Virtual Apocalypse

Here is an LA Times story that really gives me the willies. The video gaming industry has found God.

Dawn C. Chmielewski reports from the Electronic Entertainment Expo that the creators of video games are trying to reach a Christian audience by giving gamers an opportunity to do all the horrible stuff you can do in Grand Theft Auto, but do it in the name of God.

“One game, “Left Behind: Eternal Forces,” which debuts today at the expo, features plenty of biblical smiting, albeit with high-tech weaponry as players battle the forces of the Antichrist in a smoldering world approaching Armageddon.

The creators hope the game packs enough action to appeal to a generation of kids reared on such titles as “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” and subtly coax them to consider their own spirituality….

The game is based on the best-selling series of “Left Behind” books, which offer an account of the end times as predicted in the biblical book of Revelation. One of the series’ authors, Tim LaHaye, said the game had the potential to communicate ideas such as salvation to people who might not think of themselves as particularly interested.

‘We hope teenagers like the game,’ LaHaye said. “Our real goal is to have no one left behind.”

But critics counter that, in an effort to make Christian games appealing, developers such as Lyndon and Frichner are doing little more than putting a religious veneer on the same violent fare.”

A valid criticism. But what bothers me more is the possibility that kids who play these games might abosrb the warped theology of LeHaye, and begin thinking that they are competent to pass judgement and mete out punishment on God’s behalf.

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