Who Would Jesus Shoot? UN Peacekeepers!

Left Behind: Eternal Forces

“Praise the Lord!” they shout as the vile UN forces are ground under the treads of Jesus’ own tank brigade beneath a large ad for Dell computers plastered on an in-game billboard.

We’ve all been searching for a game where you can play as a group of militant Christian evangelists fighting the evil forces of Secularism, and we’ve finally found it. Left Behind: Eternal Forces is a game where the UN and its Antichrist leader Nicholae Carpathia (which must be pronounced Niiiiiic-ko-lie Kar-PAAAAAAA-thee-uh to obtain its full amusement factor) are vilified along with all non-Christians, education and rock music. If it weren’t a video game itself, Left Behind would almost certainly have included them in its list of the forces of evil as well.

Set in the early aftermath of “The Rapture”, an event in which some Christians believe that they will be instantly transported to Heaven before the world is thrown into chaos by the Antichrist, Left Behind starts with a premise that at least some segment of the gaming world could get behind.

The real world counterparts of the game villain “Secularists’” on the other hand, while they may think that the idea of a game world where all of the evangelical Christians suddenly disappear from the face of the planet sounds fun, will quickly be disappointed when they find out the evangelicals still manage to preach at you from The Great Beyond, and the goal of the game is actually turning into them!

You use your “Recruiter” units to raise the “Spirit Level” of neutral characters until they are converted. Trying to thwart your efforts are the members of the evil “Global Community” which consists of such vile beings as “Rock Stars” who play ungodly music, “Secularists” who specialize in deception and “Cult Leaders” who, along with many other evil units, are trained in dreaded “Colleges”.

Murdering unbelievers along with other atrocities such as seeing secularist propaganda and listening to rock music can lower your units’ “Spirit Levels” until they lose faith and switch sides. Fortunately, as in real life, there is a simple cure for all ills: prayer.

Whether you’ve heard a song that doesn’t glorify God, or you’ve merely shot a dozen people in their evil Secularist faces, prayer can bring your “Spirit Level” back up and keep you from losing faith.

It’s interesting that the performers of the game’s own Christian Rock music are not vilified along with other Rock Stars. Perhaps they managed to escape the malevolent clutches of the evil education system unscathed by college?

One of the most disturbing things about this game is that while it portrays the Christian Tribulation Forces as good in their ceaseless efforts to convert or kill the unbelievers, it shows musicians and unbelievers as forces of evil, even aligning them with cult leaders! Since when are “secularists” on the same side as cult leaders? Apparently since the poor martyr complex ridden evangelicals decided that life is just one big fight pitting Real Christians against Everyone Else.

Back in the game, God’s holy bullets rip through the bodies of the Global Community Peacekeepers (UN Peacekeeper stand-ins) as “Amazing Grace” plays in the background and the Tribulation Forces take down another group of unbelievers in the name of the Lord. This mind-bogglingly strange dichotomy is taken from the second official trailer for the game, so the sickness of this pairing is apparently lost on them.

In a vain attempt to make these battle scenes more palatable, the game’s designers chose to make it blood free. Sure, you can kill tons of people, but your poor little eyes are perfectly protected from the real problem with violence; the blood. Apparently it’s not that whole “killing” thing that’s a problem, just seeing the results.

At least the game won’t let you mow down groups of neutral people — until they decide to oppose you that is. Then they’re as bad as any lying Secularist pig and they deserve to be burned at the stake. If only the game’s designers had thought to include an Inquisition weapon set.

Left Behind II

Not content to sit on its laurels (such as they may be), Left Behind Games is hard at work on a sequel to its first multi-million dollar losing flop.

As it is likely to be another colossal failure, we should lend them our full support in its development. If the Left Behind publishers continue to bleed themselves dry with one financial blunder after another, we won’t be subjected to their garbage for much longer.

Unfortunately for Left Behind Games, they were unable to hide the blood pouring out of the gaping wounds in the game at launch. They have since released a patch that supposedly addresses at least the most egregious of the game’s bugs and faults, but one has to wonder, if God blesses endeavors He supports and curses those he dislikes, then perhaps this is a game that God doesn’t want us to play?

Despite Left Behind Games’ attempts at intimidating people through legal threats into not criticizing their prodigious flop of a game, major review sites kept their criticisms and low ratings up, which is probably a major reason for the multi-million dollar loss on this steaming pile of “How Not to Make a Game.”

Unless you’re in the mood for a buggy, preachy game of Christian Jihad, Left Behind: Eternal Forces is a good game to leave behind.

The Science of Spore: Evolution

Spore has been followed throughout its development by many people interested in science, evolution, natural selection and other topics. It did provide some hope for these people that it might turn out to be a realistic game accurately portraying evolution, but now that it’s been released, is the science of Spore accurate?

The more important question really is “Did the game’s creators intend the game to be scientifically accurate?”, and the answer to that seems to be no.

As stated in commercials for the game, it is not attempting to portray realistic evolution, but more of a guided evolution they call “Creatolutionism”. There is nothing wrong with this, although it may be a disappointment to some players, but it can become a problem if the point is not clearly made that this is not a realistic portrayal of the way evolution actually happens.

Creationists often make fun of scientists, claiming that they believe in things like animals just suddenly sprouting legs and lungs and walking onto land. This is the antithesis of evolution, not a fair description of it. Unfortunately in Spore, this does appear to be what happens. Once you have completed the “Cell Stage”, you simply sprout the necessary appendages and organs, drop the unnecessary ones and walk out of the water fully formed.

The reality is, no complex life form naturally undergoes such radical changes in one generation. Such dramatic and instantaneous changes are clearly the product of engineering, in this case by the player and the game’s designers.

If we believed that evolution happened in this manner we probably would have to turn to some kind of god or designer, so when creationists manage to spread the idea that the theory of evolution does claim such giant leaps in a single generation, they actually start looking like the reasonable ones to some people.

It is also possible in most places to manually produce generation after generation of slightly modified creatures, as would happen if they were actually evolving, but most players will be happy to skip to the end result they want rather than attempting to make it appear as if their creatures are evolving naturally.

There is nothing wrong with this, and it probably makes a more fun gaming experience for most users. We just have to make it clear to everyone who doesn’t correctly understand evolution that the redesigning of creatures in Spore is not even close to the same as evolution in the real world.