Auld Lang Syne
As a holiday, New Year's Eve always has a certain apocalyptic flavor to it, so it is perhaps fitting to preview the soon-to-be-released Left Behind Games that will capitalize on the success of Tim LaHaye's popular series of evangelical thrillers by creating an associated Christian video game line. In the game's trailer, the scenes of urban destruction look very much like the CGI smoldering landscapes of European civic desolation from the webpage for the National Front. Nonetheless, Left Behind: Eternal Forces appears to be a quintessentially American game situated in a timeline of United States history (starting with 1492) and ending with the skyline of New York City wreathed in smoke.
The satisfactions of interactive virtual simulations of urban destruction designed specifically for the small screen can be rendered by remarkably primitive interfaces, such as that of the Defend New York Flash game that appeared shortly after the September 11th attacks. Unlike Christian first person shooter games that involve close combat with Satan's minions in the antiquated private spaces of a catacomb or a late-medieval fortress, the Left Behind games have a more ambitious anti-urban agenda that entails the wholesale destruction of the architectures of present day man-made public space.
(For more about this fast-evolving genre, see the religious games section of Water Cooler Games.)