There will be a new real-time strategy game based upon the Left Behind series of Christian fiction novels, which “chronicle the end of the world in stories based on prophecies from the Bible’s Book of Revelation”.
According to the official site:
The mission of Left Behind Games is to become the world’s leading independent developer and publisher of quality interactive entertainment products that perpetuate positive values and appeal to mainstream and Christian audiences…
…the company is releasing a video game, said to be rated Teen or Mature, in which the player organizes a resistance against the growing forces of the Antichrist. Players are supposed to tour the streets of New York, training converts into a work force for the Lord.
The work, of course, entails slaying non-Christians. This seems like it could be a metaphor for anyone buying the video game, because the similar brainwashing effect occurs for both the player and the workforce he is organizing. Reviewers have mentioned that the violence is going to be reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto.
I disagree about the “brainwashing” effect of videogames. Also, it takes more than a videogame to brainwash someone. I think the Left Behind folks would probably agree that an organisation needs a multi-pronged approach to its efforts to convert people into a way of thinking.
Probably the most important criticism of a game like this is putting Jesus into the question. The rapture is mentioned in three verses in Revelationand an entire theology has been based upon it. Perhaps the authors of the series and video games forgot the hundreds of verses where Jesus discusses peace. On the topic of violence, Jesus did not dislike it, he abhorred it.
Troy Lyndon, CEO of Left Behind Games, said the themes will grab audiences that did not mind the blood and gore from The Passion of the Christ. To even think of selling a game like this under a Christian label, and using violence as the main marketing tool is simply disgusting. I am trying to think of something that is more antithetical to Christ’s plan for Christians on Earth, but this one is hard to beat.
The graphics of Left Behind: Eternal Forces look pretty crap, also the RTS format could be a little boring. I think something with more action and intensity would appeal to the youth audience.
If I was going to make a Christian game based upon The Rapture, it would be game with a similar style to Shadow Hearts Covenant, but with the action of Devil May Cry. The player would marshall divine forces towards the effort to either convert the non-believers or destroy those who refuse to see the light of God.
The player at first sets out to simply convert the soon-to-be damned, but finds himself or herself faced with the full might of evil. The player controls an an angel wielding a flaming sword to smite non-believers with its divine powers. There would be quests to find ancient religious relics to supplement this angel’s divine powers. Eventually, one could unlock more angels, and have a small party to command.
Of course, there would be devils and demons (fallen angels) who oppose the will of God. These devils are controlling the non-believers, and they must be slain. The bosses would be high ranking demons, like Leviathan or Beelzebub. Eventually, the player would have to do battle in Hell against Satan itself (angels, even fallen ones, do not have gender, ya know).
Maybe the game will get made in 800 or 1 000 years or so, when people are less uptight about things. Oh no, wait. The Rapture might come before that happens. I’ll have to keep an eye on my Prophecy Club newsletters.