   #9
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This is just hilarious. I was at work today, going over the syllabus for the class Im teaching next semester, when I read this. I started laughing so hard, someone peeked into my office and asked me if I was ashmatic.
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Old 12-20-2006, 04:02 PM   #10
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I'm sorry, but this is the biggest joke of a game I have ever heard of. I'm the type of player that LOVES games with multiple paths, perhaps with some even being harder than others. But for one path to literally be impoosible because the theme of the game is that the Christians always win is an absolute joke. The type of games that I have played that I did enjoy in fact usually went in the exact opposite direction from what this game is doing. For in stance in shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne there is an alternate story line choice that at the end of the game adds one more boss, which is Lucifer. It is not to say that at the end of the game you defeat Lucifer to further the cause of good, you can fight Lucifer as a test of sorts and if he deems you to be worthy you can join him. (Yes, I'm sure any Christians are appalled by that ending in a game, or the fact that that is the hardest ending to attain, because that thematically infers that Lucifer is stronger than god which is techinically the normal final boss of the game.) I personally wouldn't ever play the game, but I also don't find an issue with the fact that the game has a strong Christian theme, I think the game should exist, then again I think all videogames should exist, because whether I like them or not, someone does. Yes, that standpoint does go the point that I would be fine with a satanist themed game coming out (that was realistically built on the concept of Satanism, not just stereotypical evil baddies.) In fact I'd rather see Satan themed videogames than christian themes games, because Satanists would play the game and be happy, while the Christians whined that such a game shouldn't be allowed to exist. On the other hand Satanists likely wouldn't care if a Christian themed game was released because in the religious world it is Christians that have made up the majority of the bigots I have met.
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Old 12-20-2006, 05:02 PM   #11
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I find the thousands of "reviews" even more hysterical than the game because they come from people who haven't even played it - but instead just bash it based on hearsay and who made it.

How many of you have actually played the game? I mean seriously, with comments like "you can't lose", "exterminate the rest", and "just keep clicking the pray button repeatedly until all is well again", I would guess none of you.

While this isn't the sort of game I would play, most games out there aren't anyways. To me, this game is bad not because of who put it out - but because it's hypocritical in that it still promotes violence just like the games they bash. Even though the violence is intended to be defensive in nature only, and even though there is no blood - what they claim about other violent video games is true about theirs also. Let's face it - this game wasn't made for the masses, it was made for the people who already subscribe to their beliefs.

How many of you would like someone who has never played your game to start bashing it based on what other people think? I guess I would just suggest actually playing the game before posting up your opinions on it.
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:24 PM   #12
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From the publisher: (Link)

"Are guns used by Christians against non-Christians? Why or why not?
The storyline in the game begins just after the Rapture has occurred – when all adult Christians, all infants, and many children were instantly swept home to Heaven and off the Earth by God. The remaining population – those who were left behind – are then poised to make a decision at some point. They cannot remain neutral. Their choice is to either join the AntiChrist – which is an imposturous one world government seeking peace for all of mankind, or they may join the Tribulation Force – which seeks to expose the truth and defend themselves against the forces of the AntiChrist."


To Lanthaum: No, I haven't played the game. (I have moral objections to giving these people my money, for one thing.) There are infinitely many games I have not played, but I have opinions on some of them based on what I do know about them. However, when multiple independent reputable media sources are putting out claims that the publisher either supports (see above) or fails to dispute, I don't think it's unfair for me to believe them. I mean, I've never been to Iraq but I have a pretty good sense that it's not going so well over there right now. I'm as skeptical as they come, but first-hand knowledge is not the sole way to learn about the world.

The game is based on a bigoted yet popular belief-- an event is coming where people of one religion will be deemed superior and rescued, and the rest left to suffer a terrible war, with only destruction or conversion as final outcomes. If the KKK made a game where one "heroic" race tried to eliminate all non-Aryan peoples from the Earth, I wouldn't give them my money or time either.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:27 PM   #13
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Peace for all of mankind? Heresy.
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:04 AM   #14
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Here's my question: how come all the main characters are white?  What's up with that?

I go to the site, right?  I see the good guys at the bottom left, and the bad guys on the bottom right.  
Well, as usual the good guys are a bunch of white guys, but on the right there's a bald-headed guy sagging his pants, another guy holding a boombox, and a third guy holding an AK and wearing a ski-mask.


I've always wondered what was the big deal about Revelations.  It's clearly referring to the Roman Empire.
Plus, even if it was a prophecy, the guy doesn't sound all that bad.  Uniting the world under one nation, creating a unified world economic system, uniting the people under one religion, doesn't sound like a bad thing.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:49 AM   #15
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Regarding how the "bad guys" are darker-skinned:  The San Francisco Chronicle asked Left Behind Games' president, Jeffrey Frichner about it:

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.
 (Source)
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:19 PM   #16
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One wonders if he's aware that the continent Christianity is growing fastest on is Africa. Lots of dark-skinned Christians there.

--matt
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Old 12-22-2006, 03:35 PM   #17
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There are also Arab Christians.


-Crat
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Old 12-24-2006, 02:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Dec. 22 2006,11:49)
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.
Of course, Jews don't believe in Jesus, neither did Tim LaHaye or Larry Jenkins' white ancestors for that matter.

As a matter of fact, if I can recall, at the time of Jesus their druidic ancestors (judging from their English and French sounding names) were still sacrificing slaves so they could prevent a solar eclipse.  Not only that, white Romans killed Jesus!  He should have no right to denounce other people!
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