Comments: Good, But Not Safe

Where's the outrage for the Grand Theft Auto series?

Posted by Retired Navy at December 13, 2006 01:31 PM

I grew up in the Methodist chuch and have been a life long conservative. But Christian activities lately have begun to concern me. This game tries to mix violence with religion which should be avoided. However, we need to tone down religion in general. I think that the conservative movement has been killed by the Christians trying to push moral objectives on the rest of us. Just as the liberals are trying to push government interference in our lives in general. Both seem the same to me.

Posted by David Caskey at December 13, 2006 02:04 PM

Retired Navy, there has been plenty of outrage over Grand Theft Auto over the years. I work in the schools, and I've heard the outrage ever since the games first came out.

About the God game, though: let's hear it for the followers of the Prince of Peace! "Thou Shalt Mow Them Down!" Isn't that one of the Commandments?

Posted by Doc Washboard at December 13, 2006 02:33 PM

I though you would never ask:

[Quotation removed due to DMCA complaint.]

This sounds quite close to the premise of the game, where you attempt to convert your enemies first, and only kill them as a last resort.

Thanks for being a reliable patsy, Doc.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 13, 2006 02:44 PM

The general plot seems to reflect a basic good vs. evil storyline, so why all the fuss?

Are you saying that anyone who doesn't convert to Christianity is evil, and that killing the non-converters is an act of goodness?

Did you mean that Christians were evil for killing innocents (the good)?

This game allows you the option of at least talking to your opponents, and trying to persuade them to convert to your point of view. Shouldn't that be commended?

I can't believe you're arguing that talking to someone, or "persuading them to convert" before killing them, is somehow "commendable".

Posted by AkaDad at December 13, 2006 03:00 PM
Are you saying that anyone who doesn't convert to Christianity is evil, and that killing the non-converters is an act of goodness?

Not at all. In the fictional, post-Rapture world created by the work of fiction this game is based upon, you only kill those who allied with the enemy, and only if you can't convert them.

I can't believe you're arguing that talking to someone, or "persuading them to convert" before killing them, is somehow "commendable".

It's far better than other video games, where mindless slaughter is the goal and the rule. In this game, killing is a last resort, when talking doesn't work. Here, you suffer a spiritual loss when forced to kill. That is indeed commendable, and something I wish other video game desires would consider.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 13, 2006 03:12 PM

I haven't been a Christian for over ten years now, but I don't see anything wrong with Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

On the other hand, I'm a big fan of the GTA series.

Posted by Anonymous for now at December 13, 2006 03:51 PM

There seems to be a big misconception here.

If the game is anything like the books, the “good guys” are not killing the “bad guys” for not converting. Only in self-defense or when trying to stop the bad guys from killing others.

I don’t doubt that Stevens & Co. is purposely fostering this misconception in order to justify their bias against traditional Christians. As can be seen with all the knee jerk responses on this thread. Many on the left need no stinkin’ facts when they can invent reasons to bash those they deem as fundamentalists.

As with any video game parents should review for age appropriateness.

Posted by Gnome Chumpski at December 13, 2006 04:29 PM

"...only kill them as a last resort."

Excuse me, but you seem to have missed that Biblical citation in your list. Could you reference that for me so I could look it up?

Posted by Another Ed at December 13, 2006 04:30 PM

Could you reference that for me so I could look it up?

He said it is due to translational differences. The Torah gets it correctly. "You shall not murder."

Posted by Purple Avenger at December 13, 2006 05:30 PM

Sounds real to me. No one is killed. Those that truly believe go to the Lord. Those that don't truly believe have several years of trials and tribulations to decide where they want to go, heaven or hell. No fakery as most in the U.S. do will be allowed.

Posted by Scrapiron at December 13, 2006 06:40 PM

You guys forgot one thing: the game itself is terrible.
http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/928956.asp
And as for the whole violence debate thing, the scientific evidence is inconclusive at best.
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/commentary.aspx?id=17554
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/commentary.aspx?id=16183

Posted by Alex at December 13, 2006 07:11 PM

CY, would you be as comfortable with an Islam-based video game in which Christians were given a chance to convert and, if they didn't, were killed?

Posted by Doc Washboard at December 13, 2006 09:20 PM

Gee...

Do I point out the fact that there are literally dozens of jihadi video games and mods (conversions of pre-existing games) that don't even give the option of conversion, and simply go straight for murdering the infidels?

-OR-

Do I point out the fact that this is reality in many places, and so that such a game is superfluous?

Decisions, decisions...

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 13, 2006 10:02 PM

Well, neither of those options answers my question.

Posted by Doc Washboard at December 13, 2006 11:22 PM

This sounds quite close to the premise of the game, where you attempt to convert your enemies first, and only kill them as a last resort. -- Confederate Yankee.

---

Sounds pretty much like the grounds upon which Jesus Christ was crucified.

The Romans and Pharisees tried to convert the Son of God and when he refused to convert, they tortured and killed him.

I'm a faithful, lifelong Christian and a Methodist.

P.S. Does Jesus Christ mention anywhere in the Gospels that he would kill, or order killed, anyone who refused to "convert"? Does Jesus Christ tell his Disciples anywhere in the Gospels they have His permission to kill a person who refuses to convert? Is it not the Son of God, upon witnessing a stoning of a woman for adultery, said "He who is without sin cast the first stone?" And they all put down their stones?

Confederate Yankee, exactly what Bible are you reading?

Cheers And May God Bless You.

Douglas H. Watts
Augusta, Maine

Posted by Douglas Watts at December 14, 2006 03:59 AM

CY -- Since you seem to be a Christian the Gospels you cite show what you say is directly opposite the teachings of the Son of God:

The opposite of hating someone is loving them, we should even love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), seeking not revenge, but looking for ways to help them (Romans 12:17-21).

However, you say: "This sounds quite close to the premise of the game, where you attempt to convert your enemies first, and only kill them as a last resort."

Loving thy enemies does mean killing them if they do not "convert." And "looking for ways to help them" does not mean killing them because they do not "convert."

Could you cite a statement by Jesus Christ in the Bible in which he tells his Disciples they are allowed to murder people solely because they do not convert?

Thanks.

Douglas H. Watts
Augusta, Maine

May God Bless You.

Posted by Douglas Watts at December 14, 2006 04:09 AM

Middle Eastern names do not preclude anyone from being Christian.
Also If one studies the tenets of Islam, we are all given the chance to convert...or be killed as an infidel.

Posted by 2cups at December 14, 2006 06:23 AM

Doc,

I know, I was being sarcastic. My mind actually splits on things like this. A game is a game is a game, that's one side. The other that Alex pointed out is the scientific debate. While it is NOT conclusive, it does show hightened areas in the brain while playing games. These areas do change from one game to another, more specifically, violent or non-violent.

Any form of media is a vast learning tool. The brain is an ever-chainging organ and creates new pathways with repetitive actions (learning). While creating these pathways, it just learns, it is up to the individual to distinguish right from wrong. Most can, some can't (IMO). While I don't think games, violent movies, bad websites are the CAUSE of people going 'bad', I do think they Lend a Hand.

Posted by Retired Navy at December 14, 2006 06:31 AM

To paraphrase the liberal response to Dan Quayle's criticism of the TV show Murphy Brown, "its a video game."

BTW, if it matters, I am a hard core atheist. I don't have a problem with this. It is only a freaking video game. Lighten up.

Posted by ray_g at December 14, 2006 11:34 AM

Actually, a lot of the objections to this game are coming from other Christian groups.

Personally, as an atheist, I don't really care. Judging from the reviews I've read it's just not a very good game.

Posted by A Hermit at December 14, 2006 12:47 PM

"Actually, a lot of the objections to this game are coming from other Christian groups."

Santimony has always been secular, bi-partisan and color blind.

Posted by ray_g at December 14, 2006 01:49 PM

would you be as comfortable with an Islam-based video game in which Christians were given a chance to convert and, if they didn't, were killed?

Define "comfortable".

Willing to bash it? Yes.

Willing to ban it? No.

Posted by Purple Avenger at December 15, 2006 12:35 AM

Middle Eastern names do not preclude anyone from being Christian. -- Ray G.
---

This would not be surprising since Jesus Christ was a Jew, was the Son of God, was "Middle Eastern" and spent his entire life in the "Middle East."

Of course, I'm not a theologian.

Posted by Douglas Watts at December 15, 2006 02:11 AM

Dear Mr. Confederate Yankee,

Whenever you can cite a statement by Jesus Christ in the Bible in which he tells his Disciples they should murder people because they do not convert, that would be appreciated.

I'll just be sitting here waiting for your answer while watching the continental plates collide.

Cheers.

P.S. There is a specific Gospel in which Jesus tells his Disciples exactly what to do if people do not heed His Word, but I will let you tell me about it, since you are a fairly good Biblical scholar.

Posted by Douglas Watts at December 15, 2006 02:18 AM

Gee, Doug, I didn't know the host of this site owed you an answer. Perhaps you could point out the contract language for us so that I, too can come around to a site to demand action from the host. While you are scouring the site answering my question for me, I'll ask another: Do you have an opinion of your own that you would like to put forth?

Hey, don't worry about me, Doug, I'll just sit here waiting while you look up that first answer for me. But don't let that stop you from answering the second question.
Since this is really fun for me, and I bet it's a ball for you, too, perhaps you could tell me what exactly your opinion is? and be prepared to justify every statement that you make, providing citations to authoritative sources.

Don't hurt yourself trying to get those answers together, Doug. I'll just sit here as the earth continues its orbit about the sun.

Cheers,

Mikey NTH

Posted by Mikey NTH at December 15, 2006 12:58 PM

Douglas, what you and some others seem to be missing, is the setting of this game.
The game posits that:
A) God is real
B) God is the God of the Christian NT Bible
C) The Second Coming prophesy has come to pass, and the truly righteous have been taken to heaven.
D) Thos who are left are either undecided or sinners
E) God, ever the champion of free will, has given them 7 years to make up their minds, and decide which path to take
F) The devil is working to take over the world in those same 7 years
G) The war is between God's forces and the devil's
H) The people the players are trying to destroy are the ones who have chosen evil. The ones on the sidelines stay their, to the "good guys" until they choose to be good or chose to be evil.

Anyway, this game is not taking place in the here and now any more than Warcraft or Civilization do. The game takes place in a "world" where A-H are the reality. Unlike the real world, God has given people an extra commandment: Thou Shalt Make a Choice, and live with the consequences.

Are/were you upset about the game Black And White? How about Populus? Very similar notions.
How about Steven King's "The Stand". Sounds very much like "Left Behind".


Like any game or fiction, you must suspend disbelief to enjoy it.
What is it about this work of fiction that you must take so very, very seriously, and apply your belief that believers cannot suspend disbelief and enjoy the game without taking it into the real world and going on a killing spree or hate inspired actions against non-believers? :)
Do you also worry that kids will get their hands on a "Players Handbook" and try to cast spells? That they will think they really can vanquish goblins and dragons?
Or do you only worry that Christians won't be able to tell the fiction of a game from fact in the world? :)
(that is not to say that Christian's do not play role-playing games like D&D LOL)

Posted by SCSIwuzzy at December 15, 2006 06:19 PM

Not to nitpick one example from an excellent comment, but people DO worry that D&D players will lose track of reality as well. There are a lot of misconceptions about D&D out there among the sanctimonious, along the lines that it is the next thing to demon-worship or can become so in groups of impressionable kids. Back when I was a teen in a church youth group, we were treated to a video explaining how D&D led kids to the Dark Side, with lectures from adults who obviously didn't have the first clue about the game (something to do with demons and magic, right? Sounds evil to us!) and probably even won't read fairy tales/Harry Potter to their children.

I wasn't about to stand up and point out how ignorant the video was, lest I expose myself as a geek who actually knew something about D&D.

Do I have a relevant point here? Well, barely: just that game-players have more capacity to distinguish game ethics from real ones than many hand-wringing adults suppose.

Posted by Amber at December 16, 2006 06:23 PM