Sinful video games?

I saw a game called Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It is a game that takes place in a fantasy medieval setting which consist of the typical things you would find in such a game; Warriors, monsters, wizards, magic, quests, dungeons, etc. Is this ok to play? I know Dungeons and Dragons is to be avoided according to Catholic teaching, so should this game be avoided also?

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with Dungeons & Dragons. I can speak as someone who has played it that there is no real ‘magic’ involved, unless you consider rolling dice and saying ‘I throw a fireball at you’ to be real magic. It is true that it is against the simplest Christian doctrine to participate in real magic (I.E. divining) but D&D is an entirely different case. It’s just a game.
I read fantasy novels as well, and yes, I have played Oblivion. It is a very good game, as far as gameplay goes, but it does have some material you might find disturbing. There is demonic imagery and the story involves demons (called ‘Daedra’) invading the world. But they are portrayed as a force of evil, and you cannot join them. True, you can be evil, but either way these are your foes.
So long as we remember things like D&D (which is heavily inspired by the work of gasp devoutly Roman Catholic author J.R.R. Tolkien) and Oblivion are nothing more than games, we should be fine.

Some people see sin in everything including card games ,comics,books- you name it.Don’t worry about imaginary or’could be’ sins.There are enough sins out there without creating ones.

Agreed. The ‘magic’ in things like this is the sort of thing you might see in a fairy tale (I.E. fireballs). Of course, some people think that is what the Bible warned against, since that obviously used to happen alot :smiley:

I don’t think it’s sinful to play Oblivion or Dungeons and Dragons - at least not the video game.

But I’m glad you brought this up, because I had just finished The Divine Comedy by Dante a few months ago and just yesterday I found out there is a new video game coming out called “The Inferno” inspired by Dante’s work of the same name. It supposedly goes according to his story, but I’ve seen too many things contrary to it to believe that statement. That and the fact the developers mention that in order to conquer the demons you have to slash, rip and tear them apart and that’s what they want the focus to be in this game. I already consider myself to possibly have a borderline unhealthy interest in the history of Satan’s fall and so try to avoid literature/videos about him because I fear I may become obsessed and take it too far at some point.

The first thing I said to myself when I found out about this game was “I have to get it”, but as I was watching the trailer I found out it was probably not a good video game to get. Any comments on this one? It can be found HERE. This to me seems like one to stay away from, but it could be that it’s just one that** I **need to stay away from.

There is one game that I really like called “Thief”. It’s an older stealth game and has two follow up games as well (Thief II and III) that I play, but I enjoy them mostly because of the “medieval” theme.


I think that game would be one that anyone should stay away from. My first flag was the phony “enter your age” page before the main page. Clearly the developers are trying to sell this by toting it as a “mature players only” game. That kind of ploy indicates that they made it adult-oriented simply for the sake of marketing. THAT is what is unacceptable. Mature games are acceptable only when the content and gameplay absolutely necessitate it (i.e. the developers set out to make a game and THEN realize it may be M-rated - not vice versa). Not to mention the fact that EA admitted to funding a group that promoted their game by making a mock Christian protest site and staging a fake protest outside of E3. All of this reeks of childish sales-boosting tactics (not to mention indifferent religious ridicule) that try to take advantage of a person’s disordered lust for rebellion (particularly young teens under the M-rating age restrictions).

There are way too many developers who simply wish to make the most violent and obscene game possible (~cough~ God of War ~cough~) because they know that will make them money. It’s such a shame, because several of these games would be excellent without all of the added gore.

I do believe that mature content may have its place, if we clarify that this content is not in itself sinful. For example, the blood in Oblivion is appropriate because it simply adds realism, unlike the blood in Gears of War which simply adds gratuity.

Magic is acceptable, just like any other fantasy element, as long as one remembers that real magic would be unacceptable. The clincher here is that it is set in a fantasy world clearly separate from our own. If a game were to be set in our natural world, and still continued to use magic flippantly (in the way it would HAVE to be used in this world, by diabolical influence), then it would have crossed the line. Good witch Glenda, you’re safe.

Sooooo anyway, there’s my rant on video game morality. Two of my favorite subjects, rolled into one!:thumbsup:

Unless you’re indulging in sinful behavior, its not wrong.

I play oblivion, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

I agree-it’s amazing to me what people get crazy about.

Who told you that? :confused:

Well the gore can be a little excessive but God of War’s reaction button system really is impressive. I wish more action-oriented video games made use of it. I personally don’t mind violence at all (even gore). The problem lies with people overdoing it, imo. :\

Well I have always been told to avoid D&D. But I can definitely see God of War being an inherently excessive and immoral game. It seems like it makes the player indifferent to such brutality as shown in how you said you don’t mind it at all imo.

Like I said, told by who? It sounds ridiculous given that I’ve never been condemned for playing games like that by fellow Catholics, generally speaking. It sounds like something only fundies would say.

Besides, brutality really depends on who you use it against. I’d actually prefer a little less gore but I wouldn’t mind seeing rapists or thugs beaten to a pulp via vicious combos (and finished off with something along the lines of a “RAIDAAAA KIIIICK!!!” >8D).

I remember when I was a lot younger there was a lot of hoopla over the original D&D (before video games were invented). I think the Church took a cautious approach to it but don’t remember them condemning it. I could be wrong tho, as that was wayyyy tooo long ago, before I was a revert!


I know that Rev. Fr. Kent Burtner, OP, a specialist in cult deprogramming, had no problem with my friends playing D&D in the hall… he did place a couple restrictions:

  1. no inherently evil PC’s.
  2. no adventures where the only path to victory was based on inherently evil acts.

I play World of Warcraft with a group of family members.
We are all in our 40s and 50s. it’s fun fantasy. No sex involved in the game. A little too much drinking on occasion. No bad language. It’s cheap fun.

I think “fear of D&D” was more of a Fundamentalist/80’s thing. I think the only danger with either video games or D&D (and all entertainment) would be wasting too much time on them at the expense of your life’s needs and your spiritual progress.

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