I’d like to know what traditional Catholics (of all ages, I’m 33) think about video-games as a form of entertainment in the light of our Catholic faith. Have you had good experiences? Bad ones? If you play them, do they seem to take you away from spending time with God? Are they a form of entertainment that Catholics should avoid or indulge in, and why?

As for my experience with video-games, I’ve found that I spend too much time playing them (while ignoring the other talents God has blessed me with) and not enough time in prayer. I also found that after playing them I couldn’t pray as easily. Practicing the presence of God seemed to be too difficult for me and so I decided to stop playing them completely. Aside from those issues, I found that many of the titles that I owned had a fair bit of verbal blasphemy in them. In fact one time, as I was playing Splinter Cell: Double Agent, one of the characters in the game took the name of our Lord in vain and I immediately felt a sense of deep grieving in my soul which my fiancé pointed out to be the Holy Spirit reacting in me. I’ve since then gotten rid of the game and wrote a complaint letter to its developer Ubisoft demanding that they stop developing games with sacrilegious content.

At any rate, I’d like to end off with a plug for an awesome book I’ve recently bought which is helping me tremendously to rediscover what I’ve lost over time. Its called “Prayer for Beginners” by Professor Peter Kreeft. I **strongly **advise this book to anyone who is having a difficult time understanding prayer, how to pray, or has any questions about it. God Bless you all, and thanks in advance for your replies…

Dominus Vobiscum,

I’ll be honest. I used to play video-games when I was a teen and my early twenties before I became a Catholic trad.

I don’t play them anymore and no longer have my Playstation.

The reason was that I realized I was getting older and entering my mid- twenties. I had to mature and grow.

Video-games I believe have been harmful to kids because they are violent and kill brain cells by staring at the TV for hours. They keep kids from playing outside and reading.

Video-games have also delayed maturity. They are for kids. We have men who in their twenties should be growing up and leaving childhood behind. Generations before us were working, getting married, and raising families.

I think it depends on your personality and also your choice of video-gaming.

I have seen with my own eyes some people who should never be allowed near a video console. For whatever reason, they have addictive personalities. It turns into an obsession of sorts, even if it outwardly seems reasonable (such as 1hr a night playtime).

I’ve also seen some pretty strange games out there.

Oh, I guess now is a bad time to mention that I have gone bonkers over Gears of War. I can’t wait until Gears of War II comes out. The thing is, I never played video games before that and I wouldn’t play if not for the online option.

Maybe it is my feminine side? :smiley: But I love the ability to play a video game online with someone from across the world and talk to them/see them while playing. It is a ton of fun to play with someone from the UK b/c their terms are hard to understand at first.

As for how it affects my Catholic faith, I haven’t felt any concern over that because I have always made sure to schedule faith-related things as a top priority. In fact, I am more concerned about the way work affects my faith than videogames. (Stress, working on Sunday, giving up weekday mass, being tired and angry, etc…)

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with videogames. They get a bad rap, but some of that is undeserved.

The problem occurs when they are abused. By this I mean if all you do is seek out blasphemous, overly violent games and play them so much that you lose your job–well then yes, that would be sinful. They could also be sinful if you spend too much money on them.

In themselves, they are no more sinful than sports, music, movies, TV, comic books, radio, internet, magazines, ham radio, computers, or pretty much any hobby. They can be either decent entertainment if the games are wholesome and enjoyed in moderation or sinful if otherwise.

I know people who spend thousands of dollars on their dogs, and seemingly spend more time with them instead of their children – yet dog lovers don’t have a bad reputation. IMHO, such extreme dog lovers are sinning. That is an example of a hobby gone wild.

Please read this:

I have no problem with video games as long as they are done in moderation and not violent or sexually explicit. Many of the games for the DS fall into this category, such as Animal Crossing: Wild World, Dogs, and Brain Academy. However, if video games of any type are an occasion of sin, please abstain from them.

I think that one of the things that us Catholics sometimes look for is someone to say like “alcohol is evil because people can be addicted to it.” I know for me personally, I wish I could have a moral objection to a roommate’s music, or such. However, I think that many things that are enjoyable in life (not all things, as porn is just evil for example) can be done in moderation. I guess what I’m saying is that if you neglect your responsibilities such as prayer, work, Mass, and caring for people you are responsible for, then it becomes sinful. But, St. Paul mentions that there is a time for so many things, and I think that if video games are part of your recreation and do not interfere with your responsibilities, then the only issue is whether you’re playing Mario Party vs Grand Theft Auto.

Personally, as a student in his early 20’s, I just don’t have the time for video games usually, but I do enjoy occassionaly playing a friend in MLB.

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