|Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 09:39 am: ||
Left Behind Leaves Wal-Mart Ahead
By Julia Gorin (bio)
Wal-Mart may be the first corporation to not cave in to Muslim offense-taking and demand-making. The retailer is continuing to sell the “Left Behind: Eternal Forces” video game despite CAIR’s complaints — rather than pull the product and put employees through sensitivity training like every other company has done so far when confronted with even a single complaint by a Muslim.
Nike was one company that went the sensitivity-training route when the script logo on some of its styles was accused of resembling the word “Allah” in Arabic. The employees undergoing Muslim sensitivity training were last seen praying toward Mecca five times a day, and several were crushed in the annual Hajj.
According to CNS News, CAIR says the game, based on the Christian book series Left Behind, “glorifies religious violence,” and as everyone knows, only Islamic leaders and imams are allowed to glorify religious violence.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote a letter to Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott saying, “In the post 9-11 climate, when improving interfaith relations should be a priority for all, this type of product only serves to dehumanize others and increase interfaith hostility and mistrust.”
Translation: Fighting back against Islamic hostility increases hostility. We thought we could trust you to just grin and bear ours.
Also among Awad’s objections was that “the game’s enemy team includes people with Muslim-sounding names.” What should the names sound like? Shlomo Levy? Everything but Muslim?
CAIR, which received complaints about the game, “charged that players are rewarded for either converting or killing people of other faiths,” and demanded, “Why are you stealing our ideas?! We have a copyright on that stuff!”
Actually, the game “calls for people to join the Tribulation Force rather than die at the hands of the anti-Christ. ‘You’re trying to save other people from that and ultimate judgment by God,’” according to Jeff Frichner, president of Left Behind Games.
Still, it’s understandable that a “violent and hateful” video game would cause concern among Muslims. While the civilized world worries that violent video games can lead to real-life violence by our children, the Muslim world worries that their children’s real-life violence can lead to, god forbid, playing video games.
If the civilized world is right about video game scenarios translating into real-life scenarios, it means the game could lead to future generations fighting back against “the forces of evil” for real — like, say, jihad or something. In which case this game should worry Muslims. In fact, that’s probably why they’re worried.
|Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 02:15 pm: ||
'Convert or die' game divides Christians
Some ask Wal-Mart to drop Left Behind
Ilene Lelchuk, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
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 series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins is based on their interpretation of the Bible's Book of Revelation and takes place after the Rapture, when Jesus has taken his people to heaven and left nonbelievers behind to face the Antichrist.
Left Behind Games' president, Jeffrey Frichner, says the game actually is pacifist because players lose "spirit points" every time they gun down nonbelievers rather than convert them. They can earn spirit points again by having their character pray.
"You are fighting a defensive battle in the game," Frichner, whose previous company produced Bible software, said of combatting the Antichrist. "You are a sort of a freedom fighter."
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."
Clark Stevens, co-director of the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, said the game is not peaceful or diplomatic.
"It's an incredibly violent video game," said Stevens. "Sure, there is no blood. (The dead just fade off the screen.) But you are mowing down your enemy with a gun. It pushes a message of religious intolerance. You can either play for the 'good side' by trying to convert nonbelievers to your side or join the Antichrist."
The Rev. Tim Simpson, a Jacksonville, Fla., Presbyterian minister and president of the Christian Alliance for Progress, added: "So, under the Christmas tree this year for little Johnny is this allegedly Christian video game teaching Johnny to hate and kill?"
Both groups formed in 2005 to protest what their 130,000 or so members feel is the growing political influence and hypocrisy of the religious right.
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.
WWJD? I don't think he'd play the game. JMHO
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mohandas Gandhi
|Posted on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 - 05:02 pm: ||
what we have here is a argle-bargle......