Sunday, June 04, 2006

More on WWJBAWASAW.

I know I wrote on this earlier, but I thought I'd lay out some more aspects of this that concern me.

I'm not going to pretend that all my time on the internet in pursuit of such lofty goals and information, but I found the neatest groupsite called Talk2action, which is focused on combating the religious right from a religious left perspective. I've added them to the links bar.

So, via Talk2action, (and the Huffpost) and I learned about "Eternal Forces: Left Behind." It's a video game in which Christians gun down heathens and false Christians in the streets of NYC. You either convert the heathens, or blow them away, while shouting 'praise the Lord.' I could not make this up. It's from the good folks who brought you the 'Left Behind' Series.















So.

What to do about this?

Several things come to mind.

First off, as someone who probably qualifies as a 'false christian', and therefore is a suitable candidate for being blown away, I'm a little frightened. Let me just get that out there. I never thought that I'd fall into line with those who cite video game violence as a cause for real-life violence. Playing Civilizations or Rise of Nations has never caused me to found my own empire, alhtought those of you who regularly read this page know my empire would be a rockin' empire. For shizzle.

Secondly, Talk2Action details the way in which the game will be marketed, first by associating it with Rick Warren, author of the best-selling 'Purpose driven Life', and also with the twin giants of Lord-porn, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. 'Lord-Porn may sound harsh, but any series that delights in telling its readers exactly who and who will not be saved come Judgement Day, falls squarely in that category. It's moral titillation for people who need to be told they're still on the side of the angels. They'll push the game through the same mega-churches that Rick Warren is plugged in to, and which were responsible for a lot of the 2004 voter turnout to get so many gay marraige bans shoved through.

Jonathan Hutson gives the lowdown on some of the game specifics, and it ain't pretty:
How about this nifty game feature: the bodies of slain New Yorkers don't disappear after a battle, and no one gives them a decent burial. Instead, the festering corpses just keep piling up: left behind. Is that "Christian" or "cool"? Or how about this: The game portrays the United Nations - hello again, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Catholics, and Jews - as the headquarters of the demonic forces of the AntiChrist, who is spawned by DNA from two gay lovers (hello, Greenwich Village!). So nice to see you all, my errant, resisting brothers and sisters. BLAM! BLAM! "Praise the Lord!"
Third, what these groups and these authors have picked up is that by using corporate marketing skills, they can bring their message to a much wider audience.

Thus, the circle is closed. The same creepy philosophy that believes your consent must be manufactured before you'll buy their wars or their toothpaste is being brought to bear on the last, literally, sacred space. Your God is up for sale. Maybe it always has been, and they're just refining a rough science to a precise laser message, honing in on us like a dog whistle perks those ears up. The same hideous ideology that specializes in atomizing us by our purchasing habits, our living habits, our listening and music habits, that caused me to shave my hair into a mohawk and start some small active resistances every day, that same philosophy is being brought to my God.

This has to be called out for what it is. A frighteningly effective attempt to convince Christians that brutality against non-believers or the unsufficiently zealous is not only OK, but a divine commandment. One apparently more important than 'Thou shalt Not Kill.' If in the future, we wonder how good Christians got desensitized to the notion of Christian on Christians violence, we can point back to the release of this game as one step in that direction.

4 comments:

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Your jaw will drop!

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