Left Behind – the video game

Did you know that last year was one of the first years that sales of books had risen? Yup. As you can imagine, book sales have been waning as the internet and other digital media take hold of our collective consciousness. There was one very specific sector of books that led the whole industry’s revival, Christian books. More specifically, the ‘Left Behind’ series.

In case you aren’t aware, ‘Left Behind’ is a serial of Christian stories explaining and fictionalizing life on Earth after ‘the rapture’. The Rapture is when God (or jesus… whatever… I still get the two mixed up and I am a 42 year old Catholic***) comes to earth and takes away all the good Christians to heaven and everyone else is ‘left behind’. To say ‘runaway best seller’ would be an understatement. You may have seen these bumper stickers on cars before; ‘in case of rapture, car will be unoccupied’.

Sweet sassy molassy this shit pisses me off. Know why? Because, I am all for religious tolerance, but these assholes are not. Read that sentence again. It sounds dismissive, I know. It isn’t. I think it is swell if you are a Christian, or if you aren’t. Frankly, it isn’t my business. What I see is the subtext of this message.

I am better than you. I am going to heaven and you are not Before I ascend, though, I wanted to take a few minutes to condescend. Oh snap! They are going to love that one in heaven

The story takes a much bigger turn, dear reader. I told you that to tell you this: The obscenely popular ‘left behind’ series has spawned a video game. I am cool with that idea. I think it is a good idea for the old school to embrace the new school. I don’t think kids are big on reading the bible, so why not be clever with the medium to spread the word of the gospel? I mean, god made everything so god made video games… right? Serious, I am not a bible guy, but I am a book guy. For the most part, the bible is imparting good morals and such. I think it is a brilliant way to bring a new generation into the fold. This is just like those mega churches that do rock concerts. Ok, that one really bothers me… but I get the idea.

Well, let’s just take a lookie here at the game and see what it says:

COLORADO SPRINGS – In a new video game for teenagers, players are asked to convert non-Christians and then create an army to fight the anti-Christ.

Hmm, seems rather preachy to me… and pushy too. Am not a big fan of fighting anything. Just not my bag, I’m a Democrat. Let’s us not judge lest ye be judged… read on.

The game is rated T for Teen. Christian soldiers can kill others and restore their so-called “spirit level” by praying before they can go on to kill again.

What the what? I missed this chapter in bible school. Yeah, I went to bible school… for YEARS. Those were my Sundays, thanks! This is some first testament shit.

Keep in mind, this isn’t corporate devils making a game to capitalize on youth interest. This is the Left Behind people making this game themselves. This is a Christian Game! Know what? If that is their value system, I think me and the kids will stick with ‘Grand Theft Auto‘. Better role models.

*** I know I said up top I was a Catholic and then two paragraphs later I said I was an atheist. To clarify, I am an atheist. However, I was raised Catholic… and that shit doesn’t leave you ever. So… I get to call myself that when it is convenient to the narrative.

Editor’s note:  due to some absolutely valid feedback below in the comments, I cleaned up the language.  Thank you for reading, and thank you for the honest feedback.  It helps, and it listened to!  2/07

Editors note – update 6/14 – this is now a movie