General Christian Discussions

Religious video game leaves spyware behind – firemaker103

firemaker103

Member

Posts: 643
From:
Registered: 07-13-2005
From the article:
"[...]Now, as if the game itself was not controversial enough, it has been discovered that the publishers, Left Behind Games (a publicly traded company, even) have added money-changers to their particular temple. The game comes fully loaded with what some would term built-in spyware, in the form of in-game advertising that tracks the amount of time ads are seen, how often the game is played, and the player's geographical and personal information. It then sends this data back to the advertiser's servers."

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buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
that's just retarded. it seems like theres something about those books that just create problems when they are converted to other types of media. like the stinkin' movies, they released them on video first. that was probably the dumbest thing they could have done. and now this. flippin stupid. lol. why? why?! WHY?!

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WARNING:

RADIOACTIVE IE AHEAD!
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David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
It was the best game at CGDC, AAA quality.
buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
yah... but why would they do that?

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WARNING:

RADIOACTIVE IE AHEAD!
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#include <spazz.h>

int name()
{
char name['B','u','d','d','B','o''y']

Ashton_JX

Member

Posts: 156
From: Springfield, Oregon, USA
Registered: 02-21-2005
My guess would be that they needed the money.

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David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
Check this out:

http://www.leftbehindgames.com/pages/controversy.htm

"We're surprised by the comments of many critics as they have neither seen nor previewed the game, which is still under development. Several months ago, there was a news story with erroneous information about the game. Unfortunately, some readers accepted the misinformation as being factual, and then the rumor mill and the blogs were off and running."

Or this thread:

http://www.gameace.org/wforum/viewtopic.php?t=250

JeTSpice
Member

Posts: 433
From: La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Registered: 06-10-2006
Left Behind Games are doing the right thing. At CGDC, they had a lot of miraculous reports about how God is blessing their company. No one gets into Christian entertainment because of the money. In every Christian market (books, radio, films, tv, video games) profitability has to be painstakingly created. If a person thinks "profitability means greed" then greed is what is in that person's own heart. The people of Left Behind Games, Digital Praise, and other Christian gaming companies have given everything required of them--all their time, money, resources, house mortgages, bank loans--they've been obedient to God to do whatever it takes to make their gaming company work, and God has blessed them by providing for the families that work at these companies.
steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
I was skeptical at first about LBG, but not after hearing Troy Lyndon, the CEO, speak at the CGDC. I have to second what the others said. Christians don't make Christian themed games for profit. Troy was a very successful video game developer before he did LBG, and that's been no cake walk. Ads in the game? I saw the game at the CGDC and I didn't see any ads. Even so, who cares? Is advertising evil? Are they going to get upset because they are charging money for the game that cost money to make?

Plus, there is nothing wrong with controversy. It just means they are getting public recognition. Look at the travels of Paul in Acts. It was one controversy after another. He got arrested, beaten, stoned and left for dead, etc. Jesus caused enough controversy to get murdered. If there's no controversy, then nobody knows about you, or your gospel has been replaced with warm, fuzzy, politically correct platitudes.

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David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
http://www.infuzemag.com/games/archives/2006/06/response_to_lef_1.html#comments

quote:
We received this in response to the recent controversy detailed in our "Left Behind Series Based Video Game Comes With Built-in Spyware" post from the makers of the Double Fusion software.

Double Fusion is not spyware. Spyware is a category of malicious software designed to intercept or take partial control of a computer's operation without the informed consent of that machine's owner or legitimate user.

Double Fusion technology is a module that game publishers and developers ship with their game, which allows for the display of advertising in the game and provides the required tracking functions needed to support the sale of that advertising to advertisers.

Specific information about what information is, and is not, collected, is always included in the game's End User License Agreement, so gamers have given their permission for the software to be in use, just as they did for the game to be in use. So it is inaccurate to say we do anything "without your knowledge or permission."

We do not, "record who you are demographically." The software does not know who the user is, or anything about that user. We do not monitor "choices or behavior" or anything along these lines. Double Fusion monitors how long ads are on screen, and when, and where, for the purpose of reporting to advertisers; this is clearly stated in the EULA.

With regard to the original blog that misinformation was spread from:

The quotes from the Double Fusion web site are accurate, and, match what was stated above. We collect anonymous information about how ads are viewed by an aggregated gaming audience to allow game companies to subsidize their development costs through advertising. We do so with permission, and do not collect personally identifiable information. Ours is interactive advertising, not spyware.

The story in TalktoAction has a number of other inaccuracies. We did not raise an additional $5 million. We have a founder named Guy Bendov but not David Bendov. We do not employ a 15-second impression model.

There was no fact checking and no one ever contacted Double Fusion about the article. We stand behind our technology and approach, as do many game publishers from multiple countries around the world.


ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
hmm.. regardless.
it's enough for me not to get the game

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"Patience, my good citizen, patience. It's bad enough to rob a man of his dream"
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GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
http://www.cnn.com/video/partners/clickability/index.html?url=/video/tech/2006/07/06/rowlands.christian.video.games.cnn

Seemed to be pretty positive overall. The Jack Thompson comments were to be expected. Nice to see that Bill and Tom were in there too. Surprised Ralph wasn't in there.

This is also the first time I've seen the game in motion. Looks pretty good, actually.

Brandon

Member

Posts: 594
From: Kansas City, Mo, USA
Registered: 02-02-2004
Wow, it DOES look good.

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David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
quote:
Originally posted by Gump:
http://www.cnn.com/video/partners/clickability/index .html?url=/video/tech/2006/07/06/rowlands.christian.video.games.cnn

Seemed to be pretty positive overall. The Jack Thompson comments were to be expected. Nice to see that Bill and Tom were in there too. Surprised Ralph wasn't in there.

This is also the first time I've seen the game in motion. Looks pretty good, actually.



That was pretty sweet! Who is Ralph? It was good seeing people I met at CGDC! Troy is a really nice guy Tom and Bill Bean are just great...I can't remember the name of the gentleman, but he produced the left behind game, or lead developed it, is that Ralph? I saw that guy for a few seconds on that movie, he's really awesome, he's done an amazing job developing this game
ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
Ralph Bagley. president of N'lighting Software, one of the fathers of the christian gaming industry. creator of what I consider the first of the quality christian games.

a hero. a legend. a man.


err... I hope it's ralph bagley.

I'm really wondering when their next game will come out. they've been silent for years.

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"Patience, my good citizen, patience. It's bad enough to rob a man of his dream"
-Sydney Carton, Tale of Two Cities
Soterion Studios

David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
Saints of Virtue came out like 1 year before Catecuman did??? I loved that game, I wished Dave and that other guy had continued what they were doing :P
ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
Catechumen, imo, is on a higher level than Saints of Virtue.

kinda like comparing doom and quake 3. (or maybe 2 is more accurate)

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"Patience, my good citizen, patience. It's bad enough to rob a man of his dream"
-Sydney Carton, Tale of Two Cities
Soterion Studios

David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
Completely off topic but I found this out at CGDC and it's just come to memory!

Left Behind's music was created by the same guy that made the music for LOTR movies I think that's so awesome, when I was watching the game being played the game just had a high level of immersiveness and the music was amazingly epic.

Ereon

Member

Posts: 1018
From: Ohio, United States
Registered: 04-12-2005
Howard Shore? NARF! That's pretty awesome in itself.

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Zerothis

Junior Member

Posts: 1
From: Fortuna, CA, USA
Registered: 08-27-2006
Double Fusion does not monitor my behavior? That sucks. They have no way of knowing when I order my armies to attack the in-game advertising?
Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
I wonder if you get extra points for well implemented spyware code in the CCN game competition, any one knows?

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CoolJ

Member

Posts: 354
From: ny
Registered: 07-11-2004
OH NO!! I found another Christian group using SPYWARE!!!..unbelievable its Talk2Action.org themselves!!

*Caution..Do this at your own risk of being exposed to "spyware"*

If you go to their webpage and start to scroll down...no....it can't be... on the left side....AHHHHGGGG!!! spyware!!!!

By their own standard a 13 yr old christian could visit their website and be exposed to these unsolicitied ads. Now they have the 13 yr olds info do with as they please, his IP address, approximately his demographic profile, what kind of system he is running on, browser type, etc, etc.....

Even worse still, if this innocent victim clicks on one of these ads, Talk2Action makes moneys of the poor chap! Hypocricy?

Now..are they REALLY using spyware.....no...just dynamic ads from other companies that are strategically placed to bring in some additional $$$ for them- sound familiar? Just a case of pot calling the kettle orange.


Having said that, I don't know much about the Left Behind game but IF it is true that you can choose to fight on the side of the antichrist and hunt down and destroy christians --- that IS DISGUSTING. Kinda like a game where you play the NAZIs and have a grand ol' time hunting down and killing the Jews...NOT COOL!! But maybe I'm misunderstanding.

CoolJ

Member

Posts: 354
From: ny
Registered: 07-11-2004
Another look at Talk2Action.org and I noticed they have a link to Daily Kos on the left - near their 'spyware' What's up with that? This is one the most foul mouthed Bush bashing Democrat blogsites I know of (definitely not for children, much less any sane christian!) Try redstate.com for the bizzaro of dailykos.org.
buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
i don't believe that you can...

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#include <spazz.h>
int name()
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char name['B','u','d','d','B','o''y']
}
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MMMM... I love pi!!

Matt Langley
Member

Posts: 247
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-31-2006
quote:
No one gets into Christian entertainment because of the money.

Very good point. In fact very similar to the reality that most people don't get into the Indie Games business because of the money, yet we at GarageGames still have many conspiracy theorist members in our community (and non members) that seem to think we are laughing all the way to the bank (if they only knew that many of the exec staff didn't take home checks for years into the company). Nothing to do but laugh about it. Take the blow, learn what you can, and move on. Best not to take claims too seriously and/or get riled up about them.

God gave us a mind for a reason, we need to use it when challenged by naivety to respectfully withdrawl and use it to feed our passion to spread the truth and make great, fun, and God worthy games.

At least thats my take on it

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Matthew Langley
Docs and Demos Team
TGB Dev Team
GarageGames

Thegpfury
Member

Posts: 53
From:
Registered: 03-23-2006
Meh...

I've played the game. It was horrible. It sounded good on paper, but fell apart in execution.

Here's a link to my review: http://www.furytech.net/greviews/left_behind_eternal_forces_beta_review.php

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Author of FuryBand
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ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
it crashed my computer and I never picked it up since.
quote:
Left Behind's music was created by the same guy that made the music for LOTR movies

no it's not. Howard Shore (bless his soul) did the music for Lord of the Rings, a mastery of orchestration.

Chance Thomas did Left Behind. (he did Lord of the Rings, the game, tho)
the music wasn't bad at all. unfortuantely, I couldn't get past the load screen.

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"Patience, my good citizen, patience. It's bad enough to rob a man of his dream"
-Sydney Carton, Tale of Two Cities
Soterion Studios

[This message has been edited by ArchAngel (edited September 28, 2006).]

buddboy

Member

Posts: 2220
From: New Albany, Indiana, U.S.
Registered: 10-08-2004
yeah, neither could i.

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Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Eh, Iím just not into RTS any more. I used to love RTS back in the late DOS days and early Winders dayz, but the only thing I manage to play any more is AOE. I still like turn-base war gaming though. As for LB, I like the stories, great fiction! But the game is not really in my genre, but I did run the demo and it seemed alright.

As for the DVD release of the movie first, I talked to someone from LB (cant remember who exactly now), seems they were more interested in getting the story out to everyone and having it used as a witnessing tool for churches than trying to simply pull in a buck, which would have been more if they released it in theaters first.

As for making money selling Christian Games, books, movies or anything:

1 Cor 9:3 This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. 4 Don't we have the right to food and drink? 5 Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas? 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living?

7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8 Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more?


Oh by the way, regarding the game, they should have replaced the metal with rap, that would have been more accurate lol j/k
At least they didnít make it Cowpunk, I could have taken it all personal like in that case

Oh yeah, I just realized in my insomniac thoughts, if this game does in fact have spyware, they will know for sure after the raptureÖ the game will be caught up in the twinkling of an eye but the spyware will be left behind [insert drum roll here]

[This message has been edited by Faith_Warrior (edited September 30, 2006).]