Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Collin Raye - The Gift

My wife and I sang this at our wedding in May of 1999.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sorta new S&B feature

If you scroll down to the bottom of the main page or the scroll down to below the signature line (with my name, time, comments and trackbacks) of any individual post, you'll find a space for webpages that link back to S&B. The list at the bottom of the main page shows all webpages and the list on each individual post lists those for that particular post. I had this for a little while in the blog footer to test it out, but now I moved it so it's a little easier to find.


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Monday, October 15, 2007

LB:EF - Some screenshots

First I want to share a ridiculous image that someone who obviously hasn't played the game created:

Click to enlarge.

See what they did there? They marked every gun-wielding character on the screen with a cross and other characters with Star of Davids and a Islamic star and crescent symbol. For those of us actually familiar with the game, the truth is much different. The characters with the guns are the Antichrist's forces, not Christians. I can tell this from how they are dressed. Each character type in the game has a unique appearance and those characters are dressed as Global Community Peacekeepers. The woman on the ground under the Islamic symbol, the woman in the background under the left-hand Star of David, and the man in the lab coat (a doctor) next to the latter woman are Christian characters. Again, this is according to their appearances. Notice how these unarmed non-combatants are being targeted and killed by the "U.N." (NOT!) soldiers.

Here's another screenshot from a mission where your chapel comes under attack:

Click to enlarge.

The armed characters are the Antichrist's forces again trying to destroy your chapel. (Yes, they're shooting guns to destroy a building. Not exactly realistic, but that's not the point.)

This next one is cool because is shows the level of detail the game creators used in creating the streets of New York:

Click to enlarge.

You can actually read the street signs! I don't think I've seen another game with such an attention to detail.


Previous posts:

LB:EF - What neutral reviewers have to say about the game
LB:EF - The latest brouhaha and the left's continued lies
LB:EF - Revisiting my earlier concerns (by request)
LB:EF - Mission 19
LB:EF - Mission 18
LB:EF - More falsehoods spread in the media
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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Friday, October 12, 2007

LB:EF - What neutral reviewers have to say about the game

I've been confronting some of the bloggers who have continued to spread the "convert or kill" myth about the game. As a result, some of them and their readers have been visiting my blog. To help them out, here's a quick recap of what neutral sources (and even one hostile one to start out with) have had to say about the game (the first three were originally found in my very first post about the game):

The Anti-Defamation League:
Conversion to Christianity in the game is not depicted as forcible in nature, and violence is not rewarded in the game.


IGN:
To keep the balance of power in your favor, you'll have to find non-violent ways to avoid getting killed. Your units will definitely fight back in a life or death situation but, for the most part, you want to either avoid your enemies or have a ready plan to convert to your side using musicians and disciples. This gets much harder as the game progresses.


ArsTechnica.com:
Many groups have made inaccurate statements about this game that need to be corrected. For one thing, it is not particularly violent. While there are violent aspects of the game, the game makes it clear that shooting is the last resort. Second, it is not hateful to other religions. It does have an agenda, and I think you need to know that going in, but there's no bashing of other faiths.” and “…the game is fun, it'll keep parents happy with its light levels of violence, and it'll be sold at video game stores, religious book stores, and everywhere else people spend money on God. This game will certainly get the message out.


GameSpy:
The other "controversial" aspect of the game is its explicit connection to evangelical Christian philosophy. Here too, the hysteria is seriously overblown. Within the game itself, the amount of proselytizing is kept to a minimum. Units bow their heads to pray in order to replenish their "spirit" resource and giving a unit orders may elicit a response like "For the Lord!" or "In His name!" Prayer scrolls with Biblical verses are also available as power-ups that can call down angels for bonuses, but anyone looking for explicit "Kill the unbelievers!"-style content to justify their fear of the game won't find it here. The biggest "message" portion of the game is actually the "Learn more" screens that become available after each mission. These display interesting text passages about the history of Christianity and CliffsNotes versions of aspects of evangelical theology while playing cuts from top-selling Christian musical acts (with a convenient "buy the album" link to the Internet).



Previous posts:

LB:EF - The latest brouhaha and the left's continued lies
LB:EF - Revisiting my earlier concerns (by request)
LB:EF - Mission 19
LB:EF - Mission 18
LB:EF - More falsehoods spread in the media
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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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

LB:EF - The latest brouhaha and the left's continued lies

[Greetings, visitors from ExChristian and other blogs. Please check out my more recent post about LB:EF that addresses and disproves the claims that the game promotes killing non-Christians.]

As I struggle to figure out how to survive level 20 of the game, I came across the latest "controversy" surrounding the game. It turns out that Left Behind Games has decided to address the lies that a lot of people have spread about LB:EF. LBG recently sent out a letter to various blogs politely but firmly requesting that they remove all misleading or false information they have spread about the game or face potential legal action. Of course, it's virtually impossible to find any neutral coverage of this situation as the people who are reporting it are the targeted bloggers and/or their supporters. Here's a sampling of what you can find:

Left Behind Games Inc. Sent me a Nastygram
Makers of "Left Behind" Game Threatening Bloggers?
Left Behind Threatens To Sue
We’ll sue if you post a poor review of our game

That last one is pretty indicative of the usual false portrayal of what LBG did (kind of like how they falsely portrayed the game). This letter wasn't about poor reviews in general, and that is proven by the large number of websites that didn't receive the letter. The letter was about misleading and false information about the game. I'm certain that it refers primarily to the claim that the game promotes killing non-believers. That seems to be a common thread among the blogs that have received the letter.

Of course, these blogs are complaining that the letter didn't specify exactly what information LBG wanted removed from each blog, asking, "How do we know what to remove if they don't say exactly what their asking to be removed?" Aside from the fact that one could simply just check either the company's and game's websites or even neutral websites that actually reviewed the game instead of the theology behind it, last time I checked, ignorance (real or claimed) was not a legitimate defense against wrongdoing in any court of law. The hostility these bloggers have against the game, the company and fundamentalist Christian in general doesn't allow them to think clearly, logically or rationally about this situation, though. They are convinced that they are absolutely right about the game, even if they have never played it themselves, and nothing - not even the threat of legal action against them - will convince them to re-examine and/or retract their faulty claims.

They also complain that LBG is bullying bloggers and that no one has ever done anything like this before. Untrue on both counts. Look at it this way: LBG is a company that produces a product and they have every right to defend that product against false, damaging claims against it. This is absolutely no different from a food company protecting its products from false claims that they are contaminated or deliberately poisoned. No one would fault a food company from threatening or taking legal action against people spreading such falsehoods, so why are people faulting LBG for doing the same? The answer is simple: the critics don't want to admit fault. Not to fundamentalist Christians, anyway. It's all about prejudice and bigotry - the only prejudice and bigotry that is acceptable anymore, in fact.

UPDATE: You know, I wish every blogger had either comments enabled or at least an email address to be able to contact them. This guy got the letter, but doesn't have a clue as to why. I'd like to help him figure out why. He apparently thinks it's about his sharing the company's public financial information in this post, completely ignoring that he wrote this:
Those who do not convert are killed by their “would be” saviors.

When I first heard about these letters, I was completely convinced Left Behind Games was targeting the "kill the unbelievers" falsehoods. When I looked at what people who have received this letter (including this guy) had said about this game, it only confirmed my conviction.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: I found an email address for that guy. I just had to dig a little deeper into his various websites. I sent him a little helpful note.


Previous posts:

LB:EF - Revisiting my earlier concerns (by request)
LB:EF - Mission 19
LB:EF - Mission 18
LB:EF - More falsehoods spread in the media
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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