Second Life

Is Second Life sinful?

Why do you think it would be?

Why do you assume that I think it would be?

I am asking a question; not presenting a position.

Your question indicates an underlying doubt about whether or not it’s sinful-- why else would you ask? On what is the doubt based?

I think God sending someone to hell for playing Second Life would be hilarious.

The doubt is based on the lack of knowledge as to the correct answer. I am serious. This question is not really more or less than a youngster learning multiplication asking “Is 7x7 49?” It is not based on the idea that it is 49 or it isn’t 49, it is the desire to know an unknown.


Oh, this isn’t as obvious or ridiculous a question as you might imagine.

First off, I call this game "Suck at Life"
As one of my daughter’s teen friends said: Stupid game where you spend real money to buy fake things online.

I know a scenario:

Married woman/mother starts playing. She becomes addicted. Spends ALL her time with a not very representative character standing in for her. She spends all her time on the couch with her laptop buying virtual property and flirting with virtual men. She falls in love with a man overseas. She starts emailing him all the time. She talks to him on the phone and texts him all the time. Especially when her husband is asleep.

The kids aren’t allowed into their family room because that is where she sits all day. (She quit her job.)

She won’t take the kids anywhere because she has to wait for something that is going to happen at a certain hour on Suck at Life.

She buys a webcam and starts sending obscene views of herself to overseas boyfriend. Kids aren’t allowed in living room (or kitchen, which they have to walk through living room to get to) all day because mommy is online.

Her whole world becomes this virtual playground of adult characters having virtual sex and virtual encounters.

Be very careful before you enter this sick universe. I’ve read news articles of marriages ending because of it.

I see nothing sinful about this game. As with many things, video games can be enjoyed to the exclusion of ones responsibilities. These “things” include: Alcohol, work, sports, shopping, television, etc. There is nothing wrong with this game as I see it. As a young adult, I’ve seen guys flunk out of college because they spent too much time playing Madden, Halo, or poker. The only difference is that you don’t see news stories about these games because of their popularity. Stories about those games would ostracize a large portion of their audience. So they pick a game that a small fraction of the “gaming” population plays and fills time that way. I play all three of the previous games, and do so responsibly With all enjoyable things comes the risk of obsession. It is important for each individual to spend their time wisely and fulfill all responsibilites that they have. So it could become sinful, but has no more inherent evil than going shopping, or watching a football game…in my opinion;)

God Bless-YACatholic

My brother-in-law met a woman on line in Everquest. Within a couple months he left his wife of 25 years and moved in with this woman in another state. Eventually he got a divorce and married her.

It wasn’t the game, but the game did provide the opportunity. Second Life provides an even greater opportunity because the players are there to socialize, not just do wholesome thing like killing each other. :rolleyes:

Ramalama, killing each other is wholesome, all things considered.

This is new technology as far as the study of how humans form social bonds. People are still trying to figure out the implications of games like Suck at Life.


Because in these games you can act out virtual sex. Your character can fornicate or commit adultery or have homosexual relations (in the nude, I hear) with someone else’s character who is controlling them from across the world.

What kind of bond does that form between you and that stranger? (If for women, sex starts in the brain… you do the math.)

This is very insidious.

A cartoon murder game isn’t necessarily making those same bonds. You aren’t “friending” a stranger and discussing your day the way you used to discuss it with your spouse.

And the potential for pornographic acting-out on this game is part of its sinfulness.

And of course there is the question of the morality of the time spent living a virtual life at the expense of one’s obligations elsewhere. Acting out fantasies and living in a fantasy world makes one’s real world look very humdrum. Does one have the moral right to continually condition oneself like that? You are retraining your brain to need a level of drama and excitement in life that may be incompatible with reality.

Not to mention falling in love with someone else’s avatar and leaving your spouse and children.

What do you mean by “Second Life?” Is this a metaphor for something? Please explain. Thank you.

It’s a virtual game online. Kind of like The Sims, but you can control things and everyone who signs up can play.

It’s just a game. It is what you make of it that can become obsessive and obscene.

I play World of Warcraft every night for a few hours, but it ends there. I have Real life responsibilities and a very demanding job. This game relaxes me.

Play it as a game then walk away. There is no harm or sinfullness about it.

You asked if Second Life is sinful. Second Life is a thing, an object. A thing cannot be sinful.

Only human acts can be sinful.

So, what, *specifically *do you think might be sinful *about *Second Life? Content that you view? Playing the game? Playing to excess? Actions you commit in the game?

And, what commandment do you think the action is violating?

Yep, Second Life is neutral. What could be sinful would be some of your actions while playing the game.

Antonio Spadera, three months ago, wrote in the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica that Catholics should play Second Life and treat it as an opportunity to evangelize.

Spadaro warns the uninitiated that “the erotic dimension is very present” in Second Life, that people can buy genitalia for their avatars in a world that is “open to any form of erotic stimulation from prostitution to paedophilia”.

While the virtual world might be a refuge for some people seeking to flee the real one, it is also full of people seeking something more from life, including, possibly, religious enlightenment, he said.

“Deep down, the digital world can be considered, in its way, mission territory,” he said. “Second Life is somewhere where the opportunity to meet people and to grow should not be missed, therefore, any initiative that can inspire the residents in a positive way should be considered opportune.”

Check out this link:,2933,306937,00.html

, an object. A thing cannot be sinful.

While many things cannot be sinful, I do not believe that it is true that merely because something is an object, it cannot be sinful. For example, a pornographic magazine is just a thing; is it not? However, isn’t that object sinful?

But, as I say, overall you are correct so let me amend the question to:

Is playing/participating in Second Life sinful?

Additional questions can be:

Is viewing the content sinful?
Is playing/participating to excess sinful?
Are actions that you do or can commit in the game sinful?

Once again, I have no opinion at this time about what might or might not be sinful about it (though some other posters have begun to set forth possibilities. And, because I have no opinion as of yet, I will say again I DO NOT KNOW WHAT COMMANDMENT is (or is not) being violated.

Sorry if I am a bit chippy but you are running up against my pet peeve on this site, namely, that many folks turn a question, a quest for knowledge, into an opinion or position and then praise or criticize you for that position or opinion. Sometimes a question is a question and the questioner has no preconceived notion of what the answer might be.

Sounds like it could be a near occasion for sin, maybe a bit like pornography. Depends on how well folks can handle it. IF you can’t handle it don’t do it.

Objects cannot be sinful. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines sin as a “moral evil” and quotes St Thomas:

Sin is nothing else than a morally bad act (St. Thomas, “De malo”, 7:3),

But, as I say, overall you are correct so let me amend the question to:
Is playing/participating in Second Life sinful?

Additional questions can be:

Is viewing the content sinful?
Is playing/participating to excess sinful?
Are actions that you do or can commit in the game sinful?

Depends. What is your moral intent while viewing, playing or participating. Are any of your thoughts and behaviors “morally evil”? If not, then there is no sin.

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