Committing a Sin in a Game: Wrong?

Often in a game one is required to lie, steal, kill innocent people, cooperate with evil people/forces, etc. For example in Civilization 2 if I remembered correctly there are two ways to win. The first way is to achieve world domination by eliminating the other civilizations. The second way is to be the first civilization to complete the building of the futuristic spaceship. I always enjoyed using my stealth bombers, stealth fighters, tanks, paratroopers, etc. to blow away my rival civilations into oblivion. Also in many games you have the option to call upon the assistance of evil/demonic/immoral characters. For example in Mortal Kombat you can play as Baraka or Sheeva as opposed to Liu Kang or Sub-Zero (I forget the back stories to the characters, but I think that the former two are supposed to be evil while the latter two are the good guys). I am a little uncomfortable with this. I think little sins are OK, but killing innocent people and cooperating with and/or playing as evil characters I think desensitizes game participants. What does everybody think? I would like to hear from both sides.

I’d say in a sense it’s wrong since you’re having fun pretending to do evil things, which certainly can’t be good. I mean, in Halo 2, the parts where you play as the Arbiter (who was a commander on the villains’ side), you don’t kill any humans, just rebel aliens. Actually there’s exactly one human you kill in any Halo game (I won’t mention which), and he’s a dirty cop. He’s also trying to kill you, to cover up his dirtiness.

And I don’t know about anyone else, but the Orc campaign in Warcraft never sat right with me (I don’t mean WoW, I mean the original RTS games); ditto the Zerg campaign in StarCraft. My sister and I both gave our brother a hard time for playing the terrorist route in the sandbox game “Steambot Chronicles”.

Or look at BioShock: is there anybody who harvests Little Sisters? Well, sorry, but you’re a monster. You probably also tried to find a hack to let you kick your Nintendog.

While no real harm comes of whatever you do to simulated characters, if you're making immoral choices in a game you may be nurturing a desire for sadism or other evil. Would that qualify as the near occassion of sin?

I'd say it's a bit like playing a villain in the theater. The person you're playing is evil, and commits atrocities, but you? You just help the audience see them. You're actual a valuable and key part of their moral education. Presumably.

But as Binary stated, it's not in the least bit healthy to nurture either some glee taken whilst sowing mayhem, or curiosity about evil when the games present the choice.

Consider, what was the game? Postal? As I understood it, the game didn't require to you kill a single (digital) soul (though it also provided some circumstances in which you'd be justified in doing so).

Yet you could, with or without provocations (and *plenty *was provided) go on a murderous rampage. I did so, out of curiosity, and felt sick afterwards. It didn't do my soul one lick of good, at very least.

As someone who continues to be an advocate of using logic while interpreting such things I thought I'd chime in.

It depends on the intent. I played Grand Theft Auto III a lot when it first came out (the others were just "more of the same" to me). I did on occasion go on full blown killing sprees killing random citizens, cops, prostitutes whoever got in my way. This was usually done out of pure boredom with the normal mission style game play. I would eventually get shot down by cops or whatever then go about my criminal business.

I would eventually after whatever time frame turn the game off and go grab something to eat without killing anyone. It's a matter of how smart you are. If you can recognize the difference between real life and pretend then you realize that in it's simplest form you're watching and interacting with the result of millions of ones and zeros. If you look at it as some twisted form of reality and take it as a lesson on how you should live then you have no business playing anything other than pacman... but then again some on this forum might consider pacman occult because of the ghosts and the interpretation that you could have power over them by eating bigger pellets instead of getting said power from God.

Generally speaking, I'd say no.

There are probably people who may have certain problems where playing a video game could encourage something wrong. For instance, someone with truly violent tendencies plays a video game to indulge in violent thoughts. In those cases it could be a sin, but that's very rare I'd imagine.

I chose option D. With maybe a slight shade to option B.

I'm not a modern-day gamer. I grew up with Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man. I can't follow the speed of the newer games. And though I know there are female gamers, I guess it just doesn't appeal to me. I'm not Miss Priss, but the games described seem to have more of a testosterone element.

But my main point is this: I remember reading something, in a book about video games, that the video games currently available are as good as what military simulators to train assassins used to be or are. One danger is that it triggers a state of the brain that creates a killing reflex action. So I suppose if one did it too much, that could be an occasion of sin. And it does "glamourize" violence. Especially when the targets are human. Space aliens and monsters and such I could deal with a little better. But "killing" humans (even drug dealers and prostitiutes) - that kind of creeps me out.

Personally, I don't care for the sleaze factor or the graphicness of the violent games - it's just a turnoff to me. I can watch thriller movies but I don't want to be the participant, I guess. And there's a point at which a movie would be too violent or too racy for me. PG-13 is usually about all I can take, and even then there are "TMI's" in the racy department.

For example, re movies - I watched "The Departed" whichever year it came out, and found it more violent than I could take.

It would probably be somewhere from B-C, though in my case I find myself answering C most often.

Take killing for instance. Most people complain about murder in video games but they don't really take into account that the things they're killing aren't always human. You can't 'murder' a zombie or a raging demon can you?

At the end of the day though, I find that the only rule of thumb that really matters on the subject of video games is that there's a difference between fantasy and reality. You'll be fine so long as you don't mix up the two or neglect one in favor of the other.

[quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:8, topic:225430"]
It would probably be somewhere from B-C, though in my case I find myself answering C most often.

Take killing for instance. Most people complain about murder in video games but they don't really take into account that the things they're killing aren't always human. You can't 'murder' a zombie or a raging demon can you?

[/quote]

Ha, come to Australia. We had Left 4 Dead 2 censored because it was ruled the violence in it was unnecessary. I dont have a link, but basically the violence was to graphic because they werent 'zombies' but 'infected humans'. I dont see the difference, both want to kill you, I dont know dumb laws :shrug:

Im actually someone who has a hard time playing the bad guy in video games. Ill play a rogue sure, but I never hurt innocents etc, being evil I guess bores me.

The trouble is that games now days are adding weight to your decision. Doing an 'evil' act will result in innocents dying, but may be necessary to beat the big bad boss at the end, while a good decision might save those innocents but make it a lot harder to beat the bad guy. Fable 3 for instance, I played a good guy and at the end the game basically said 'Who was more evil, the darkness that tried to devour us or the king who stood aside and let it happen'. It basically said you should have been a tyrant to save people.

Another problem is these damn 'morality' gauges in games. Its to simple as even an act of evil done for good will still count as 'evil points'. Ill use my favorite reference mass Effect 2. Legion, a Geth (machine race that rebelled against there alien creators when the creators tried to kill them after gaining sentience) finds out the Heretics (an opposing faction of Geth) have created a virus to overwrite the 'good' geth and make them 'heretics'. Your choice is A) The 'good' choice, use the virus on the evil geth and brain wash them into 'good' geth or B) blow all the evil geth up, the 'evil' option. This raised massive fan retaliation about how was brainwashing more morally and ethically correct then destroying an enemy, especially when the 'good' option could turn around and bite you in the a** in the next game. Apparently to the writer of that quest, brain washing people to follow your ideas is good, while fighting them and destroying them is evil (please note these evil geth want all 'organics' dead, no negotiation or compromise). Things like this become hard to measure in terms as black and white as 'good and evil'

Oh hey, thanks. The rest of us were just wallowing in our ignorance and trying to divine the answer by casting chicken bones until you showed up. Arrogant prick.

[quote="Binary, post:10, topic:225430"]
Oh hey, thanks. The rest of us were just wallowing in our ignorance and trying to divine the answer by casting chicken bones until you showed up. Arrogant prick.

[/quote]

Wow. It wasn't my intent to offend anyone and I can't believe that on a forum such as this you'd find it necessary to immediately resort to name calling. I see you're following Christ's teachings very well. Good job :thumbsup:

I never at any point referred to you or anyone in this thread as ignorant, in fact I didn't even read any of the prior posts, I was simply giving my opinion based on the thread title which asks a very direct question. I prefaced my response the way I did because there ARE some people on this forum that tend to come to very rash conclusions without actually considering how illogical they are and in some cases without being completely aware of all the facts.

We just have to ask ourselves would Jesus make the same choices as us (in games) if he played video games :thumbsup:

[quote="Loml, post:12, topic:225430"]
We just have to ask ourselves would Jesus make the same choices as us (in games) if he played video games :thumbsup:

[/quote]

You could say that about any game though... If you were playing Monopoly with Jesus, would He build up a giant monopoly of green and blue properties and then make you go bankrupt? If you were playing Sorry with Jesus, would He use his die roll to send one of your pieces back to start? What if you played Clue with Jesus and His character ended up being the one who murdered Mr Body? In that case, wouldn't the moral thing be for Jesus to immediately confess his 'crime' and end the game?

If you go by the notion that doing bad things is bad even in a game then Jesus would probably lose all the games He ever played...

An incident helped change my opinion on this subject (I voted D).

I was playing some car game at my brother-in-laws. One of those drive fast/take chances kind of games.

Afterwards we went out to eat and I had a hard time driving normal for a bit.

It got me thinking. In and of itself, a violent video game isn't going to automatically make one violent, but helps to break down a barrier.

I played another game (WWII - fighting the Nazis) and sometimes at work I thought "if this were a video game, kapow!). Now, I wouldn't act on that, but it caused me to pause.

Another co-worker all of a sudden had country music on in the shop. I didn't make much of it at first but finally asked him what the deal was. He told me that he finds he's less angry when he's not listening to hard rock.

All anecdotal - but there seems to be a theme - you are what you eat.

Now with that said, the only real "video game" I play is one online where I'm in a pirate alliance where I pillage resources from other players. It has no affect on me whatsoever in the sense that I don't have ANY inclination to pillage in real life. But it's also not graphic pillaging. I don't see body parts flying around, etc. I send my army, there are rounds where it shows how much each of us has lost, etc. But nothing graphic.

Now take a video game that's much more graphic and the goal is to be violent, rob, kill, sex, etc. - I think that's more of a problem. It helps break down walls.

[quote="vashsunglasses, post:13, topic:225430"]
If you go by the notion that doing bad things is bad even in a game then Jesus would probably lose all the games He ever played...

[/quote]

So... I'm so good at Mortal Kombat I could beat Jesus!

Exactly. Physical violence is a sin so of course Jesus would just have his character stand there and not fight. :wink:

[quote="mdrummer5, post:15, topic:225430"]
So... I'm so good at Mortal Kombat I could beat Jesus!

[/quote]

i don't know, its kind of strange to say you can beat God:p

[quote="HickmanJosh, post:17, topic:225430"]
i don't know, its kind of strange to say you can beat God:p

[/quote]

What if I end with Friendship instead of Fatality? :)

Edit: OOOH or Babality and I can make a nativity! :thumbsup:

Another co-worker all of a sudden had country music on in the shop. I didn't make much of it at first but finally asked him what the deal was. He told me that he finds he's less angry when he's not listening to hard rock.

All anecdotal - but there seems to be a theme - you are what you eat.

Slightly off topic but this is not really the case, it's a matter of how your brain processes the information. There are MANY studies pertaining to the psychology of music. Most point to the idea like most things it's a matter of personal taste. Personally, I love metal and hard rock, I play drums for a hard rock band. I also play violent video games and watch violent movies. I do listen to, play and watch other things too but by your logic I could be a very angry, possibly violent person. In reality most that really know me would describe me as a big teddy bear... embarassing as that is to admit.

[quote="vashsunglasses, post:13, topic:225430"]
If you go by the notion that doing bad things is bad even in a game then Jesus would probably lose all the games He ever played...

[/quote]

Or He'd be smart enough to know its just a game and knows that the best way to show you that He's Jesus is by kicking your butt in it in the most epic manner. A gamer after all, is merely another sportsman (who just happens to play on a virtual playing field).

plays typical MMO

HAH!! Bow down before me ye inferior noobs!! >BD stands on mountain of fallen foes in the PvP room Cower before the might of the Dread Warlock!!! AAAHAHAHAHAH!!!

is blasted by mega Holy Light of pure awesome

What the-!? is pwned NUUUU!!!! DX

Who shot that!? D8 sees only one character Ahah! I'll place you on my Revenge List!! places mouse over character's retreating back OMG!!! Level !@#$@Q&^#$@!!!! D8>

[quote="vashsunglasses, post:13, topic:225430"]
You could say that about any game though... If you were playing Monopoly with Jesus, would He build up a giant monopoly of green and blue properties and then make you go bankrupt? If you were playing Sorry with Jesus, would He use his die roll to send one of your pieces back to start? What if you played Clue with Jesus and His character ended up being the one who murdered Mr Body? In that case, wouldn't the moral thing be for Jesus to immediately confess his 'crime' and end the game?

If you go by the notion that doing bad things is bad even in a game then Jesus would probably lose all the games He ever played...

[/quote]

You act like all games require you (or your character) to simulate sin in order to be competitive. :confused: most games do not impose this restriction.

You're suggesting that most games require simulation of bad behaviour in order to be won.

It's funny that you gave three examples of games which don't facilitate sinfulness on the part of the player:

Monopoly - There's nothing sinful about competition in industry. Once they're out of business and you've won, your pretend monopolist is free to donate some money to the loser so they can meet living costs.

Cluedo - Noone knows the details of the murder until the end of the game. If your character is the murderer then confessing is something you DO want to do asap in order to win... what a horrendous example. Maybe you've forgotten the rules. :)

Sorry! - I don't see how sending someone to the start of a path in this game is simulating sin so of course there's nothing wrong with this game..?

By the way if you're trying to prove that competition is not sinful then don't bother because I never said it was.

Exactly. Physical violence is a sin so of course Jesus would just have his character stand there and not fight.

Jesus would never be playing such a game and neither should we.

By the way I don't think that playing such games is sinful but I do think its reasonable to believe that making the conscious decision not to play them is something Jesus will show favour to.

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