Dear James Dobson:
About a week ago I wrote a post on a Christian supremacist video game which "rewards children for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian."
Commenters questioned whether this was actually a part of the game, as none of the reports seemed detailed enough. I missed the criticism as I was traveling but a new development provides the perfect opportunity to respond to this valid criticism.
But first, a huge bow to Jonathan Hutson of Talk to Action who's been vigilantly following the development of the game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, and the debate surrounding it.
His response to critics who argue that non-believers aren't targeted, only those who work for the anti-Christ, is HERE. This passage, from WarCry Network's Greg Bauman, who played the game, is most informative:
One thing many gamers will likely find disturbing about Left Behind, though, is the black-and-white polarization of good and evil portrayed. The faithful are good, and the undecided are (decidedly) bad or evil. The only way to accomplish anything positive in the game is to 'convert' nonbelievers into faithful believers, and the only alternative to this is outright killing them.The latest development in the cultural struggle over the game comes from an unlikely, but un-ignorable source: Christian Conservative attorney, Jack Thompson.
Thompson faxed a letter to Focus on the Family bigwig, James Dobson, urging him to sever all ties with the publisher of the game [also the publisher of Dobson's book], concluding:
This is the worst example I have ever seen of how pop culture has conformed the Church to its image, rather than the Body of Christ serving as light and salt in the world.
The people at Tyndale House should be ashamed of themselves, but they are not. Anyone can make a mistake. Tyndale House, now staring the mistake right in the face, refuse to do anything about it. This is outrageous. This is tortious conduct. I intend to take legal action if I can.
I know this all will break your heart. It broke mine. Tyndale House must now be broken.There's much more in Hutson's report, the fifth in a series, here.
Thompson's book attempting to "curb the marketing of violent video games to minors" was ironically published by Tyndale as well. It's no mystery why Thompson is pissed as the game, killing and all, is intended for kids 13 and up -- or maybe even 6 and up:
We anticipate our titles will be classified as both action, strategy and adventure genres, and will likely receive either an "E" rating (appropriate for ages 6 and up) or a "T" rating (appropriate for ages 13 and up).Dobson's response thus far? The same as the Southern Baptist Convention: too unfamiliar to comment.
Thompson replied: "Not familiar? How about they get familiar. Ridiculous." (TalkToAction)
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