With only a few days left to buy gifts, procrastinators lucked out. They have the chance, even at this last minute, to pick up a very special present for their loved ones. Even better, it's ideal for those you don't particularly care for at all. This joyous holiday season of peace and joy, retailers around the country are stocking a new videogame. "Left Behind: Eternal Forces."
Adapted from a series of Christian novels, "Left Behind" is based on the authors' interpretation of the Book of Revelations. Players battle after the Rapture, as the Antichrist leads the team of opponents. And here's the really cool part: you convert these non-believers, or blast them to death.
Man, talk about a war on Christmas.
(When these fine folks sing "Onward, Christian Soldiers," who knew they really mean it?!)
According to Jeffrey Frichner, the president of Left Behind Games, the game is actually pacifist because the goal is not brutal death at all, but rather the conversion of heathens. Indeed, you lose "Spirit" points if you have to resort to killing the non-believers. Of course, being infidels they are notoriously hard to convert (which after all is the whole point of being an infidel), so failing that your only alternative is to kill them. Hey, no one ever said being a beatific messenger of the Lord was easy.
It's actually quite a noble thing, Frichner told the San Francisco Chronicle . "You are sort of a freedom fighter."
Yes. Sort of. Sort of in the same way that those who blew up the World Trade Center and killed 3,000 innocent people who didn't believe their religious path to heaven are freedom fighters. Sort of like that.
Though there have been protests for stores to remove the game, Wal-Mart has no plans to do so. "We look at the community and see what will sell," Wal-Mart spokesman Tara Raddohl told the Chronicle.
Fair enough. After all, this is a long-standing Wal-Mart policy. Indeed, it's precisely why Wal-Mart stocks R-rated movies and porn in all its stores. If something sells - and boy, those kind of movies sure... -
Oh, wait, I'm sorry. I confused the words "R-rated movies and porn" with the word "firearms." Wal-Mart wouldn't be caught dead selling R-rated movies and porn. (Well, okay, they might be caught dead if they were non-believing heathens.) While it might appear that Wal-Mart is lying when they say they'll stock something merely because it sells, they're not. They're freedom fighters.
By the way, the Antichrist in the game is the Secretary General of the United Nations, the international organization of world peace. (Honest!) Whoo-ha, talk about a pacifist game just in time for Christmas.
Most of the enemies in the game have Arab and Muslim-sounding names. But Left Behind's Frichner said that this is merely a matter of logic, not prejudice and bigotry. "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ," he told the Chronicle. "That is so obvious."
Boy, howdy, is it ever. What's also obvious is how the Jews caught a break here because, as people who also don't believe in Jesus Christ, the game could have just as easily named the Antichrist Shlomo Liebowitz. Rumor has it that this was the third choice, right behind Saddam Epstein.
Of course, Hindus aren't believers in Jesus Christ either. Or Buddhists. Or just plain old, everyday atheists. So, they could have named the Antichrist Greg Vandergelder III. (Apparently, "Dick Cheney" was already taken.)
There are many fun twists and turns in the game. One of the pagan enemies is a rock musician, and if you get too close, you lose even more "Spirit" points. The game's manual doesn't make clear if Christian rock is okay, however. Amy Grant must be scrambling to get back into the fold.
According the article, Plugged In magazine - a publication of the far-right Christian group, Focus on Family - raved about Left Behind. They called it, "the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior."
You bet they could. After all, as Left Behind proves what we all know, the family that preys together, stays together.