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Religious Tolerance logo

Left Behind: Eternal Forces: a hate-based video game

Plot and description

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The game's plot:

The game is based on the Left Behind series of books which state that God had separated young children and the saved -- individuals who have repented of their sin and trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior -- from the Earth. In a process called the Rapture, they miraculously rose through the air to meet Jesus Christ. They abandon trains, planes, automobiles, jobs, fields, sidewalks, homes, etc. That leaves only confused unbelievers "left behind" on earth. Some would be nominal Christians who were not saved before the rapture. Others would be Muslims, Hindus, many Mormons, many Roman Catholics, followers of other world religions, secularists, Atheists, Agnostics, etc.

The "good side" is represented by the "Tribulation Force." These are often spouses, family members, and relatives of the saved Christians who had been raptured, have left the Earth, and are now with Jesus. According to the most common Evangelical Christian interpretation of key biblical passages, everyone left behind on earth must endure seven years of tribulation -- violent, horrendous evil which will cause the death of one third of the population of Earth in the greatest Holocaust the world has ever seen.

On the other side -- the bad guys -- are the non-Christians: the United Nations, the Antichrist, and his "Global Community Peacekeepers." They are the enemy to be destroyed.

The game involves a battle for New York City. It has a few interesting wrinkles not found in other violent computer games involving mass destruction and murder:

  • Both the Tribulation Force and Global Community Peacekeepers attempt to recruit lost souls in addition to fighting each other.
  • Whenever a "good guy" kills an unbeliever or an innocent person, he or she loses some of their spirituality which has to be restored through prayer. Otherwise they might weaken to the point where they are in danger of being recruited by the infidels.
  • There are armies of angels and demons are present who contribute to the action.
  • When a person dies, there is no blood and gore; the body simply disappears.

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Description of the game:

The creators of the game expect to receive either an "E" rating (appropriate for ages 6 and above) or a "T" rating (for ages 13 and above.) It can be played by a single person, or by a team of up to eight players. In the latter case, one has the opportunity to play as a member of either the Tribulation Force or the Global Community Peacekeepers.

According to the producers of the game, one can engage in the following activities:

  • "Conduct physical & spiritual warfare, using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world."
  • "Recover ancient scriptures and witness spectacular Angelic and Demonic activity as a direct consequence of your choices."
  • "Command your forces through intense battles across a breathtaking, authentic depiction of New York City."
  • "Control more than 30 units types - from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!" 1

The Left Behind Games web site contains two Quick Time trailers. 1

Newsweek Magazine commented:

"Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon, whose company went public in [2006] February, says the game's Christian themes will grab the audience that didn't mind gore in 'The Passion of the Christ.' 'We've thought through how the Christian right and the liberal left will slam us,' says Lyndon. 'But megachurches are very likely to embrace this game.' Though it will be marketed directly to congregations, Forces will also have a secular ad campaign in gaming magazines." 2

The FAQ section of the Eternal Forces web site states:

Question: "What is the level of violence in the game?"
Answer: "Our game includes violence, but excludes blood, decapitation, killing of police officers, etc. Our game is expected to be widely accepted by the mainstream and Christian marketplaces, just as they have accepted Star Wars games which are "T" for teen rated. We have taken great care to make certain that consequences for poor gamer behavior will adequately reflect the gamers actions. Accordingly, unnecessary killing will result in lower Spirit points."

Question: "How does your game compare to more widely known games such as Grand Theft Auto or 25 to Life?"
Answer: "LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces was developed to provide an alternative form of entertainment to those desiring more positive game content, while still engaging core gamers in battle. The difference is that our game features fictional battles set on the stage of an apocalyptic world. Our game includes no intestines, no blood spatter, no severed limbs, no vulgar language, no sexual conduct, no morally reprehensible conduct -- such as cop-killing, prostitute-bashing, or other criminal behavior, no Bible-bashing believers, no Bible thumpers, no radical extremists killing in the name of God, no abortion clinic stalkers --or other such content in the games you mention." 3

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Left Behind Games," at: http://www.leftbehindgames.com/.
  2. Newsweek Magazine, 2006-MAR-06.
  3. "Frequently asked Questions," LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces, at: http://www.eternalforces.com/

Copyright © 2006 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2006-JUN-06
Latest update: 2008-SEP-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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