Is competitive gaming sinfully prideful?


Salvete, omnes!

Is competing in games of any kind sinfully prideful?

Sure, some will argue that competitive gaming creates and grows moral character, etc. and that it is therefore beneficial to the players, but…

After all, isn’t the ultimate goal of playing games to win them? And, isn’t winning inherently being better than/besting your opponent? And, if you want to win, don’t you technically want to do better than/best your opponent? If you want to outshine him, then, is this not a sinfully prideful way to fel?

However, it seems that many argue that, because of what seem to be peripheral (although certainly good) effects of competing in games, playing competitive games is not sinful. So, then, it seems that those who argue this say that the development of character should be considered the ultimate goal of gaming rather than winning, which actually seems to be the proper goal of competitive gaming. (Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that one shoul desire to win at all costs. Of course, it should still be done ethically/honorably/in a sportsman-like spirit. All I am saying is that it seems that many discount winning as a key part of competitive gaming, possibly because they think that such would, in fact, be sinfully prideful, if they did so.) Surely, if the main goal of competitive gaming is characgter development, surely there are better ways to form character other than those that involve besting opponents? Then, why should we play games competitively at all, if they involve besting our opponents which could arguably be sinfully prideful?

If competitive gaming is not sinfully prideful, than precisely why is it not? What makes the ultimate goal of competitive gaming any different from wanting to so off self (apparently a sinfully proud activity?)?



There are three fonts of morality. Games are not intrinsically evil. Therefore you would have to look at the other fonts of morality.

1750 The morality of human acts depends on:

  • the object chosen;

  • the end in view or the intention;

  • the circumstances of the action.

The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the “sources,” or constitutive elements, of the morality of human acts.


Games “of any kind” are “sinfully prideful”?!?

Over on the world news thread there is spirited debate over the use of atomic bombs in WWII.

But that pales in comparison to the ultimate prideful sin of…


OK, I’ll stop being facetious. But seriously, Misty, I think even you don’t believe what you write.


Contrary to current American society, competition is a good thing. Actually it is a great thing. Among other things, it enables people to achieve and be the best they can be. It starts really innocent, like “let’s not keep track of kids soccer games. Next thing you have schools saying " we will have no valedictorians lest we offend someone. We shall declare everyone valedictorians!” Now to be clear, winning needs to be handled with grace, dignity and humility. For that matter, so does losing. Everyone feels that losing is detrimental to people but I disagree whole heartedly. Many, if not all, of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life have come after a loss of some sort. They are tough lessons to learn, and they last a lifetime. Embrace and encourage competition, for it is what has made this country great back in the day.

A society with no competition is filled with sloth, among other things. Human nature is to compete. If you want to see something truly sad, pathetic and downright immoral, check out a society that does not have competition. Or… if things keep on track here in the USA, simply wait around and handful more years and you’ll see and live it first hand.


Why the judgement upon billions of people competing thought history? Including saints and popes?


I don’t think it has to be. I had a friend who won a lot, but she was also very charitable towards her competitors.


St. Paul had no problem with using competitive running, wrestling, and boxing as analogies for the Christian life of striving for holiness. The early Christians called both a martyr and a monk an “athlete.”

But of course, Jacob wrestled with an angel, and thus received a blessing and a new name (as well as a permanent sports injury).

There are probably other competition references in the Bible, but that is what comes to mind. They aren’t small unimportant bits of Scripture.


Misty, Have you ever read the bible?

In one Corinthians (shout out to my boy Donald) we have this in chapter nine verse 24.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one recieved the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”


That’s like asking if competitive running is sinful.

Of course not. Nothing wrong with honest competition.


Many of us are lucky enough to have been born with a healthy, fully-functioning body. We often neglect it, through our own laziness or greed. Those who play sport (at whatever level) are doing something good - they are improving the health of their bodies or their minds, in some way. Even people who play non-physical games (such as chess) are giving their brains a work-out!

Solo sport is also competitive - you try to improve on your score, or your time, or your distance. I admire those who dedicate themselves to improvement. It requires self-sacrifice.


If the winners correctly acknowledges God as the source of the gifts that brought about victory then competitive gaming gives glory to God and a prayer of adoration.

If the winners incorrectly acknowledges themselves as the cause of victory then competitive games leads to vainglory.


I believe that this type of pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and is therefore sinful, but this type of competition is so ingrained in our society that few notice it as such.


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