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back to article 'Faith-based' investment firm fingers holiday's most sinful games

Buying video games as holiday gifts can be pretty intimidating when you've got a major deity looking over your shoulder. Fortunately, if you subscribe to the same flavor of US "conservative Christian" values as the Florida investment firm The Timothy Plan, this year your soul may conveniently be spared from the ever-lasting …

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Unhappy

Err...

The firm said it cooked up the list because it thinks most parents are mouth-breathing morons that can't read the ESRB rating and warning right there on the game's box.

Except.... Most DONT read it, and then file the lawsuit later... Gotta love lawsuit happy america,

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Happy

ask yourself....

this Christmas ask yourself, what would Jesus play?

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Flame

and The Register?

One wonders how much The Register ranks?

The constant ant-christian message, sexual references, and prostitution to Microsoft....

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Joke

satan worship

just a bit of twisted humor on my part but had any one really thought to who or whom these so called moral companies answer to?

i recall hearing or reading something in or from the good two ply t p aka the bible that money is evil or root of all evil

so by that logic alone does this company since being a company it exists to make monetary gain and profit answers to god/s or satan/s or to none?

also on serious note who the hell made these twits into a morality police in first place?

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Well...

...that's my Christmas list!

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Great shopping guide

It even tells me which games work for which systems, so I know just the right one to get for my brother in order to piss my mom off.

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J
Coat

Anti-who?

Violent games, anti-family? Well, I guess it depends on the family.

I wonder whether they evaluated that game some fundie nuts created, Left Behind or something (you won't catch me dead visiting the site of a "faith-based investment firm" (but then again, aren't they all? (nested parenthesis galore! I should try Lisp, maybe)), so don't tell me to follow the link...)

"The firm said it cooked up the list because it thinks most parents are mouth-breathing morons that can't read the ESRB rating and warning right there on the game's box."

Sounds pretty accurate as far as their target demographic goes, methinks.

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Must send a thank you email

Here I was racking my brain over christmas gifts. Wondering which games were the best, wading through the dozens of reviews and here is a ready made list for me .

Thank You Timothy Plan

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Paris Hilton

i LOVE the Banner Graphic...

No WONDER they heed this guide if all they do is sleep while the kids are raised by the TV...

(Paris because this is about the intelligence I see her putting into parenting...)

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Anonymous Coward

Why not shoot the messenger?

It's amazing how people in denial on any subject would much rather shoot the messenger than face the reality that their personal beliefs may not be supported by facts.

God forbid anyone should expose video games for their negative impact on under developed minds. Why would we want to ask people to make good personal choices when it's so easy to sell them sex and violence via video games?

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Alien

Stating the Bleeding Obvious ......

Err .... are not all WoW games not designedly homo-centric for they are of no Possible Interest or Use to Women and/or their Lovers? And its Play tells the World that its Players do not Know what Love is. And that is a Catastrophic Vulnerability with no Known Defence against ITs Stealth and Seductive Attacks ...... Skirmishes and Entanglements with XSSXXXXPerienced Professionals in the Search for UltiMate SoulMates and PleasureRobots.

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I bet that kid's called…

… Damien

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Flame

spore

they completely missed spore! come on... penis creatures, "mating", and EVOLUTION!!!

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None scored 39 Points?

Well, I guess they've just set the target for many games publishers around the world then!

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Gates Halo

Oh...

Oh my lord!

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Ant

The sadest thing

The sadest thing about this story is that a list like this is actually necessary, since a lot of parents are mouth-breathing morons that can't read the ESRB rating and warning right there on the game's box. Or at least don't understand/care about how much an influence games can have on kids, when it's their main source of actual parenting. But then it's still likely that the people who need to read a list like this wont.

Then again, why an investment company feels the need to do this is beyond me.

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This will really boost sales to kids.

This is quickly going to become every child must have game list. The publisher should start putting big warning stickers saying ... "Rated most offensive game of 2008".

And honestly if the kids parents are paying attention ... they will notice the nature of the games their kid is playing, if they are not ... then the kid can just hide the game.

Best thing to do to raise decent kids is be a decent person and let them see you treat others with respect and compassion. Games are just games.

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Silver badge

LOL!

I love the way they count tobacco use in their basic guide!

As smoking tobacco is a far more recent arrival than any of God's books (well apart from some more recent fruit loop ones), who gets to decide it's a sin?

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Paris Hilton

My kids

Are always giving me helpful advice, before being chased away.

"You should've used the chain gun, Dad"

Brings a warm glow to my heart.

No mention of the 'Redeemer' as a nuclear-tipped cruise missile ? Bah.

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Anonymous Coward

woohoo

trust the wingnuts to find yet another way to milk the mindless (sorry, religious) of their money in order to ensure their passage to the imaginary fantasy land.

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Coat

Let it snow...

How terrible it must be that a group of people are looking to the interests of that group of people and addressing them. Heck, next thing you know, there'll be technology podcasts talking about things that only technology people would want to know, giving them advice and tips on things like 'how to network Linux in a Windows environment' or, worse still, reviews of applications marked down because they're not very good against measured criteria which the afore mentioned group of people would find interesting - but stuff that most people wouldn't even want to read! Shame on them!

Kids should be able to play whatever they want, whatever their age. Can't these stupid do-gooders see that the world is a better place for violent games where toddlers can learn the art of torture and efficient killing? The world is a better place because of these games, more should be produced, aged banding chould be banned. Only this way can the improvements we're seeing in Western society actuall continue to the godless utopia we all want.

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Faith based?

So based on faith (i,.e. by definition lacking rationality, logic, or scientific scrutiny) rather than based on rationality, logic, or scientific scrutiny?

For some reason I struggle to see that being a great way to decide what to buy, what to invest in, or as a way to live my life. With the obvious exception of the FSM, obviously.

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Not a bad idea

You know, as a parent I'm not sure the idea is bad.

ESRB ratings are pretty simplistic, and what these guys have done is to try to weight the rating. Which is good.

It's a nice example of great idea, poor execution, but given their target demographic I'd wager that last qualification doesn't really matter.

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Misuses

of God, Christ, Jesus Christ, and Jesus. Wait there's four of them now and what did they do with the holy spirit?

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It's often been said

If Satan came to the earth, his best bet to do the most harm would be to disguise himself as the son of god and found a new corrupted religion based on himself that would aggressively convert most of the world.

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Happy

Well at least they played the games.

To be honest looking through the list, and to their credit, it does actually look as if they have played the games to quite a deep extent, not just a brief play or pulling their info from online reviews.

I would guess that the guys (or girls) doing these "reviews" or play throughs don't actually believe in any of the stuff they are punting, but after all, there is a demand for this sort of information, why not make a nice holiday buck supplying it?

Probably pays better than writing for gamespot!

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Anonymous Coward

Huh

Didn't some group come out last week and declare that parents were pretty much the only group who weren't making enough effort to avoid exposing children to innapropriate content?

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Sounds as though some other lists are needed...

1) Top 30 games for parents who can't or won't bother parenting,

Maybe it can teach basic values such as helping people (you know .. doing quests), making friends and trying to get along.

2) Top 30 games which aren't like real life,

You know - like all of them!

3) Top 30 games that will teach parents to say NO to their children, rather than caving in a buying them whatever they ask for.

I can imagine a Wii game where the 'child' has to get the 'parent' to buy sweets etc. but the parent has to not only say no, but also stop the little'un from dropping things in the shopping cart - at the same time as getting things which are on a list.

Hold on - that might make the second list .. hmm

ttfn

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@David Wilkinson

"Best thing to do to raise decent kids is be a decent person and let them see you treat others with respect and compassion."

Not according to these guys... They give Christians (and all religions) a bad name buy treating everyone who is not like them as a lesser person, and apparently even people who do are treated like morons.

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Flame

So how does the Bible rate?

Let's see:

sex - check (For instance Job and his daughters), nudity - check (For instance, Noah and his son Ham), gay/lesbian encounters - check (Sodom and Gomorrah), violence - check, cartoon violence - no, language - no, comic mischief - no, drugs - no, alcohol - yep (Noah, Jesus), tobacco - no, gambling - no, demonic references - hell yeah, and addiction - plenty of people are addicted to the Bible.

"Bible: the game" looks like it would be a sure-fire winner.

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Go

Do you have children?

Do any of you actually have children? Or are you simply trying to justify your own game preferences and upbringing through ridiculing this attempt to inform parents?

For the uninformed out there, children are highly influenced by everything they see, hear, do, eat, drink etc. That's why most sane parents don't let children drink, drive, do drugs, visit lap dancing bars, etc (setting aside the legality of these things). So the fact that children are influenced by computer games (just as they might be by a book or a film) is indisputable. The question, as parents, is knowing what that influence might be and whether you want it or not. Parents make these sorts of decision all the time, so there's nothing wrong with the intent of this - whether it is an effective way of informing parents is another matter.

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Flame

Golly gee

As much as I really, really want to mouth off about nut-job Americans who pick and choose which aspects of Christianity they like (and invent to few more for good measure), my disdain is tempered somewhat by the irritation I find when playing 'adult' games (that's GTA IV, people - not Leisure Suit Larry).

CoD4 and GTA IV both have ratings that say you must be a fair way through puberty before you get in on this game. So why do I find myself being shot at by high-pitched voices on Xbox Live telling me to "freak off?"

Next time I think I may befriend these children (steady) and teach them a few choice words to say to their parents (like "Ma The Farquar"). That at least should get their Xboxs taken away for a bit.

The point still remains, however, that if parents are too retarded to read a simple label that says "For 16 year olds and above only" then a long report from a wannabe disciple of the Almighty won't help a jot.

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Dead Vulture

But..

the parents are just the innocent dupes of the Satanic games industry which puts flowers and rabbits on the covers of violent computer games so that they think the rating are lies, also put there by the devil.....

parents are at fault for nothing their children do or are exposed to these days because it's all the work of the devil and you can't fight that with parents, only by blaming someone else after the event.

Jeez (oops, hellfire for me!) people need to take some effin' responsibility for their actions for once....if I trip on the street do I blame myself for not paying attention or sue either the footwear manufacturer or the local council for not making either the street or my shoes correctly??

Their kids, their problem, their responsibility, honestly!

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Stop

@Paul Smith

Point is that the games ARE NOT designed for kids, hence why they get 18 ratings.

So, i enjoy games that are, ahem, more 'mature' and get ratings of 15+ I also enjoy games that are rated below that, since i am a gamer. Why the fuck should some little peabody decide if i should be able to play something that isn't suitable for kids. I'm 30 years old, i can make my own descisions.

It's clearly the parents fault though, I was talking to a mother who let her 13 year old son play GTA4 but then wouldn't let him watch a film rated 15. When i tried to explain to her the hypocrisy of this situation she just shrugged and said 'games aren't as bad as films' when clearly they are. Parents need more educating on the whole subject. Hopefully then people will shut the hell up about it and let us gamers enjoy a myriad of games in peace.

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Christian investment firm?

OK, so it's a long time since I read a bible, so correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Jesus kick the moneychangers out of the temple, and tell a rich man to give up all his worldly goods?

Somehow don't think he'd be too keen on an investment company operating in his name.

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Number 39

Was the number of lashes given to JC on order of Pontius Pilate, wasn't it?

But how come sexual abuse of minors is not on the list? Oh, that's because it's reserved for their own enjoyment then, ah?

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Stop

@ AC

"i recall hearing or reading something in or from the good two ply t p aka the bible that money is evil or root of all evil"

Read it again then. It's the *love* of money, not money itself. If they're rich, they're OK with their book so long as they don't love the money.

Misquoting does annoy me so.

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Meh...

If they just said something like "we don't think that the following games are suitable for kids/family consumption" I'd have a lot more time for them, it's the dressing it up as some sort of moral crusade that gets me. It seems pretty sensible that you don't let children play on 18cert games, in the same way that you don't show them slasher flicks, or have I missed something?

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Title banned by God

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." - Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Nuff said really!

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Errr... Pasties?

You NEED to read the PDF.

"If (or when) you enter a strip club, there are usually two platforms with a stripper in a skimpy bikini, or bikini bottoms and pasties."

Now that's some pastry based action that we can ALL get down with.

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Jobs Horns

Re: satan worship

I think it was the LOVE OF money that was the root of all evil, not the money itself.

However Jesus was pretty specific on his feelings that time he visited the money lenders (and what else is investment if not that) and even if you take the more lax definition of "usury" as charging EXCESSIVELY HIGH interest, any Christians involved in any way with either credit cards or sub-prime mortgages might need a bit of intense soul-cleansing for the next few decades!

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Pirate

Well if you will sleep on the couch...

...while your demon spawn child kills little girls on video games.

I am slightly upset that Saints Row 2 didn't rank higher than GTA IV. Where in GTA do you get to smoke a fat blunt, get your kit off and go wave your bits around in the face of some old lady for extra points and respect?

Also, see this blog post: http://www.thatsfuckingstupid.com/index.php/2008/12/videogames-dont-kill-people-people-kill-people/

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Flame

Some problems with the list

I was going to start with the number of demonic references missed, got up to 4 (starting from the bottom going up on the full list), before i got to: "Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers"

....

O.O

(Got to 9 for deminic references in the end, though i didnt know some games, and let a few off)

Also, Oblivion is on there twice (as Elder scrolls IV: Oblivion, the. and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) and scores differently (7 and 8, aparrently picking up a point for drugs somewhere),

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Sheeple.

"most parents are mouth-breathing morons that can't read the ESRB rating and warning right there on the game's box."

Actually, the $DEITY worshiping folks this is targeted at are mouth-breathing morons, who apparently can't read. At all. They've certainly never read their own "good book", at least not for comprehension. What makes "the timothy plan" (caps not needed) folks think that the parental units will learn to read, just to read an obscure web page?

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Coat

Army of two?

"the firm claims there's unmentioned but "somewhat homo-erotic undertones between the two main characters" in the third-person shooter, Army of Two."

I thought that was a *movie*, not a game? Chaps in uniforms, bunks, "standing to attention"?

/mine's the one with the sticky "homo-erotic" DVD in the pocket.

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Wrong List

Wouldn't it be more informative and useful for them to just make a list of the games they approve of? This list is going to be much more use as advertising for the games that made it than help to the games that didn't make it.

Also, I can see how they judged all but the last category: how do they rank "addictiveness" of a game? Isn't that really just a measure of how much people like to play it? If so, why is it a bad thing? It's not like the game actually contains physically addictive substances.

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Top recommended game for Christmas?

Didn't they also use their review criteria to find the top game for christian stockings this christmas?

1. Wacka-gay - You take the hands of a Vicar, have to thwack the heads of any gay and lesbian folk who pop their heads up through the a set of holes within a certain time limit.

Aren't there laws against this kind of thing now?

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Stop

Not Just Games

It's not only by rating computer games that families can protect themselves from evil. I'd like to see this rating system applied to any books that the children are exposed to.

Can we make a start by rating the Bible according to the same criteria? It probably features prominently in quite a few homes and children may be tempted to 'sneak a peak' at it when their parents aren't around to give guided reading.

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@ David Wilkinson

"Best thing to do to raise decent kids is be a decent person and let them see you treat others with respect and compassion. Games are just games."

Hear hear!!!

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Why?

I played with toy soldiers and tanks and things when I was young and I still haven't gone on a gun toting rampage around the local school.

Where did I go wrong?

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