Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game

Is it a sin to play the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game?

There’s magic, spells, magicians, etc in the game. There’s even a monster card called “The Creator”.


No. It is only a game. It may be sinful for a particular individual if it tempts them to explore REAL magic, but in general, no

I don’t think so, although it has been years since I played the game. As a result my memory of it is kind of fuzzy. From what I remember the “magic cards” simply strengthened your “monster” cards ratings or your total health or they hurt your opponent. I don’t recall any explicit references to the occult (they may have existed in the sense that the show contained some weird things, but I don’t think people would pick up on it from the card game). To most people playing, these cards simply strengthened their side. I don’t feel like any one viewed them as performing a spell. They were just buffs you could activate during your turn. Their opposite were the “trap cards” and they weren’t associated with magic (from what I recall). The magician cards didn’t do any spells. It was just in their name (and card type). Other than that they acted like any of the other standard “monster” card.

Ultimately it’s just a card game and I think the morality of it depends on what the participants put into it. I can’t see playing it leading someone to become interested in the occult. Now if someone knew for a fact that it was heavily based off occult themes and were interested in it for that reason then I’d suggest staying away.

I highly doubt that it is a sin to play this!!!
After all it is just a card game. There is no need to worry about it. :shrug:
I am imagining that those who play it, do so for the enjoyment of being able to play a fun game with their friends.
There is magic, spells, magicians everywhere, it is a common theme everywhere you turn. :pshaw:

No, it’s a fine game. Just don’t turn your hobbies into obsessions.

That’s one “yes”, two “no”'s, and a “highly doubt it”. This might take awhile…

:stuck_out_tongue: Indeed.

Unless you believe you are actually casting spells by playing the game, I think you’re probably fine. :wink:

Thanks for the replies.

1 person says yes.
5 people say it’s not a sin, or they doubt that it’s a sin.

MaryT777, can you explain your opinion some more please?

It’s definitely not a sin, as long as you recognize that it, indeed, is only a trading card game and that you are not actually a wizard casting Monster, Spell, and Trap cards.

No way it is a sin.

No it’s not a sin at all, unless of course you idolize these mythical monsters.

Asking that question here, on a site like this, is going to give you a mixed bag. You are generally going to get this most common response, though:

’ As long as it doesn’t lead you into the occult, it’s just a game, go ahead and have fun just don’t become obsessed with it’

I call this passing the buck. It comes from a lack of knowledge and general disinterest or indifference toward the topic, so the advice becomes ineffectual. It is not a work of charity or an attempt to educate the author (or themselves for that matter). It may, and I believe is, well intentioned, but the view is limited, narrow, and ultimately not satisfactory to the author. You know this is true, or you would not have asked multiple times and kept count as if this is a score board. You want answers. I can give them to you.

I am both a practicing, orthodox Roman Catholic AND a former Yugioh player (played for several years and experienced the highs and lows of this game) and have my own experiences to share. I will give you facts about the game, not opinions. I also have a working knowledge of the game, it’s background, the themes, symbolism, etc. I’m able to tell you about the game from the perspective of being a player, and as a catholic who has done their homework in regards to what makes the game a controversy in a way that not even the general controversy gets right. I can give it to you straight without white washing it and without throwing bible verses at you and leaving you to figure it out yourself; I do not believe that is good charity, either.

My offer to you is that if you wish to discuss this topic privately, you are free to send me a private PM. Be warned, however, I will not give you a simple yes or no answer because this is not a yes or no issue. I can make cases for and against the game, but my duty is as a fellow Catholic, first and foremost. Just expect that if you decide to take me up on this offer. You may not hear what you want to, and you may learn things you had never even considered before.

God bless you.

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Are you able to share this information publicly?

My brother was into that game- it was the thing to be into when he was 12. It was creepy, but mostly because he and his friends played it in a trashy, mostly-abandoned part of town at a store that also had occult items that were far more dangerous than a silly trading card game. I also consider that I’m 12 years older than he is and what was cool to a junior high student wasn’t to a college student (and that those I knew near my age who were into that happened to also have serious emotional maturity issues).

I wouldn’t be so quick to come to that conclusion. Belief that one is participating in evil is no more a requirement for participating in evil than belief in hell is a requirement for going there.

I would share the information publicly, as that would be the optimal thing to do, but I do not offer to do so at this point and time because there have been instances in the past on this website where my replies on similar topics were not well received, understood, or were even jeered at. Rather than risk a repeat, it’s better to deal with the thread starter or the person(s) asking the questions directly, otherwise you are dealing with people’s egos and desire to win an argument (in a public display which is what contributes to the ego) or else outlast you (and anyone who has any experience with forum flaming and trolling knows how this works and ends up). The best thing to do is preempt this by not affording the opportunity to take place. This topic specifically only comes up maybe once a year, if that. Despite the infrequency, it shows to me that this is a concern to people of all ages. I want to make sure that whoever is asking, gets the information they need, and not the static noise.

1 Like

I think it is a fine line when we involve ourselves with fantasy entertainment and we have to be cognizant of the line at all times and guard our faith carefully so that it is strengthened and not damaged because of the fantastical scenarios we encounter there.

I play Magic: The Gathering with two Catholic friends. We have played it for years, the other two since the early days, and none of us are into any kind of occult practice or belief contrary to our faith. We play for fun and fellowship and we regard the game as strictly an exercise in strategy and tactics. If we were a little more conventional we would be sitting there playing Chess. But in fact because Magic is a game favored by teenage boys, we often have guests who come to play with us and we subtly evangelize them with our bonds of friendship. At some point we have all been members of St. Vincent de Paul. We play in an area of town frequented by many homeless and poor young people. In this area of town there are also many bars and ways to get into trouble. We prefer to consider our gaming group as a way to stay out of trouble and a path to self-respect. We certainly feed some egos when our decks prove to be less than stellar and we lose to our guests frequently. :cool:

I am also interested in a lot of sci-fi and fantasy literature. As I reverted to Catholicism 13 years ago, I began to discern more carefully my tastes in entertainment so that I did not spend time involved in morally offensive pleasures. Many sci-fi writers are atheists and liberal and tend to regard novel-writing as a sociological experiment to propose their own utopian or dystopian fantasies. As a Catholic I already have an idea of Utopia, thank you very much.

But I think a parallel can be drawn here that if Christian writers such as JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and JK Rowling can incorporate fantasy magic and wizardry into their fiction, then it stands to reason that a strategy game that is based on such things is not intrinsically bad. But Otaku could have more information for us on that matter. If these games are based on paganism or atheism or occultism and their “fantasy” magic evokes actual undesirable elements, then it can be rightly condemned. On the other hand, the arts have always drawn on non-Christian influences and sources while converting these references into thoroughly Christian allegory or representations. JRR Tolkien certainly wove fantasy themes from neighboring cultures into a thoroughly Catholic mythos. So it is possible.

The question is, what are the stances and aims of the authors of these card games? Do they intend to Christianize their influences? Do they make no judgement at all on faith and morals, and just intend to entertain? I have to say that with a thoroughly Japanese pedigree for its origin, Yu-Gi-Oh and its creators seem to be deeply influenced by Oriental culture and philosophy, and not so much by Christian faith. So to me it is clear that this is not an attempt to Christianize fantasy. The unanswered question is whether this can be regarded as a strictly secular curiosity, and whether any philosophy or religion is emphasized in the game’s mythos that might conflict with the Christian faith. It might be hard to find these answers for ourselves without experiencing the game.

WIkipedia’s story is an interesting read, albeit nearly completely without references. If it is to be taken as truth, to me it portrays a mythos drawing partly on occult and pagan legends and a publishing company willing to do a half-hearted coverup to lend it legitimacy in the United States.

Thank you for all the responses!

I’ve never played this game but it doesn’t sound any more “sinful” than Dungeons and Dragons (which I don’t consider anything more than a fantasy game, therefore not sinful at all).

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