At least there is some real emotion in the screenshot below from Left Behind: Eternal Forces. But the battle armor and the other images of paramilitary forces battling for souls with automatic weapons is disturbing.
(screenshot from left Behind: Eternal Forces)
There was much criticism when these “Left Behind” war games were first released in 2006, especially when reports that this Christian fundamentalist game was actually being provided to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – Muslim nations.
After the media got wind of the Pentagon's plans to distribute to troops in the field, the "Left Behind" war games of Armageddon battles and soldiers fighting the AntiChrist -- something wonderful happened. The "Left Behind" games garnered intense criticism. Left Behind games stocks tanked and there were even a few firings. Thank God. Here's a link to that controversy at the excellent website: Talk to Action:
And the military has sent off its soldiers with video war games like "Conflict: Desert Storm" in their backpacks. Are war games being used as a recruiting tool for young men who believe they will triumphantly march from virtual victory to real war?
A media report "War Games: Thinking Critically About Video Games That Play at War" offers in-class discussion of how these games might be "propaganda" and asks "what information or aspects of war do these images ignore or gloss over?"
Is it war profiteering? And when these war games are marketed to teenagers, like Freddie, how does it shape their ability to face conflict in their real worlds? Does it limit their options, their survival skills? And what about bullying – the bane of school poltics?
Media Education Foundation "War Games: Thinking Critically About Video Games That Play at War" download pdf.
"Healing Visual Violence" by Brenda Peterson, New Age Journal, December, 1996