Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Left Behind... The Board Game!

Imagine having friends and loved ones all around you suddenly disappear in the blink of an eye. Paralyzed with fear in a state of mass confusion, you struggle desparately to make sense of what's just happened. Then you realize...you've been Left Behind! This exciting board game has two parts. The first is prior to the Rapture and the second is after the Rapture. It is the classic contest between good and evil. Answer questions correctly or even deceive other players with false confessions and earn tokens. These tokens are of great value in the second part of the game (which starts without warning). This is when Carpathia enters the game and causes individual players to band together forming the Tribulation Force. From this moment on, the goal is to work together to defeat Carpathia or face elimination. This unique game can give players a heightened awareness of the "end times." For ages 10 to adult. For 2-6 players. --Left Behind Board Game


From Left Behind Games.

The mission of Left Behind Games is to become the worldÂ’s leading independent developer and publisher of quality interactive entertainment products that perpetuate family values and appeal to mainstream and Christian audiences, while remaining committed to increasing shareholder value and pursuing the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in all business affairs. --Left Behind Games, Our Mission


Also selling incredibly disturbing graphic novels.

If anyone's unfamiliar with the juggernaut that is Left Behind, here is wikipedia's summary:
Based on fundamentalist interpretation of prophecies in the Biblical books of Revelation, Isaiah and Ezekiel, Left Behind tells the story of the end times, in which many have vanished, leaving the world shattered and chaotic. As peopleSchnabele for answers, aRumaniann namedNicoleejetycarpeta, who, in his political rise to the head of the United Nations, has promised to restore peace and stability to all nations. What most of the world doesn't realize is that Carpathia is actually the Antichrist. Coming to grips with the truth and becoming born-again Christians, Rayford Steele, his daughter, Chloe, their pastor Bruce Barnes, and young journalist Buck begin their quest as the Tribulation Force to help save the lost and prepare for the coming tribulation, in which God will rain down judgement on the world.


If that sounds far out to you, consider that the Left Behind series has sold fantastically well. And, according to the authors at least, "the pre-millennialist theology found in the Left Behind series is the prominent view among evangelicals Christians, including their leading seminaries such Talbot Seminary, Trinity Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary." (Source.)

Michelle Goldberg, of Salon, sees something sinister in the Left Behind series: "It's bizarre that more attention hasn't been paid to the series' open hostility to the Jewish religion, if not the Jewish people... It's an alternate universe in which conservative Middle Americans are vindicated against everyone who doesn't share their beliefs -- especially liberals and Jews."

Oh, and don't miss the movies with Kirk Cameron!

(via metafilter.)

26 comments:

CyberKitten said...

I'm not sure if the whole idea is just incredibly funny or incredibly scary.....

[Thinks]...I'll go with funny........ [rotflmao]

Foilwoman said...

CK: It is incredibly scary because they (the books, the movies, and the believers) are so idiotic and buffoonish. No-one thinks of this stuff as threatening and the they win an election or two or three. I find them deeply disturbing. That might be because I was stuck on a 767 bound for Europe in the middle aisle surrounded by a bunch of these people. They thought my volume "The War of the End of the World" (a great Vargas Llosa novel) meant I was one of them and didn't self-censure. They should have.

Ben Avuyah said...

I find this stuff scary as well. I just recently overheard someone in my office recomending the series to a co-worker. "Oh, you just have to see it, it's great...(hushed tones)..it's about whats going to happen at the end of the world.."(they nod toghether knowingly confirming that they are both in possesion of the same utimate secret that everyone else is damned to hell)

Just knowing that I work with people who are that infected by this mind virus bothers me. This stuff is a real eventuality for them. This summer they might be going on vacation to the hamptons... or...maybe the apocolypse...you know...either one will be fine with them.

Sadie Lou said...

the books reflect a very specific doctrinal belief that not all Christians buy into--Not all Christians believe that Christ's second coming will bring about events even remotely similar to the way it's portrayed in that series. I read the first book and it's not written very well anyways, despite the fact that I don't agree with it's biblical interpretation.

That board game sounds like a joke. Silly. and the movies with Kirk Cameron? Please.

Good post JA

CyberKitten said...

Of course... If these people think we're all going to die soon anyway.. and they're going to be saved.... It doesn't give you much confidence if they're in charge of any safety equipment or procedures.... Or flying a plane... Or have thier finger on the nuclear button....

Yup... It's starting to be somewhat less funny....

Laura said...

The daily show had a segment about a guy that ran a website that would send out "rapture emails" to your loved ones in the event they were left behind. He reset it every day to not send the emails - since obviously he'd be included in the rapture as well. Ed Helms suggested the guy include a disclaimer at the bottom of the message that said "Either the rapture has occurred or [guy's name] is trapped under something heavy". It was priceless...

Chana said...

I find this to be extremely disturbing. I think one of the main reasons that is so is because it comes in the form of an innocuous board game, teaching children what to believe and how to think.

At the moment, I don't think Judaism has come out with any game like this, and I'm very pleased by that. However, I personally don't think matters of spirituality, religion, personal crisis and emotion is material for a game.

Imagine the Jewish (God forbid) "Left Behind" game.

Say this one...

The (stereotypical) Ba'al Teshuva game.

"Imagine that you have made a wreck of your life, have lost everything you loved, and regret most of your actions. That's when you realize you are off-the-derech and must become a Ba'al Teshuva! The Kiruv Clowns band together to offer you emotional proofs (the kugel tastes good) to make you religious once again! Points to the person who makes the most Ba'alei Teshuvah, and twenty points if you actually convert a geir!"

Judaism does not have this, and please God, never will. Why? Because I believe we still understand that there is so much more to a person's life and his life decisions than this. That someone's life isn't necessarily ruined and worthless if they've gone off the derech. That we cannot convert people through emotional feel-good religion. That religion is sacred, holy- and not material for a board-game of this kind.

This idea sickens me. If you truly believe- and I do- then how could you possibly make a game out of people's lives, destinies and futures? This is utterly crass and coarse and extremely, extremely disturbing. Do you care about people? And if you do...how could you, how could you, make a game out of their lives?

Risk I understand. Sorry I understand. Masterpiece and Stratego and Chess and Checkers I understand. If there's a Harry Potter "Harry against Voldemort" game I understand that, too. But this? Making "good and evil" into a game? Making religion into a game? How can you call yourself religious if this is what you do?

It boggles the mind...

Laura said...

"However, I personally don't think matters of spirituality, religion, personal crisis and emotion is material for a game."

Actually, a little known fact - the game Chutes & Ladders is actually an old Hindu game that was used to teach children about Karma. All the ladders get you to a better spot for doing good things, all the chutes back down for doing bad.

It depends on what's being taught. Such a complex subject as the Rapture and end of days is probably not appropriate for children...

The Jewish Freak said...

>the series' open hostility to the Jewish religion.

Open hostility is right. And it's not toward the Jewish religion, it's toward the Jews. If anyone has the time, check out the thinly veiled Jew-hatred that spews forth from the Dallas Theological Seminary. The writings of J. Dwight Pentecost are a good place to start. Hint: When reading evangelical christian literature, everytime you see the word "Pharisee" sustitute the word "Jew". It will then read like neo-nazi hate propoganda.

Foilwoman said...

Jewish Freak: I have to concur. I really was trapped on a plane with these loons who thought I was "one of them". Stupid, mean spirited, and paranoid about everyone. Well, everyone who wasn't them, but particular hatred for Jews, liberals (in their mind, the same as Jews????), gays, feminists, and, worst of all, Hollywood Jewish Gays (say it quickly as one word). I then looked up the sales figures for those sad excuses for literature (not as bad as L. Ron Hubbard on the stupid and bad writing scale, but still) and really wanted to hurl. Them out the window that is. But also vomit.

asher said...

Hard to believe Abe Foxman (annual salary about $405,000) of the Anti Defamation League had nothing to say about this Jew hatred phenomenon. It sounds almost as ominous as the progroms that were supposed to occur when Mel Gibson released "The Passion of the Christ" right around Easter time.

These best sellers and games might be inappropriate for children but you haven't made a single statement of why they are dangerous or wrong. On Arab TV, children are taught that jews are apes and pigs and this leads them to become just like their heros, the suicide bombers. Now that is a problem.

JA, in your experience, have you ever been approached by anyone wanting to save your soul because you were a Jew and were damed to hell? The only folks I have ever argued with about this type of thing was those wonderful Jews for Jesus and only because I instigated the conversation. (Hey, it's fun to argue Gospels.)

Shlomo said...

When Janice and I were first dating we drove down to Ohio to meet her parents who were camping in one of the state parks for the weekend. I still wasn't too sure about Janice's beliefs, just that so far she had never mentioned gods, prayer, jeebus, zoroastor, etc., even in passing.

We stopped for a burger somewhere south of Toledo and as we got out of the car, and man approached us in the parking lots and asked Janice, "Have you found Jesus?" Without missing a beat Janice answered, "Why? Is he lost?"

That day, I fell in love forever.

Laura said...

SL: Great story! He's actually been behind the sofa the whole time...

Asher: Any ideology that teaches the hatred of people, for whatever reason - be it religion, race, political spectrum - is dangerous and wrong. So sure, the images shown in some Arab countries about Jews and other Westerners are wrong. Also though, any ideology, such as the belief in the Rapture, that teaches that one group of people is superior to all others, is not much different. It's subtle and it hides behind the face of religion - but it's still teaching that one group of people is inferior to another. It's a short step from there to outright persecution of the so-called inferior group.

Foilwoman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Foilwoman said...

SL: I'm in love with Janice, too. It's a pity she has you, and I'm not gay.

Asher: These guys have the right to say and publish what they want. It's offensive, but the First Amendment exists for a reason. That doesn't change the fact that if they ever were in positions of power, I would not be feeling very comfortable (and I doubt you and yours would be either). Don't dismiss the risk just because they are idiotic. Other equally idiotic world views have led to quite a good deal of death and hardship because sensible people don't take it seriously until it is too late.

Laura: Ditto.

asher said...

foilwoman,

I'm glad you advocate censorship. In your high opinion, should kids be allowed to read The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn" in which the main character uses the "N" word over and over? Would you stop a student group from showing "The Passion of the Christ" in high school? How about banning the radio talk show hosts you disagree with from the airwaves? Hey, we don't want people to actually read or hear these things...they might be able to make up their own minds.

Laura said...

Asher: Censorship is different than deciding at what age certain subjects are appropriate to begin discussing. We're talking about children here. I gather from your comment that you'd agree that pornography should not be kept away from children since that would be censorship? Why do we keep cigarettes and alcohol away from kids too? Obviously they're old enough to make their own decisions as you say, right?

As for Huck Finn - fine example. At what age would it be appropriate for someone to read that and understand it in a specific historical context? An 8 year old wouldn't understand it, but a 16 year old probably would.

There is a difference between restricting certain materials to age-specific groups and blanket censorship of ideas for the general population.

Foilwoman said...

Asher: I don't advocate censorship, and I assume you are being sarcastic. If not, well, you have misinterpreted what I wrote.

Huck Finn would be appropriate for older children to read who have good reading comprehension. Kids who can compare and contrast the behavior of the white people who use horrible ethnic slurs (and who Huck Finn mimics) to describe Jim and Jim and the general dignity and nobility of his behavior. It's problematic to teach, but the gap between what people say and what they do and how people are labelled and what they actually are is a dilemma we all have to address every day. A good critical skill to have to be able to distinguish between labels and what people actually are. It's a good book for that, but not for the very young or those with limited comprehension.

A student group could certainly view the "Passion of the Christ" provided they were old enough and had parental permission and supervision (wasn't it R rated? It really should have been NC17 for violence alone) and the showing weren't under religious group sponsorship within a public school. I personally would not give my child under the age of say 50 permission to see that gore-filled snuff film laden with prejudice, but that's me acting individually as a parent, not acting for society.

As for radio hosts I disagree with, I change the station. I'm trying to figure out your point, as I don't favor censoring any of the things you mentioned. I don't like them. Actually, I loathe most of them. But they can publish the idiotic books, air just about anything, and I'll just not listen, not buy the ticket, etc.

I do find the whole Rapture ideology and the literature* about it offensive and idiotic. I do think it's publishable. We will not be safer from such narrowminded bigotry by driving it underground.

*Using the term very, very loosely.

Shlomo said...

How does Rapture differ from the ideas of the Heaven's Gate cult? Other than the nomenclature? If we exchange aliens, motherships, and other dimensions for Jesus, clouds of glory, and heaven, does it not appear exactly the same?

The Jehovah's Witnesses think that only 144,000 will get into the heaven in their version of Rapture. Wouldn't that suck if you ended up being 144,001?

Eric said...

The Jehovah's Witnesses think that only 144,000 will get into the heaven in their version of Rapture. Wouldn't that suck if you ended up being 144,001?

And there's 6.6 million Jehovah's Witnesses. Apparently getting into heaven is harder than getting an xbox 360.

asher said...

eric,

You prove once again that only men have a sense of humor....my G-d, did you read that diatribe by foilwoman?

Laura said...

Considering some of your diatribes Asher, I wouldn't talk about having a sense of humor if I were you. Responding to your comments sometimes requires a diatribe to address all the issues you bring up. As for having a sense of humor, I disagree -- I find you quite hilarious. ;)

Foilwoman said...

Asher: People who read my blog often find me rather amusing. I was simply trying to respond to your post, and you respond with ad hominen attacks. Was the paragraph about Huck Finn a diatribe? Or you disagree with my policy of changing the radio station to not listen to Howard Stern (or whoever)? Exactly what do you disagree with or find offensive? Or is it simply that I, a mere female, am responding to your comments, and you are unable to respond back that has you in such a tizzy? My apologies for upsetting your delicate sensibilities so.

Eric said...

Asher - please don't co-opt my small attempts at humor to justify your chauvinism.

Foilwoman said...

eric: aren't you sweet. Thanks. And your comment was funny.

Mereadlin said...

"Such a complex subject as the Rapture and end of days is probably not appropriate for children..."

*Snicker* I don't think it's appropriate for adults much of the time either ;)