Buried deep within an article about the video game Left Behind: Team Jesus Nukem are these comments from the president of the company that crapped it out:
Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season and that Wal-Mart, a major video game retailer, should yank it off its shelves.
The Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, two online political groups, plan to demand today that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens.
The series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins is based on their interpretation of the Bible’s Book of Revelation and takes place after the Rapture, when Jesus has taken his people to heaven and left nonbelievers behind to face the Antichrist.
Left Behind Games’ president, Jeffrey Frichner, says the game actually is pacifist because players lose “spirit points” every time they gun down nonbelievers rather than convert them. They can earn spirit points again by having their character pray.
“You are fighting a defensive battle in the game,” Frichner, whose previous company produced Bible software, said of combatting the Antichrist. “You are a sort of a freedom fighter.”
Players can choose to join the Antichrist’s team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia’s side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story.
When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But “Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ” — and thus can’t be on Christ’s side in the game.
“That is so obvious,” he said.
Well, since you can’t tell the bad guys without a scorecard, here are the names you’ll find on Team NotJesus.