While we do not share the literal theology behind this game, our Christian friends can be assured that the NJDC does not speak for any reputable American Jews in its efforts to smear the game, or indeed in many other matters. NJDC has also published anti-Semitic "Jew as Christian hater" propaganda in its desperate efforts to divide Jews and Christians, while whitewashing anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, and other hate speech by fellow left-wing Democrats at MoveOn.org's disgraced Action Forum.
Pentagon Came Close to Distributing "Convert or Kill" Video Game Promoting Murder of Non-Christians to American Troops by Rebecca Murow says,
Believe it or not, the Pentagon came close last week to sending out a video game that rewards gamers "for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian."
You know the one, last winter's "Left Behind: Eternal Forces." The one that endorses a theology that believes Jews and other non-Christians must convert or be killed. The one in which the "good guys" are a Christian coalition fighting against the "bad guys" (a UN-like peace-keeping group). The game condemned by the ADL, the Christian Alliance for Progress, and others. The one you would probably not want your children to play.
We will start by saying that we have no problem whatsoever with the game portraying the United Nations ("Global Community") as villains, and even as "shoot" targets. The United Nations has a long track record of complicity with despotic regimes while condemning every move Israel takes to defend itself, forcing teenage and pre-teen girls to give sex in exchange for badly-needed food (Google on "United Nations" and "sex for food," we lock people like that up in this country), and seating so-called countries like Syria and Libya on human rights commissions. We would not object had the game's designers have given the Antichrist's army blue helmets with the UN logo, along with food to offer to unsuspecting children in post-Rapture New York.
The National "Jewish" "Democratic" Council has never let facts or truth get in its way, and this posting is no exception. We looked up "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," and here is what we found.
# There is NO killing in the name of God, and NO convert or die missions
# All content has been reviewed and approved by Tyndale House Publishers prior to publication
# Conduct warfare using PRAYER and WORSHIP – these are more powerful weapons than guns
# Recover ancient scriptures
The San Francisco Chronicle adds, despite the article title Convert or die' game divides Christians
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."
Presumably, the need to "gun down nonbelievers" might result from being cornered by the Antichrist's Secret Police, Gestapo, pedophilic United Nations Peacekeepers (Google on "sex for food scandal"), or whatever. Since the player incurs a penalty even for killing them in self-defense, there is an incentive to avoid such confrontations--which differs considerably from promoting a "convert or die" mentality in which the player "guns down" nonbelievers. That sort of conduct is left to the forces of Antichrist Nicolae Carpathia and, in the real world, to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's followers and other militant "Muslims."
We do not believe literally in the Book of Revelation, but the model it presents--a dictator who, with the aid of a False Prophet, creates omens to manipulate his followers--is entirely valid. At the time of its writing, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar had already used this tactic, and it probably dates back to the time when the first war leader told his shaman, High Priest, or whomever how he wanted the chicken entrails interpreted. The disciple John did not need a literal revelation from God to predict how future dictators might use the same procedure, and a good number have done so. The Mahdi who destroyed Khartoum and killed General Gordon, for example, claimed to converse regularly with God and/or Mohammed. We need look no farther today than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose inner circle accomodates him by claiming to see a green light or aura around him when he speaks. Ahmadinejad also claims to be in contact with the Twelfth Imam (False Prophet), who will doubtlessly appear when the time is "right." We do not believe that Christians will be saved from him in the Rapture, but he is already using phony omens to manipulate credulous followers. He is also quite capable of killing all Jews, Christians, and even Muslims who will not worship his perverted vision of Allah--which means, in practice, Ahmadinejad himself.
The game's FAQ page adds,
Why does this game have to contain violence at all? Why is it necessary for a fun and successful game?
Violence is not required to make a fun game. However, it is required to make a game about the end of the world in the Left Behind book series. We have taken great care to make certain that there are real consequences for poor gamer behavior, unlike most games in the market. For instance, unnecessary killing will result in lower Spirit points which are essential to winning.
Even the Anti-Defamation League, which NJDC cited as a reference in its attack on the game, says,
The game is designed to make force an option only used by players if necessary when their forces are attacked by those hunting them, and any characters that kill others in the game are penalized. Conversion to Christianity in the game is not depicted as forcible in nature, and violence is not rewarded in the game.When a character is praying, he apparently cannot do anything else, while the bad guys are still free to move and operate. This is probably similar to strategy games in which armies must withdraw from combat, or ships return to port, for reinforcements or repair. This is the only game of which we know in which the player suffers damage for killing genuine villains, although many arcade games penalize first person shooters for hitting hostages or innocent bystanders. (Further investigation shows that the bad guys have the ability to "swear," perhaps to prevent the good guys from winning them over.)
The game revolves around "spirit" - a low spirit leads a character to the side of the Antichrist, and players must continually watch their spirit levels to ensure they do not slide towards evil. Killing others in the game deeply affects the spirit levels, and players must have those characters pray to build themselves back up or risk turning evil.
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" reinforces this:
the only characters in the game who have the ability to kill are the soldiers and the game manual details at length (far more than any other characters) their role in the game. Here are a few of the important points the game manual makes about soldiers:
*Soldiers have made themselves available to defend your forces from bodily harm and death.
*They are performing their roles as physical defenders, but their #1 goal is still to save as many people from the antichrist as possible.
*With each life he ends, his Spirit level will immediately drop substantially.
*Killing a neutral should be avoided at all costs - and the spiritual penalty for doing so is especially harsh.
*Your duty and moral obligation is to use soldiers as little as humanly possible.
... *Your soldiers - even in aggressive mode - will still ignore noncombatants.
A review of the game by someone who has actually played it says,
Many groups have made inaccurate statements about this game that need to be corrected. For one thing, it is not particularly violent. While there are violent aspects of the game, the game makes it clear that shooting is the last resort. Second, it is not hateful to other religions. It does have an agenda, and I think you need to know that going in, but there's no bashing of other faiths.
We are not going to argue with the "agenda" comment, because the game's purpose is obviously to promote the Christian religion and Christian beliefs about the End Times. Furthermore, we do question the Pentagon's judgment in thinking of distributing this game to members of the Armed Forces. Non-Christian service members could indeed construe it as promotion of a religion by the government. We therefore cannot disagree entirely with the NJDC's blog entry but, had NJDC stuck to the facts instead of making up sensationalistic lies about a "Convert or Kill" computer game, it could have made a much stronger argument. We encourage NJDC to consider the Latin proverb, falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus (false in one thing, false in all things). Once your reader catches you in a blatant lie, he or she is not going to be very interested in anything else you say, even if it is true.