Left Behind Games

Dark Virtue

New Member
Looks like the game was FAR worse than even I thought it was...

At its peak (Nov 7 of last year), Left Behind Games' stock price was $7.44 a share.

Today, the price sits at 18 cents a share.

Were these guys in a cocoon when they designed this game or what? According to the article, their target audience boycotted the game and describe it as "hate-filled" and "bigoted".

:eek:

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/3/22/5223/74597
 
Warning to younguns-- If you click on the link above, DO NOT click on the link to find out about the author. He has written some articles whose titles contain language that is very certainly against ToJ policy.

That being said, why is it a shock that a horrible looking and horribly reviewed game should have negative cash flow?
 

Neirai the Forgiven

Christian Guilds List Manager
I guess I agree (partly) with DV. How does this game reflect Christian values? If anything (bigotted statement coming up) it reflects Shiite Muslim jihadist values.

A friend at college told me that he was given a copy of the game by his Pastor for the sake of reviewing it (he works with the youth and the Pastor wanted to know if they should be supporting the game or not.) He told me that in his opinion the game contained "No Christian content beyond look & feel." He said that there was nothing in the game that made it 'Christian' in a theological/true-life-reflection kind of way. It contained some over-arching cliches that made it 'Christian' but lacked any truth about Christian life (at least in Danny's point of view.)

I guess I'd like to throw out a challenge: We're all gamers here. We understand what makes a good game and what spells S-U-C-K. We're also Christians here. I'd like to pose the question: If you were to make a Christian computer game, and intend it for an unsaved audience, how would you make a game that people would play, that wasn't full of "Captain Memoryverse and his Scriptural Spitballs" cliches, but yet reflected truth about the world?

I suppose the people I really should be asking is the guys that made "Myst."
 

Dark Virtue

New Member
I guess I'd like to throw out a challenge: We're all gamers here. We understand what makes a good game and what spells S-U-C-K. We're also Christians here. I'd like to pose the question: If you were to make a Christian computer game, and intend it for an unsaved audience, how would you make a game that people would play, that wasn't full of "Captain Memoryverse and his Scriptural Spitballs" cliches, but yet reflected truth about the world?

I don't think Left Behind was meant for an "unsaved" audience. They were counting on the readerbase for the Left Behind books to gobble this game up.

I think that's the bigger problem here. The readerbase and majority of the Christian audience are NOT gamers. That's why Christian games are, well so crappy. Why spend the resources on a game that has no revenue making abilities whatsoever? In the same vein, this is NOT the medium for a conversion tool. I play games for entertainment, not to be preached to. If I want to spend time on theism, there are better avenues than playing Catechumen or Victory At Hebron. I don't think it's possible to merge something that serious with something that's meant to be entertainment.

If so, wouldn't it have happened already? I really don't know much about the history of Christian video games...can anyone tell me what the most popular Christian game is/was? How much money did it make? How many copies were distributed? You would think that with the majority of the population calling themselves Christian, you'd have a HUGE market base for something like this.
 

Neirai the Forgiven

Christian Guilds List Manager
can anyone tell me what the most popular Christian game is/was? How much money did it make? How many copies were distributed? You would think that with the majority of the population calling themselves Christian, you'd have a HUGE market base for something like this.

Myst.

Quite a lot.

Many, many, copies.

No, it wasn't intended as a conversion tool. I never said I wanted ideas for a conversion tool, I said I wanted ideas for a game that reflected Christian truths and yet was marketable to unbelievers. Like Myst.

And, by the way, one of these days I'm going to sit down and write out a piece of "conversion literature" if you will, using Myst as the basis for the "bridge" between the reader and my thoughts.

I just want to do it well and not as a crappy, half-baked job.

And yes, I know that Myst isn't considered a Christian game. You won't find it, or Riven, or Eru, or Myst III or anything Myst-ish at your local Christian bookstore. But it was created by a group of predominantly Christian gamers and its basic plot and story contains many analogous ideas about life, truth, and God.

In short, it promotes Christianity without being overbearing, bigotted, or commercialistic. As far as I'm concerned, that makes Myst a Christian game.


Oh, and for the last statement: No, I don't think with a large Christian population there would be a HUGE audience for bad theology and "churchian" crap. Most Christian gamers actually think through their gaming choices.
 

Dark Virtue

New Member
myst was christian?

Ditto that.

When did Myst become a "Christian" game?

Just because the two authors, Rand and Robyn Miller, are described as evangelical Christians, doesn't mean they created a game with a Christian message.

How, exactly, is Myst "Christian"?

I found this quote, "Writes 14-year-old gamer Karl: "These games [Myst & Riven] are the best out ... Rand and Robyn Miller are Christians and use their games as Jesus-spreaders. That is so cool."

Jesus spreaders? Say what?

I didn't play Riven, but I did play a good chunk of Myst. If this was supposed to be a "Jesus spreader", they failed miserably.

I can't find anything on Google to support this theory either. Help me out.
 

Neirai the Forgiven

Christian Guilds List Manager
I didn't play Riven, but I did play a good chunk of Myst. If this was supposed to be a "Jesus spreader", they failed miserably.

it wasn't intended as a conversion tool.

Just because the two authors, Rand and Robyn Miller, are described as evangelical Christians, doesn't mean they created a game with a Christian message.

How, exactly, is Myst "Christian"?

(Myst) reflected Christian truths and yet was marketable to unbelievers.

it was created by a group of predominantly Christian gamers and its basic plot and story contains many analogous ideas about life, truth, and God.

How, exactly, would someone create a world of their imagination and not have it reflect their beliefs and ideas?

I'm not implying that the storyline for Myst was created by a bunch of people sitting around with their Bibles and saying "now, how can we encode this into the game in such a way that people will come to the Lord but we'll still sell copies?" I'm implying that the story and the sense of what is good and bad in the games is rooted in the authors' Christianity. This is a similar sense of "Christian" as can be applied to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien or G.K. Chesterton.

Myst was not (thank God) a thinly veiled "tract." Neither was the Lord of the Rings. But because of their authors' beliefs, both works contain truths about their authors' world views. You can learn about the character of God, of truth, and of evil from L.o.t.R. -- and I'd argue that you can also learn similar things from Myst.
 

The Mighty Gerbil

Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin
Staff member
Nerrai you do not know how much I agree with you. I have long felt VERY passionately about making a Christian video game. In a larger sense I wonder how our society with survive when you are bombarded by media every day that promotes views contrary to Christian beliefs. I realize that no TV, movie or game will ever be perfect but the stuff nowadays has little positive to redeem it. If you have ever played ANY game with a plot from Japan it will most likely be centered around Taoist and/or Humanistic beliefs.

Points in case. Spoiler Warning!
Final Fantasy 7 = themes of belonging to a flow of energy that connects earth and all life.
Final Fantasy 9 = although not destroyed the crystal God responsible for all creation is effectively defeated by the power of human will.
Final Fantasy 10 = summoner travels around sending spirits so they can pass on.
Lunar Silver Star Story = the people come to realize they don't need a Goddess to survive (the fact that she is not a Goddess but just really powerful is never disputed).
Lunar Silver Star Story 2 = the same thing plus a Dark God brings a man back to life but the man defies him of his own will.
Metal Gear 2 & 3 = where do I start! I'll just say there are PHYSICAL relationships which would be improper by Christian views. Solid Snake's reason to live is based on finding something to believe in and passing it on ,but, he apparently defines his existence as a result of evolution so I don't see the point when everything will end. Blind loyalty is celebrated in 3 even when it is wrong.

I like these games for their character development but the plots all conclude with a non-Christian view (which is why I have grown tired of playing them). Let me sum up the major part of my objections with this.

Popular media is teaching
With the power of my friends (or human love) we can do anything.

Christian's teach
I can do all things though Christ.

Furthermore most Christian media is on salvation (which is certainly at the center of our beliefs) but where are the movies about Christian soldiers, the Christian detectives, the Christian sci-fi stories, Christian romances etc. etc. Most of Christian media is quite frankly faith without works in the sense it is made badly made.

I've always thought a re-make of Sgt. York with stronger Christian themes would be great but I did not know the half of it till I read this (it is quite long though)
http://www.alvincyork.org/Diary.htm
 
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Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
If Squaresoft can develop high-quality games promoting Eastern religions, why can't Christian game developers create high-quality games promoting Christianity?

On the subject of art and faith: It's only a recent development that Christian art and media has been considered "second-rate." Consider the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Handel's Messiah, and the poetry of the Psalms.
 

Dark Virtue

New Member
Just because a game was written by Christians and contains aspects of Good and Evil does NOT make it a game of Christian morals.

A game is "Christian" if it contains aspects of Christianity, not simply good and evil which are aspects of morality in general and not necessarily Christian.

Just because Tolkein was a Christian doesn't mean you can learn one iota about God from reading his books. I don't understand where you are getting this from. Yes, his books pertain to Good vs Evil, but that doesn't have anything to do with Christianity specifically. You can have Good and Evil without Christianity or religion in general.

You haven't done anything to support your assertion that Myst was a Christian game. Would you mind doing so?
 

The Mighty Gerbil

Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin
Staff member
Squeak Squeak

A game is "Christian" if it contains aspects of Christianity, not simply good and evil which are aspects of morality in general and not necessarily Christian.

Just because Tolkein was a Christian doesn't mean you can learn one iota about God from reading his books. I don't understand where you are getting this from. Yes, his books pertain to Good vs Evil, but that doesn't have anything to do with Christianity specifically. You can have Good and Evil without Christianity or religion in general.

I don't wish to argue (yet again) that everyone has a God thus religion to keep somewhat on subject. What I will say is what is good and evil to you is directly defined by your beliefs and thus any religion you have. As Christians we believe in a moral absolute but the idea that everyone defines what is good and evil the same way is dead wrong (on a conscious level mind you). A person's religion has a lot to say about their definitions of good and evil. Muslims anyone? If you think this does not directly effect media you haven't seen the Muslim children's shows that teach killing Jews is Good (to the Nazi's killing the Jews was "Good" as well). Neither may give a specific reason of "why" these acts are good within a piece of media ,but, the act itself limits it to certain specific beliefs or religious motivations. The morality reflected in Tokien's works is based on a Christian world view not a secular world view, the choices made and world reflect that. If the author of LOTRs had believed "I can do anything" do you think Frodo would have become possessed by the ring? No, he would have used and gained control over it by the power of his will or perhaps the very overused "only the pure of heart can etc." neither of which would be Christian views. If you have seen Christian movie reviews the movies are defined as having a either Christian world view, a secular world view, etc. That doesn't mean they mention Jesus as God's son specifically only that their worldview is derived from a Christian perspective.

At what point would a movie be specifically Christian? The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a allegorical tale for Jesus but if I understand you it would not be a Christian movie as it does not specifically mention God or Jesus.

Below is an excerpt from http://www.pluggedinonline.com/movies/movies/a0002447.cfm
Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends who deeply loved old stories of mythological lands and strange beings, and both wrote from a profoundly Christian worldview. But Lewis' tales are more clearly Christian allegories, or, as he preferred to call them, "supposals." He explained that he wrote his stories by asking this question: "Let us suppose that there were a land like Narnia and that the Son of God, as he became a man in our world, became a lion there, and then imagine what would happen." For his part, Tolkien hated the thought that his books would be considered allegorical at all.

Here a quickly googled site explains worldviews but I do not vouch for the rest of the site http://www.carm.org/issues/worldview.htm
 
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