Monday, June 12, 2006

"This game tastes like burning"

Well my quick earlier posting on the upcoming video game, ‘Left Behind: Eternal Forces,’ has lately been getting me somewhat involved with an increasingly turbulent situation. It seems that my post, along with numerous others on the same topic, raised the awareness of one Chris Price, aka Layman, who is undertaking a one-man crusade on the ‘propaganda’ and misinformation on the game, and who is also now a reader and commenter of my blog (welcome, Chris). Mr. Price, who helps run a Christian apologetics website, has been fighting the good fight against those that seek to diminish or misrepresent his faith. To be honest, more power to him in that quest. I find that if one doesn't stand up for what one believes in, no one else will; although what I’ve read of his website seems to be primarily geared to the attacks on Christianity from inaccurate representations of the Left Behind video game and from ‘The DaVinci Code.’

Now the ongoing video game issue has actually made a top diary listing on Daily Kos. In the past week there are now lawsuits flying and resignations from the staff of Rick Warren, a mega pastor who wrote ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ over the issues that resulted from the publicity surrounding this game. Most of the critical commentary on the game has been (rather snarkily) posted by the website ‘Talk 2 Action’, and it is this website that has received the brunt of Mr. Price’s ire. A good old-school flame war has erupted which makes for some good and fun reading.

One of the problems with all sides to this conflict is that the video game has not had its official release yet. So as I point out in a comment to one of Mr. Price’s latest posts on the topic, it is somewhat unfair for all sides to get too crazy on this. Nonetheless, based on the lawsuits and resignations now flying, it does seem to appear that at least some of what the critics thought distasteful about the game is (or at least was) actually planned for it. After all, the screen shots I posted were from the marketing website for the game. But now, one can safely assume that the final game, if it is now ever released, will never be like this. Which is too bad, as it actually sounded like hilarious fun.

Whatever the merits of either sides’ arguments over this game, the folks behind ‘Left Behind: Eternal Forces’ have to admit that publishing screen shots from a game about a religious war showing New York City burning have to expect some inflammatory responses. Mr. Price makes the point responding to my comment that he doesn’t find the images that inflammatory, at least in the context of other video games which are in fact more violent. Perhaps. But any New Yorker who sees those photos are going to be reminded of other images of New York burning because of religious extremism.

As for the DaVinci Code, if I were a devout Christian I wouldn't be taking the success of the book and movie as too much of a threat. This is a book filled with goobers, including the idea that the bathrooms in the Louvre have bars of soap in which one can hide a GPS transponder. What rubbish. There isn't a museum bathroom in the world that doesn't use liquid soap. Sheesh.

Update: As per the posting in comments, I have edited this post to change the name 'Ware' to 'Price'. I'm not certain where that came from. Apologies to Chris Price.