Are violent video games sinful?

Is playing violent video games like Call of Duty sinful? Are the actions performed during video games just pixels in the eyes of the Church?

God Bless

No, so long as we keep in mind that it’s just a game it’s fine. Lots of Catholics are gamers. It’s no more sinful than defeating an army in a game of Risk.

I wouldn’t automatically say yes or no. The answer is subjective. The question you should ask yourself is ‘What effects does the game have on me in real life?’

The violence in the Call of Duty games is night and day different than Grand Theft Auto. In one, your a hero soilder fighting in a noble war. In the other, your a disgusting criminal.

The case can be made that GTA at the very least makes you more likely to sin. Games like that are probably the same way, it all depends on the context of the game.

I play Call of Duty, True Crime, and The Godfather-all our mature games, but I’m a 29 year old man. I know that they are just entertainment.

Keep that in mind when you play a game.

*My son plays Call of Duty…(he is chomping at the bit waiting on the next one to come out…modern warfare 4 or something? :shrug:) and it’s like Rascalking states…it’s about warfare, soldiers…strategy, team building. He plays with friends, through a headset. :shrug: I walk in and will lay on his bed, watching him play…personally…it’s a complete bore to me! :stuck_out_tongue: But, if you allow a video game to be all consuming, to me, it can have detrimental effects…there is definitely a time limit, especially now that school has begun again! Hope that helps. *

You should impress him by telling him you want to check out the new Spec Ops mode in Modern Warfare 2 :smiley:

*haha I should! :smiley: (wait, is it 2 or 4 that’s coming out next month?) *

The historical context of Call of Duty is the important difference here. People, like myself, who have played the single player mode are getting a rich lesson in world history that is fatally absent in today’s schools. This is the “Greatest Generation” that all of us need to familiarize ourselves with. Very soon, their personal stories will be gone and we will be left with notes of history. GTA is definitely the poison of the genre, and it has no business being inside a Catholic home.

Playing the game is no more sinful than the soldiers’ heroic actions that make up the story.

Play “Taps” here…

*It’s funny you say this, my son says the same thing…he has taken a HUGE interest in the history channel, and researching all kinds of things about warfare on the internet…from a historical perspective. I had no idea a video game like this could be so…educational. :o I am NOT a fan of GTA, my dh ‘accidentally’ bought this game for them a few years ago…and we couldn’t believe it. That game is horrible, and we don’t permit it in the house anymore…the language, the content…the plot, if there is one…horrible. In the trash can where it belongs!

My kids like kingdom hearts…anyone play this? *

I have Kingdom Hearts 1, 2, and Chain of Memories. I will buy Birth By Sleep as soon as it’s released. “Fragments of Sorrow” is my ringtone on my cell phone.

My kids would admire you. :smiley:

It’s complicated :slight_smile: The 2007 game was named Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The game coming out November 10th is officially called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

As a sidenote it was supposed to simply be called Modern Warfare 2, but from a marketing standpoint you need to have the words “Call of Duty” on the box.

As everyone else has said, it completely depends on the game. Violence in video games is not inherently sinful because violence is not inherently sinful. It’s all about context.

For instance, I don’t think war games are sinful because you are a soldier, trying to protect your country, or defend other countries, etc. However in the case of a game like Grand Theft Auto (all of them), you use violence to become powerful and rich. And that’s not even taking into account the sexual content in GTA.

So now the question becomes, are violent games like GTA sinful? You know, I have no idea. Obviously if you are playing the game you must be enjoying it, so in a sense you are enjoying the animated slaughter of a lot of innocent people. I think you would tend to say it’s the same as having violent thoughts against a person, but on closer inspection you can play games like GTA and like it but never have a violent thought in your life. For instance I have always been a peaceful person, never been in a fight in my life, never tried to hurt anyone or really wanted to hurt anyone, and I used to play GTA all the time. So it then becomes, is it sinful to enjoy fake slaughtering fake people in a fake animated world? I honestly have no idea. I would certainly say it’s probably not good for you.

Does something need to be sinful in order for it to be bad or harmful? Show some sommon sense and do not engage in activities that numb a person to violence.

That’s just it: it doesn’t numb everyone to violence. The problem with a lot of these “studies on the effects of gaming” is that they make it seem like everyone who plays GTA is going to go out and start shooting people or stealing cars, just because a handful of disturbed and/or immature people have ignored, forgotten or not known where the line between reality and fantasy lies. It’s a little too much of a Determinist viewpoint on human nature. I swear that sometimes the facts on these studies get cherry-picked to fit someone’s agenda (case in point a recent one from the CDC which made it seem all gamers are depressed and insinuated that games cause depression; I don’t doubt they could contribute to someone’s depression problems – I’ve seen some hideous behavior in online gaming that added to my own depression problems – but I don’t think they’re the root cause of ).

I play City of Villains from time to time, and I’m not above fighting some of the crooked cops you find on the street. Does this mean I’m going to beat up the next beat cop I find? Certainly not, because I know where the line between fantasy and reality is (and the fact that my character has the head of a wolf on a humanoid body reinforces this. :: Laughs::slight_smile:

I sure hope not, I log probably 20 hours a week on Battlefield 2142.

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