I am a big fan of the Legend of Zelda series, and every so often when I pick up a game controller, I’m playing Zelda. I consider it a fun way to pass the time.
My mom allows me to play any video game that is rated E and only a tiny few T games, and I actually don’t mind (being that almost all Zeldas are E). However, recently she noticed that the main character has a sword, which she didn’t really approve at all to my dismay.
Now I consider my mom and I to be very devout Catholics. We attend daily mass, pray the rosary at night, and follow the ten commandments regularly. The fifth commandment, saying how I must not kill, is what think bothers my mother. In the game, the character fights monsters with a sword to emerge victorious, and I guess the monsters do “die” in a puff of smoke or explosion.
Being a fifteen year old boy, I do enjoy some violence. I love all sorts of action, being it explosions, guns, bombs, swords. But it’s not like i’ll suddenly grab my sword after playing Zelda and begin a violent rampage through the streets. :nunchuk:
I consider the game to be a fantasy I can immerse myself into, but I don’t want to feel guilty by playing it. As a Catholic, is it right that I continue playing this game? I do disagree with my mom about the whole thing, but I don’t want to feel guilty.
If the game doesn’t make you blood thirsty, nor cut into the time that you spend daily on prayer, then continue playing it. LoZ is a great game that I love to play myself, and I am 23 now. The battle of good vs. evil in the game is certainly one of the virtuous aspects of it. It is not anything like GTA or related violent games.
Just keep God foremost in your mind and voila, no problem.
Oh, my word. I certainly HOPE not! This has been one of my most favorite series to play!
To go along with other posters, I’ll put my personal experience in this long-running game series (I’ve played the first 4 games from, oh, long before you were born ).
The Zelda series has a mild religious overtone to it (the power of the mystical Triforce). But it’s overall themes (the vanquishing of evil by a young boy turned, effectively, a paladin) is consistent and true to itself. Nintendo prides itself on accepting games that do not contain graphic violence or other offensive material, so as games go, the Zelda series is a safe, enjoyable bet.
Your mother’s objections on the cartoon violence is understandable, but ask her to consider the **why **of Link’s **need **to fight. He fights justly, as Catholic teaching instructs us to do in its “Just War” doctrine. He doesn’t fight until the circumstances require that option (that is, when he is attacked first). In that, your mother should appreciate that Link wields the Master Sword to protect and defend, not for his own interests of power or bloodlust. That is why the Zelda series has an “E” rating.
That said: Don’t take this as implying that you can play it (or any other video game) all day. Too much of a good thing is bad as well. Spend the time you need properly in study, in actually playing and enjoying outside, in considering God and His role in your life, and time with your family. As you can tell by this list, there leaves little “free time” to pass if you are diligent in other things you should do first.
Generally, video game violence is fine. Also, ask your mother to find anything in the Catechism that condemns the use of violence in the name of justice and self-defense. I’m positive she won’t find any. Also, remind her that there are saints such as Joan of Arc who also went into battle.
Well, it’s more than that. There’s also the whole backstory with the Golden Goddesses, Nayru, Din, and Farore, as well as other “gods” that Link interacts with–Cyclos and Zephos in The Wind Waker, for instance. Lately, they’ve been playing it a bit safer with “Spirits” instead, but that doesn’t exactly solve the problem.
Now personally, I don’t see this as a huge obstacle. As I see it, Hyrule is a world in which God chose to create a class of beings somewhere between humans and angels, and many of these have taken to calling themselves gods. (Cyclos, in particular, gets miffed when his shrine at Dragon Roost Island gets knocked over.)
The only moral issue I see is that these beings are never taken to task for making themselves gods, but I can’t really expect that since I’m already reading more into it than is probably there. The whole “spirits” thing is probably an aspect of Japanese culture that I’m not familiar with.
Besides, it’s clear that these beings aren’t nearly in the same league as the God. Heck, Ganondorf got to be a “god” for a while in Twilight Princess, in which all of the Light Spirits got their butts kicked by bugs. Termina, if I remember correctly, owes its existence to a mistake or at least an unintended side effect of Nayru, Din, and Farore’s act of creating Hyrule. Additionally, they don’t have any control over how their power that they infused into the Triforce is used, which is evident from how Ganon(dorf) can get it and use it in ways for which it wasn’t intended.
For that matter, why create the thing in the first place if they had to hide it away so no one could use it? The more I think about it, the more I get the feeling that the Golden Goddesses are just dense.
As for the actual violence aspect, you’re probably perfectly fine claiming that it’s acceptable in the name of justice and protecting the innocent. Besides, most of the enemies are either non-sapient critters or already (un)dead. But not all of them! Moblins, Bulblins, Zora, and probably Bokoblins are known to be intelligent and even civilized. I’ll never understand how shooting a Gerudo in the head with an arrow just knocks her out for a moment, but this protection pretty much only extends to them. Then again, most of the enemy people are attacking Link, so it’s probably justifiable self-defense if nothing else.
All in all, I think it’s fine for any discerning Catholic. I can’t see it being an occasion of sin for most people, apart from spending too much time on video games in general. If it comes down to “honor they father and thy mother,” then you’ll have to give it up, but I don’t think it will be that much of a problem.
You know what’s odd, though? I go to Zelda Dungeon Forums and end up talking about Catholic moral issues, and now I’m on Catholic Answers Forums talking about Zelda. Man, I love the Internet!
Not to repeat everyone else’s posts, but you need to consider WHY he’s hacking and slashing, generally through cartoonish and un-human creatures. He is on a just crusade to rid his land of an evil force. But if mum says no after all considerations are made, well, she is your mum. ;D