Violent Videogames: Are they okay for Catholics?

This isn’t about me, the only video games I play are Pokemon games. This is about my husband, who is not only a compulsive gamer, but also a game designer. I really hate violent video games. I don’t think they’re fun, and I don’t see the point in playing a game that teaches you how to kill people. Am I just being crazy? I mean, even the Priest at our Church plays violent video games (him and my husband had an hour long discussion about Bioshock Infinite.)

First off, while Bioshock Infinite is quite violent, it is so, so much more than that.

It’s just like anything else, a form of entertainment, not to be taken too seriously. So long as it’s not overly glorifying the violence (like, say, Mortal Comat) I see nothing wrong with it; so long as you’re old enough to recognize it as entertainment, and nothing more.

If you can discern video games from reality, you are able to handle playing violent video games. I’ve played them my whole life and yet I haven’t murdered anyone or feel the compulsion too. It is entirely on the individual and their mental state. But even for those who are chemically imbalanced, violent video games aren’t to blame. If they don’t get their trigger in those, they’ll find them in violent movies, violent music and/or violent novels. It always bugs me hearing groups condemn video games citing real world violence. Same argument for guns. While I don’t necessarily agree with certain guns being available to civilians (that’s a separate discussion entirely) I do recognize that “guns” do not kill people. “People” with guns kill people. If they did not have a gun, they’d use a knife. Or their car. Leave my video games alone! :thumbsup:

I personally think we should avoid violent things, because they ultimately do no good for our souls or our relationship with God.

I would refer you to Mark 7:14-15.

I do think people should be careful discerning about the type of games they expose themselves to. There is an effect. Not all violence is bad, but when it is pointless, glorified violence…hmm…I have been re-examining what I used to play recently, wondering about its merit (ex. fighting games).

I never really played Bioshock series too deeply, but from what I understand, (at least from Bioshock 1), the dark setting involves various philosophical themes, which may have been what your husband and priest were discussing.

2413 Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.

While “Gaming” is not gambling, they share the basic principal & entrapment into sin. I have meet many football widows, video game widows, & even FB farming widows. They all suffer from becoming “enslaved” into an enjoyment which becomes all consuming creating the person to become negligent to family, friends, & even work. This is where they get separated from love.

I’m kind of torn on the issue. I actually played quite a few violent video games and viewed violent media as a child. I’ve never been in a fight in my life, so ideas that violent media and violent behavior are linked make me kind of suspicious.

That being said, I have increasingly seen that kind of violent media as more and more distasteful as I’ve gotten older. I just don’t like violent things. When I was a child, it didn’t occur to me much. But now it bothers me more. And really, it kind of troubles me that seeing that sort of violence didn’t bother me much as a child.

So I don’t know. I don’t think it always causes the violent personalities that people think it does. At the same time, it doesn’t really enrich or polish the soul much, either. If you spend time with, keep it on tight reigns.

Look, if we were talking about [insert FPS like Battlefield or CoD] you might have a point, but Bioshock is actually fascinating from a number of points of view.

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