Are violent video games sinful?

I was reading an examination of conscience and noticed that is said playing violent video games was a sin. I like to play the “run around and kill things” games. Does that mean that I commit a sin by playing these?

I also often use cheat codes that you find online for my games to help me play. Am I commiting a sin by doing that? I just need to know if I have to give up my games. Thanks!

[quote=MrsB0903]I was reading an examination of conscience and noticed that is said playing violent video games was a sin. I like to play the “run around and kill things” games. Does that mean that I commit a sin by playing these?
[/quote]

Whether you personally have committed a sin is an entirely different question than the question of the moral licitness of violent video games. Let’s deal with them separately:

[list]Whether a video game is “violent” is often a matter of discernment. Playing a target-shoot game (e.g., Space Invaders) where the focus is on hand-eye coordination, quick reflexes, and accuracy, would be entirely different from a game with the goal to mow down a cityblock-full of innocent people. Falling somewhere in the gray area between target-shoot games and shoot-to-kill games would be games where the player is trying to protect an innocent from harm by defeating a villain (e.g., Donkey Kong).[/list]

[list]If you discern a game that you are playing to be morally licit, please keep in mind the other moral cautions about entertainment: One must be careful not to devote time, money, or personal commitment to them that rightfully should be devoted to legitimate obligations. Even a morally licit game could become problematic if a person is neglecting his obligations to make more time for play.[/list]

[list]I cannot determine for you whether or not you have sinned. If you continue to have concern about the particular games you enjoy, I recommend discussing the situation with a balanced and orthodox confessor or spiritual director.[/list]

[quote=MrsB0903]I also often use cheat codes that you find online for my games to help me play. Am I commiting a sin by doing that? I just need to know if I have to give up my games. Thanks!
[/quote]

Questions of personal sin and abstaining from games are questions to take to a confessor or spiritual director. As for cheat codes: If you are competing against someone who is a beginner and therefore doesn’t know about the cheat codes, you should bring him or her up to speed before competing. If you are playing against someone who is well-acquainted with the game and also knows the cheat codes, then you do not have an unfair advantage and can play with the codes in mind. If you are playing against the computer for highest score, you may assume that the high scores were obtained by people who know the cheat codes.

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