Video games & the Catholic Family (and Catholic men)

I was just wondering what the consensus was on video games among catholics. I happened upon a great article on the issue here that I recommend people read.

remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2010-0715-video-games-lavin.htm

So, if you’re a family, do you let your kids play video games? Ought grown Catholic men to play video games? Ought grown Catholic men who have families of which they need to focus on being the head?

What are your thoughts?

Anything CAN be addictive. Food, alcohol, religion, computer, gaming, reading…

I allow my kids to play video games. They are not addicted. They go in streaks. When they get a new game, they can play for hours. But then their focus shifts to something else and they won’t touch it for months.

Anyone can play, grown men AND grown women. Why do so many people assume women do not enjoy video games? :confused: Many of these games can be played together as well.

I enjoy video games but on a limited basis, and my kids aren’t going to play them very much - Wii Tennis on a rainy day? Sure, let’s play together for a little while. Gears of War XII? Not on your life.

There are two points I take away from the article. One is that video games are a black hole of time - though there are other black holes of time that could and should be put to better use. If I read for three hours a night, is that just as bad as playing video games for three hours?

The other is that video games are addicting, which I think research supports. Video game poker and other digital slot machines at casinos have been compared with “electronic heroin” and I think that’s apt. The article mentioned the reward system of many games, and there’s also victory inflation (where you have to play a little longer to get a little more reward). A doctor friend who has studied addiction to WoW said that the best way to get someone to wrap up is to tell them “Play til your character is level xx and then sell the rights on eBay. After that, you’ve made your achievement and you’re done.” Or unplug the thing and watch them go through withdrawal.

But I think in general it’s harmful for kids to play video games on any more than a rare and casual basis. I treat video games like TV for our family - and we don’t watch a lot of TV. My wife has her shows that she watches while I’m working, I have one show I like to watch on Friday nights, otherwise the TV is usually off (occasional Muppet Show on DVD notwithstanding). We like to play board and card games. Probably do Dominion or Scrabble tonight.

[quote="losh14, post:3, topic:252852"]
I enjoy video games but on a limited basis, and my kids aren't going to play them very much - .......We like to play board and card games. Probably do Dominion or Scrabble tonight.

[/quote]

So what is the difference between playing a video game together or playing Dominion or Scrabble together? :rolleyes:

I am 23 years old and I will play video games until the good Lord sees fit to call me home. I prefer to play games that involve stories that would probably be considered heresy (assassins creed for example making the Catholic Church look like an evil money grubbing institution run by the Templars as opposed to the One True Church built by Christ) and for me, the more violent the better. Does that make me a monster? Or a bad christian? I should certainly think not. I know it sounds hypocritical but I love playing violent video games. The point is, I don't carry any of it over to the real world. I absolutely detest violence (in the real sense) which was why I faced court martial and quit the army on refusal to deploy overseas as I wasn't about to let myself be forced to kill an innocent muslim for americas greed (forgive the political jab there). Too many mothers are up in arms over nothing and I do, like many others, take offense. Violent video games do not make violent people. It saddens me that parents would deny their kids the simple joy of a good video game (especially a JRPG) and then let them listen to all this ghetto gangster music that is "cool" for kids to be listening too. There's more violence in those lyrics then there is in any video game and what makes it worse is the fact that veeery veeery few people try to imitate video games in the real world. Look at the whole culture/lifestyle ghetto music created? If you aren't from america or aren't exactly sure what I'm talking about read the chicago news paper on any given day and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Every other article is crime related. Double standards abound as always, only this time the victim is "fun"

also if I may clarify as I posted prior to re-reading, in the assassins creed reference I want to note that I don't play that game "because" of the way it portrays the Church, but that in spite of the Church's portrayal there are many intriguing gameplay aspects implemented into real historical conspiracies and the like all tied in with a sci-fi/fantasy element. Anyone who has played it knows what I'm talkin about. But yeah, I figured I should clarify that as I'm a staunch defender of the Church.

This kind of reminds me of Jack Chick’s “Dark Dungeons” tract. :rolleyes:

I play video games, and I’m looking forward to the day that I can play them with my son (who is only 3 months old, currently). We will not be letting anything terribly morally objectionable into the house; but there is a lot more to “video games” than blood-soaked first-person shooters and dismemberment-based fighting games. There are plenty of wholesome games out there, and there’s no reason not to enjoy them, if one so desires.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight

[quote="Ne_OrangeKnight, post:7, topic:252852"]
This kind of reminds me of Jack Chick's "Dark Dungeons" tract. :rolleyes:

I play video games, and I'm looking forward to the day that I can play them with my son (who is only 3 months old, currently). We will not be letting anything terribly morally objectionable into the house; but there is a lot more to "video games" than blood-soaked first-person shooters and dismemberment-based fighting games. There are plenty of wholesome games out there, and there's no reason not to enjoy them, if one so desires.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight

[/quote]

You're comparing the article to a jack chick tract? Seriously?

[quote="James924, post:8, topic:252852"]
You're comparing the article to a jack chick tract? Seriously?

[/quote]

I would have to agree with it sounding like a chick tract. Lots of fear mongering in the article.

Are you aware that the best microsurgeons are Video game players?
msnbc.msn.com/id/4685909/ns/technology_and_science-games/t/surgeons-may-err-less-playing-video-games/

[quote="Ne_OrangeKnight, post:7, topic:252852"]
This kind of reminds me of Jack Chick's "Dark Dungeons" tract. :rolleyes:

I play video games, and I'm looking forward to the day that I can play them with my son (who is only 3 months old, currently). We will not be letting anything terribly morally objectionable into the house; but there is a lot more to "video games" than blood-soaked first-person shooters and dismemberment-based fighting games. There are plenty of wholesome games out there, and there's no reason not to enjoy them, if one so desires.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight

[/quote]

There are kids who are genuinely addicted to video games, I've seen it happen to peers, pretty sad. That said I spend plenty of time modding and playing video games. Civ IV and Oblivion are my favorite games, the former due to the complex strategy and the latter due to the many different plays contained in it.

[quote="Catholic90, post:9, topic:252852"]
I would have to agree with it sounding like a chick tract. Lots of fear mongering in the article.

Are you aware that the best microsurgeons are Video game players?
msnbc.msn.com/id/4685909/ns/technology_and_science-games/t/surgeons-may-err-less-playing-video-games/

[/quote]

There is no fear mongering in the article. And the article doesn't sound like a jack chick tract. That is called malicious detraction. Jack Chick tracts are evil, dishonest, anti-catholic, malicious lies. It is entirely dishonest and irresponsible for you to say it is like a Jack Chick tract. I'm a conservative, but I don't go running around saying about writings that I disagree with "that sounds like the communist manifesto" in order to detract from its credibility. That is incredibly immature and childish... and its no surprise that child-men who love video games would resort to immaturity and childishness.

With regard to the neurosurgeon link, I can't tell if you're serious or not. I've seen many so-called studies in the news saying that masterbation caries wonderful medical and emotional benefits.

Anyway, this was suposed to be a discussion on how families feel about video game use, but within just a handful of posts it has been derailed into a thread about the iraq war, "ghetto music," false accusations of likeness to an evil enemy of the church and anticatholic, prochoice msnbc's studies about neurosurgeons.

Thanks for the first couple posts, everyone.

Unsubscribing.

[quote="James924, post:11, topic:252852"]
There is no fear mongering in the article. And the article doesn't sound like a jack chick tract. That is called malicious detraction. Jack Chick tracts are evil, dishonest, anti-catholic, malicious lies. It is entirely dishonest and irresponsible for you to say it is like a Jack Chick tract. I'm a conservative, but I don't go running around saying about writings that I disagree with "that sounds like the communist manifesto" in order to detract from its credibility. That is incredibly immature and childish... and its no surprise that child-men who love video games would resort to immaturity and childishness.

With regard to the neurosurgeon link, I can't tell if you're serious or not.

Unsubscribing.

[/quote]

Well you have me Pegged! Except I am not a child ( I am in my 40s) and I am not a male!
The surgeon fact is very real.

Not everyone who plays video games is addicted, and not everyone who plays is evil! The link you provided was full of fear mongering.

(oh, and btw I am a conservative republican!)

Here is an example of the fear-mongering from the article.

It seems to imply that all video game entertainment is eeeeevil. Which is, of course, ridiculous. Addiction to anything is possible, even addiction to religiosity. However, many others are able to play without being addicted.

.....the dark world of video gaming...like their * back-talking peers who have been over stimulated by all sorts of “entertainment” since birth, *properly grounded Catholic youth should be taught to recognize that God means what He says and that ignoring, flaunting, and mocking His Laws will lead to severe punishment. Children should be taught to have a “healthy fear” of God and those persons to whom He has given authority. This needs to be restored as an integral part of child-rearing practices, particularly when it comes to curbing youthful concupiscence *which is *under constant assault by video gaming. Lastly, if parents have been d*uped into purchasing video games the next step will be more difficult. Keep in mind that evil always portrays itself as attractive, and children and adolescents are, despite their protestations, easily tricked by appearances. So parents need to be prepared for a battle! They need to begin by *getting rid of the video games. And they must say “NO” to all protestations and demands to bring them back into the household.

You also seem to doubt the msnbc link I provided which referred to surgeons who played video games were better trained.
In makes perfect sense. Video gamers have fine motor skills with the controllers. Surgeons require fine motor skills, particularly with neurosurgery, laparoscopy, etc., which is computerized surgery, requiring the surgeon to operate remotely!

Here are more links if you did not like the first:

**kevinmd.com/blog/2010/07/tomorrows-surgeons-todays-video-gamers.html

****electronics.howstuffworks.com/surgeon-video-game.htm

www.psychology.iastate.edu/~dgentile/MMVRC_Jan_20_MediaVersion.pdf


www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070220012341.htm*

usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2008-08-18-video-games-learning_N.htm

**

Judging from the tone of the excerpt posted by Catholic90 and from how the OP compares the counterexample of the MSNBC article to articles trying to justify masturbation with medical benefits… it’s obvious that this thread was never open for discussion to begin with.

Rather, more like open to people who are like him and have some bitter beef with those who enjoy leisure. :rolleyes:

In my family, video games are in fact the only bond I ever have with siblings I would otherwise have very strong philosophical and moral disagreements with. The New Age fad that permeates this household was not introduced via video games but rather by my parents looking for a morale boost as they went into the risky venture of private business. The OP might think this irrelevant but my point is that if there’s anything that keeps us together anymore, video games are in fact one of the few that do.

Not all Chick tracts are anti-Catholic. The man has all sorts of crazy things to say about a number of topics, and the one that I specifically mentioned is anti-Dungeons and Dragons. Have you ever read that one? And it is neither dishonest nor irresponsible to draw a comparison where one is readily noticed. You may disagree with the similarities, but that doesn’t make me a liar.

That is incredibly immature and childish… and its no surprise that child-men who love video games would resort to immaturity and childishness

Why respond to such “immaturity” with such an immature comment? Why not choose charity instead?

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight

[quote="Ne_OrangeKnight, post:15, topic:252852"]
Not all Chick tracts are anti-Catholic. The man has all sorts of crazy things to say about a number of topics, and the one that I specifically mentioned is anti-Dungeons and Dragons. Have you ever read that one? And it is neither dishonest nor irresponsible to draw a comparison where one is readily noticed. You may disagree with the similarities, but that doesn't make me a liar.

Why respond to such "immaturity" with such an immature comment? Why not choose charity instead?

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight

[/quote]

Dungeons and Dragons is fantastic, especially when your group contains actors, artists, musicians and writers. D&D 4E is all about teamwork and cooperation. I'm naturally a paladin, to increase my personal growth I've set up a below average intelligence character that is wise and charismatic enough to make an Indian pay extra on an item (we Indians can be very parsimonious, watch the comedian Russell Peters on cheap Indians)

[quote="Catholic90, post:4, topic:252852"]
So what is the difference between playing a video game together or playing Dominion or Scrabble together? :rolleyes:

[/quote]

That's a valid question. If there's interaction, I'm much less opposed to it, although the violence on the board game is much less realistic than the violence in the video game, where there is violence anyway. Playing Goldeneye against each other is still interactive and not an awful use of time, but playing against people you don't know online isn't necessarily making friends and socializing - it's just shooting against a more intelligent version of the A.I.

That said, a friend of mine was able to travel much of the country by crashing on the couches of people he "raided" with on WoW.

[quote="losh14, post:17, topic:252852"]
Playing Goldeneye against each other is still interactive and not an awful use of time, but playing against people you don't know online isn't necessarily making friends and socializing - it's just shooting against a more intelligent version of the A.I.

[/quote]

True that but it often actually improves your gaming experience to meet and hang out with the people who play the same MMO as you. From my experience, when all my friends decided to play a certain MMO, meeting up offline actually helped us plan for things we were gonna do online.

If it helps, communicating via speech can be a lot faster than just chatting (and I should now, I'm a fast typist XD).

That is incredibly immature and childish... and its no surprise that child-men who love video games would resort to immaturity and childishness.

Using ad hominem and sweeping statements such as this to make your points actually refutes them in a far more decisive manner than any of the respondents could. The article does have a sense of 'fear and loathing' about it and does indeed contain a great deal of scare-mongering.

Well, I guess the OP has left the thread, so perhaps the discussion is over, but I cannot resist chiming in on the video game threads.

As Catholic90 said, almost anything can be addicting. If someone feels they are spending too much time playing video games (or any other leisure activity) to the point that they are neglecting their responsibilities, then that is certainly cause to evaluate one's time management.

But to paint with such a broad brush is not accurate nor helpful. I'm 33. I have a family. And I've played video games for most of my life. My 4yo DD loves watching me play Mario Kart, and she's getting quite good at bowling. :)

Growing up, I knew that homework came first. I never missed an assignment or bombed a test because of video games. I got straight A's through high school. And yet I still managed to master every video game I owned. :p

Not that there haven't been periods of time where I spent more time playing than I should. I'm sure there has been. But all things in moderation.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.