Monday, August 20, 2007

LB:EF - More falsehoods spread in the media

Recently, Operation Straight Up - an evangelical organization that provides various forms of entertainment to the military - was to provide "Eternal Forces" in care packages to soldiers in Iraq. However, the packages were canceled by the DoD and the games removed by OSU after the Nation posted this smear-filled hit piece by Max Blumenthal, which included falsehoods such as:
Kill Or Convert, Brought To You By the Pentagon

...

Left Behind players wage a violent war against United Nations-like peacekeepers

...

Each time a Left Behind player kills a UN soldier, their virtual character exclaims, "Praise the Lord!" To win the game, players must kill or convert all the non-believers left behind after the rapture.

It's rather sad how many people fell for those false statements without questioning the claims in the slightest. There is no "kill or convert" in the game, nor is there any "violent war against United Nations-like peacekeepers," there most certainly are no exclamations of "Praise the Lord!" if an enemy is killed, and winning the game is not hinged upon killing or converting all the non-Christian characters. Blumenthal obviously has not played the full game and probably not even the demo (this is true about most if not all critics of the game). Nevertheless, ABC News uncritically ran with the hit piece (and didn't even get the organization's name right) and asked the Department of Defense about it. Subsequently, plans to include the game in the care packages were halted. Others - from bloggers to news outlets - also picked up on Blumenthal's falsehoods and reported them as fact. One person in particular, Zay Smith of the Chicago Sun-Times, pretty much plagiarized Blumenthal's description of the game. Zay and I had an extended email exchange in which he admitted he had played the demo, but when asked, completely failed to point out exactly where in the demo he had seen anything amounting to "convert or kill" or where the shouts of "Praise the Lord!" happened when a non-Christian was killed. (He also would not admit to plagiarizing Blumenthal even when the proof was spelled out to him in detail.) In fact, I've never seen one critic anywhere who could point out exactly where in the game any of their claims occurred.

Previous posts:

LB:EF - More response to criticisms
LB:EF - Mission 17
LB:EF - Mission 16
LB:EF - Missions 13, 14, and 15
LB:EF - Mission 12
LB:EF - Missions 9, 10 and 11
LB:EF - Addressing an opening animation criticism
LB:EF - Easter egg?
LB:EF - Email from the game's senior producer!
LB:EF - Missions 6, 7 and 8
LB:EF - The first few missions
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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