Grand Theft Auto V - To play or not to play?


Hello! I’m trying to decide if I should buy and play GTA V; or, if I’d be better off getting my entertainment elsewhere. I also want this discussion to be about video games and morality as a whole, and not be strictly about GTA V.

My argument for playing the game: You play as characters in a life like world. Just like in real life it’s up to you to avoid immorality. For example, in the game you can go into strip clubs or even hire a prostitute. Neither scenarios show the player graphic sex and are completely optional. But wouldn’t the option be a temptation? Sure. But if I based my decisions off of being able to access sin then I wouldn’t be on this forum, let alone in the internet. Porn is only a few clicks away after all.

Apart from the sexual problems, the game also makes you take part in crime. I have never had an issue with this sort of behavior in video games. I used to play Pay Day 2, a larger than life heist game. You could make a case that it’s not a good idea to participate in crime even in a game, but I’m not sure.

I’m interested to see what you guys think. I think this game isn’t as bad as I always imagined it. I would enjoy playing a game toted as a masterpiece, but not if it takes me away from God.


It really just depends, dude.

Will it lead you into sin, or not? Will it detract from your prayer life, or not?

GTAV can be incredibly cathartic for me, i’ll be honest…

But, at the end of the day, it depends on the person. Pray about it, and ask your confessor.


NO I certainly wouldn’t. Just a bad waste of time.


There’s nothing forcing you to go into the strip clubs and the like I would assume. As was recently pointed out on another thread just like this, does doing such things in a play make to want to do them in real life? Probably not.


Are you asking for a get out of jail card from us so you don’t feel guilty when you play?

That is what it sounds like to me.


There are a bajillion other ways to find recreation. There are many video games that do not have simulated sex, think about it, the point of this game is a virtual world where you get points for stealing, killing and fornicating.

You can’t find anything better to play or do?


I have it :grin:


So, you want to play a game where you have to avoid temptation and sin.

Yeah, that’s what real life is all about.

And that is entertaining because…?


I you want to play a similar game concept, there are plenty of open world games you could pick up.

That being said, all but #5 are in my Steam library. (Though I’ve only played 3, Vice City, and 4) I can’t say they’re good / positive games, but I do have a lot of fun playing them.

Honestly, I’ve been eyeing Lego City Undercover on the Switch for that kind of experience. Yes, it’s dumbed down, but it lacks the excessive violence and sexuality that characterize GTA, and I have to admit that I’ve yet to play a Lego game I didn’t enjoy XD.


Do you ever pray the “Our Father”? It includes “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Should a man lead himself into temptations, if he prays that God NOT?

The Lord says,

1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

Do such games not make attractive what a Christian ought not love? We ought not love the lusts of the world: the lust of the flesh, and of the eyes, and the [boastful] pride of life in this world. We ought not find such things desirable, or attractive, or exciting, or “fun.” They are - in truth - death and not life.

A Christian is called to die to this world, in order to live in Him.

Rom 8:12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—
Rom 8:13 for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.
Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Games are simulations of life, and have a place for a boy or a girl. The question may be, at what age ought a person put aside the things of childhood, and stand up for the responsibilities, the works, and the duties of adulthood? Paul came to realize that time in his life, in order to live his life in Christ, and for Him.

1Cor 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.


When considering whether a particular shooting video game is OK or not, I consider 2 things:

  1. Amount of violence - is it SUPER gory? Do your opponents’ bodies get split in half where you can see their organs (I’m looking at you, Mortal Kombat)?
  2. What the game revolves around i.e the context

I don’t play GTA much, but the violence seems “moderate” so there isn’t much of an issue there. The main problem lies in the fact that in GTA, you play as a criminal and your missions involve you committing illegal acts sometimes eg murder, theft. You also can beat innocent civilians, murder cops and go to a strip club. Yes, I know you have the choice to not do any of the above, but if that was the case, then you should find another game because, GTA basically revolves around all of this.

However, while it might not be a sin in itself to play the game, it can be an occasion of sin: playing GTA, which revolves around crime can send the subconscious message that in order to “win” in life, you have to murder and steal. The strip club is an occasion of sin of lust as well.

Furthermore, this might be bad example and potential scandal, especially for those who know you are Catholic. If they see you, a devout Catholic, playing GTA, they may assume that it is OK for Catholics to play such games - those that revolve around committing crime to win in life.

So my advice would be to not buy nor play GTA V. I used to have that game as well, and it is still currently sitting in my Steam library (Though, I plan to delete it ASAP) but I haven’t played it for over 2 and a half years.


Indeed. I love this game. “My sammich!” :rofl: I still use that line on my daughter. Not sure she appreciates it as much as I do. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Maybe it’s possible to play a game like GTA5 and have it not be a sin. But I have limited time for recreation. I’d rather pick something I don’t have to worry about.


I’ve wanted it for years, especially since I stopped playing most GTA games. I love the Lego series of games, and I enjoy open world games, so it’s always seemed like something right up my alley. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it.


Your reply has been the most reasonable so far. I’ve decided not to buy the game, thanks!


Nope, I want to avoid ever having to feel regret or guilt by simply getting the opions of others.


I know younger people think video games are so much fun. But there is a GREAT BIG world out there, people to meet, things to do, service to give to others. Until you turn your eyes on helping and thinking of others you’ll be stuck playing video games. We only get ONE life don’t spend it on video games. Do something you’d be proud to think of years down the road.


I’m still going to get Red Dead Redemption 2 :wink:


The first one was so good!


If you have to ask the question, you already know the answer.


I wish I could give you a 1000 hearts for your answer. Your answer deserves them.

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