Video Games and Morality


#1

Hi, I know that there are probably a lot of threads out there about this topic, but I haven’t yet encountered the right thread that helped me answer my question. I’ve read people use the argument that since it’s only fantasy, and not real, you are permitted to do such and such, just as in the case of video games ladled with the occult. But delving into the argument more deeply, I have encountered some logical errors. For instance, would one say that rape is morally permissible in video games because it’s technically not real? What about on the instance of say, like the current Pokemon games that use the power of evolutionary/mega stones to evolve pokemon. Aren’t those stones like crystals that many new age believers use, the use of crystals being something that the Church is against and is morally wrong? Would it be okay to play those kind of games? Please help me get some clarification on this, for I struggle with this topic as both a gamer and as a practicing Catholic. Thank you and God bless.


#2

I would say a video game that provides players the opportunities to rape in-game would be the video game equivalent to pornography. What, exactly, is the point of such a thing, if not to titillate and desensitize the player?

Magic and fantasy are different. They’re understood to be fantastic and are not meant to simulate real life. I think such things are really only dangerous for people who are susceptible to occult influences, which is not most people.


#3

Never have I seen a video game where you could rape people. Such a game would probably be rated AO and would never be sold by a normal game distributor.

If fantasy settings were sinful then LOTR is sinful, and LOTR was written by a devout Catholic.


#4

Yeah, rape is not okay in a video game. Let me guess: The Witcher?

Though, I will admit, I can be pretty psychotic in video games. For example, in Fallout 4, any baddy foolish enough to lay a finger on my dog loses his living privileges.

To answer pensmama’s question: there are no shortage of perverted, basement-dwelling twentysomethings in gaming culture. The game I mentioned, the Witcher (if that’s the game the OP is talking about) is especially lewd.

Now, Pokémon is the last of your worries when it comes to video games. Pope St. John Paul II praised it, saying it illustrated the power of friendship (or something to that effect). Probably the only immoral thing about Pokémon is that it’s not unlike cockfighting. Though it hasn’t made any millenials think cockfighting is okay.


#5

the occult is wrong because it tries to have supernatural control over physical objects which is impossible for us to do, so we are actually getting in touch with spirits when we do occultish things and usually they are evil spirits.

But that isn’t the case in any fictional movie, video game, TV show, etc. there is nothing wrong with going into fantasy worlds and playing things out that wouldn’t happen in the real world. (violence and crime in video games is a different story.)

But I would point you to Tolkien a very devout Catholic who wrote Thousands of pages on a fictional world where there is lots and lots of “magic” There is nothing wrong with him writing this stuff, actually it is one of the most beautiful sets of books ever written. BTW C.S. Lewis did the same thing with Narnia.


#6

I played GTA 3 as a kid…I never once got up in real life and took a car, did a hooker and then shoot her to get my money back. Because game vs real life. If GTA 3 makes you do these things, you are already a sicko and it is just an excuse.

Same logic on all other aspects of video games…games…


#7

Interesting questions! :slight_smile:

My layman’s answer would be that if an act is criminal or immoral in real life (rape, fornication, murder) it would be so in a game, and such games are best avoided.

Fantasy is an entirely different kettle of fish. Some of it is moral, some neutral, and a small fraction best avoided due to occult overtones. There’s no single rule.


#8

If that was the case, stealing an apple in a video game should be a crime in real life. :shrug:


#9

Thank you for succinctly saying what I was going to say. :thumbsup:

It is interesting to me how this question has gotten more poignant as graphics have improved. Video games are much more “real” than they were when they first started.


#10

“The law does not concern itself with trifles”, right? :slight_smile: I was referring to more serious offences. Unfortunately, I sometimes type in shorthand when I’m using my phone. Sorry about that. :slight_smile:

Context is also important. Is the man stealing an apple because he is hungry, or just to portray him as sociopathic and unconcerned about the rights or property of others? :wink:

Also, is the act something that you can perform of your own free will in the game, or is it something done by a non-player character to advance the plot (for example, a game in which you are fighting against a pornography ring? :()


#11

Some games you can choose whether you want to be a thief, or a crime stopper. Skyrim and Mount and Blade are good examples of this. Basically the games allow you to have free-will on how you develop your character you create.

Sometimes it is just fun to make a bandit/thief character. Just because you have a bad guy character in a game doesn’t mean you would ever do such an evil act in real life. After all, people in video games are just pixels with code behind them.


#12

The former Vatican Exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth talked about a game I know to be Diablo III.
I used to have this game. It was a game where you battled evil using various characters. The problem I guess, was they used the name of real demons that I have seen in more than one Catholic source.

I always liked defeating evil demons, I couldn’t see the harm in it, but using the name of real demons [according to Fr. Amorth] really did creep me out.


#13

Hmm, that’s a valid point. But for certain kinds of crime (such as rape), exposure to virtual scenarios can desensitize one to committing the offence in real life. I suppose it’s hard to generalize. :slight_smile:


#14

Well certain elements in games such as sexual elements can cause real life sins by causing the gamer to lust. That’s probably the only case where an evil action in a game can transfer into real life.


#15

I’m not sure how far you can stretch the “just pixels with code behind them” argument, though. The advancement of technology makes it possible to produce graphics that are pretty close to real life. If someone produced a computer animated porn film, it would still be pornography even if it’s just pixels and code rather than real people. So I don’t think that fact alone allows us to shrug off any concerns of immorality.


#16

Right.

(And unfortunately, there is already a huge market for exactly this kind of material.)

It’s not just the dignity of the maker or the people in the materials, but also the dignity of the viewer/consumer, that matters.


#17

:thumbsup:

Similarly, the advancement in technology allows us to produce blood and gore far beyond “you slash at the goblin with your sword and it vanishes in a puff of green smoke!”

We need to use our discernment here; being alarmist (“OH DEAR ALL VIDEO GAMES ARE MURDER SIMULATORS”) isn’t helpful, but neither is being laxist. :slight_smile:


closed #18

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