Bird flu triggers gameplaying apocalypse

EU/MS lawyers shall inherit the Earth

Letters Let's kick off today with the utter silliness that surrounds the video game, Left Behind. Regular readers will remember, perhaps, that allegations were floating around that the game contains code that sends information about the player back to the company promoting it. This seemed perfectly in keeping with what many of you expect from the religious far-right:

If you are God's specially chosen representative on earth, then don't you have a God-given right to know everything about your client base while you're making a divinely sanctioned dollar?

- Tim

Sounds perfectly reasonable to us...

But it was our description of the game-play that provoked the inevitable "why do you hate Christians" letter:

I'm not sure what the point of your article is so perhaps you could clue me in.

Based upon the title and the first part it seems that the issue is spyware. Then it gets confusing.

So are you angry at Christians and wish to demonize them all through the questionable acts of a few who claim to be Christians? BTW, Christ had quite a bit to say about that, but the question is whether you know that.

If the game is based upon the book series, then is it safe to assume your commentary is qualified based up on reading said series and playing the game (which obviously means a pre-release or beta copy)?

How authoritative are you in matters of Christianity? From what the media and the observed actions of people who call themselves Christians? Have you read the Bible all the way through? Do you know that there are differing views of Revelations? (A frequently recommended book on this subject is 'Revelations: Four Views' {ISBN: 0840721285})

I have found that if I am looking for answers then I am often surprised at what research uncovers. If however I came to conclusions based not on logic but instead on emotion, then justification of my bias will be my only result and the term "research" really isn't accurate at that point. IOW, people either seek the Truth or seek to rationalize their views.

I certainly hope you educate yourself and take a mature outlook on this and every other circumstance that arises in your life.

- Jason

Jason, if you can find the sentence in which we condem all Christians because of this game, let us know and we'll send you a Register T-shirt.

Other readers rather liked the idea of demonic United Nations remnants roaming the Earth, doing Satan's bidding:

Heh, looked like such an entertaining game (who couldn't resist playing as a goat footed demon in a blue shower cap?) that I thought I'd have a closer look (alright, I was actually trawling for some easy laughs at the expense of the US religious right).

Imagine how disappointed & confused I was when I got to the bottom of the game's FAQ and was reading the answer to "How does your game compare to more widely known games such as Grand Theft Auto or 25 to Life?", "Our game includes no intestines, no blood spatter, no severed limbs, no vulgar language, no sexual conduct, no morally reprehensible conduct – such as cop-killing, prostitute-bashing, or other criminal behavior, no Bible-bashing believers, no Bible thumpers, no radical extremists killing in the name of God, no abortion clinic stalkers…"

Hang on a me just look at that again...hmmm... Well, call me picky but the whole point of a game where you go around religiously converting or killing everyone in a city the contention that it contains "no radical extremists killing in the name of God" is a bit rich. On top of that, last time I checked, murder was considered criminal behaviour whether divenely inspired or not (in non-barmy parts of the world anyway). Ah well, what do I know? I'm just a whiny non-believer liberal limey.

- John

Others still found the whole thing a bit distasteful:

By "Non-believer" i assume they mean "Non-Christian"

So the alternative to converting anyone who isn't a Christian is killing them? And this is considered ok? I know it's a game, but the principle is still being presented to the masses, and we all know that people can't be responsible for their own actions once they've played a computer game.

And of course, if there was an Islamic version of the game in which you commanded Allah's forces, where one scenario perhaps involves flying a plane into a large building (or pair of buildings) full of "non-believers", which from the sound of their game would represent a fair "Military Target" these same people would be up in arms.

Typical hypocrasy.

That said, i'm disturbed enough to have spent a fair amount of time drowning people on Rollercoaster Tycoon, so i can't really talk........

- Simon

And finally, there were those only too happy to see the devout scooped up and taken to heaven:

Anything they can do to speed up their rapture departure so they can leave the rest of us the hell alone would be genuinely appreciated. I might even venture a hellilujah!

- Vic

Moving on. Microsoft's continuing legal battle with the European Commission is still rubbing you lot the wrong way:

> Earlier this month, Microsoft's European president Jean-Philippe Courtois said the company is "some more months" away from a settlement with the European Commission.

The guys need to be taught some good manners. There is NO settlement in question - there is ruling. You we found to be GUILTY bastards. Period.


News that criminal records of child pornographers will be shared with banking establishments caused more than a few eyebrows to venture skywards:

Brilliant: another knee jerk reaction from the home office. This seems quite reasonable on the surface, until you realise that many of the raids in Operation Ore were based on the Rozzers having traced credit card usage and raiding houses of totally innocent people who have had their cards cloned or stolen from insecure web sites.

Indeed most of the time the cloning had been discovered and reported to the card provider, thus a simple phone call/email from the police to the card provider would have done away with the need for them to have their lives ruined by being publicly branded a peado when the police did a raid.

Perhaps the Police could learn to use their current powers properly before they are given more rights to screw with people's lives.


And on a far less serious note, we have a couple of suggestions from the helpful people out there in the cheap seats about the possible link between skyscraper collapse and avian flu, as a British doctor warned that a flu pandemic would be like "1,000 9/11s":

"Quite what he means by this is something of a mystery, since we know of no correlation between sick birds and the likelihood of several planes coming to blows with tall buildings."

It's obvious when you think about it - flu tends to block up your ears, causing a loss of balance. Dr Hajioff is clearly worried about the possibility of large numbers of off-balance albatross colliding with skyscrapers.


Bless - someone should tell Steve Hajilof that just because he's a quack doesn't make him more susceptible to bird flu than the rest of us :-)


Boom-boom, as Basil Brush would say.

Short and sweet. Keep 'em coming, and we'll run the best of the good/bad and downright ugly on Friday. ®

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