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Samantha wrote:

Hi, guys —

As a young adult Catholic (I'm 20), I have a wide range of hobbies, including playing video games. However, the ratings of these games vary for numerous reasons, and it's not always clear to me what sort of content should be considered unacceptable.

  • For example, a game might contain nudity, but if it's in a non-sexual context, is viewing a game like this still a sin?
  • Or, when games use language, that I would never consider using, is it wrong for me to hear this?

Thanks,

Samantha

  { Are viewing or listening to certain video games a sin? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Samantha —

It's not a question of right or wrong, but of whether something is good or bad for you, whether it damages or desensitizes you, whether it presents an occasion of sin.

You are the one to judge that.

Mary Ann

Samantha replied:

Mary Ann,

  • Would I recognize if it was having a bad effect on me?
  • Is there a way I can judge if something is damaging, desensitizing, etc.?

Samantha

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Sam —

If it contains objectively immoral things, it is best to avoid it, unless there is a good reason.
A movie or book can contain immoral events and people, but within a redeeming context.

A video game conceivably could, but generally the nudity, violence, and evil deeds of a video game are for titillation and entertainment. You can get the same eye-hand gaming with other content.

Hope this helps,

Mary Ann

Samantha replied:

Mary Ann,

I have one more question on the topic.

  • What about when characters use bad language, be it in books, movies, games, etc.?

Samantha

Mike replied:

Hi, Sam —

I think we can apply a portion of Mary Ann's previous reply to answering your question.

It's a question of whether it damages or desensitizes you and your Christian morals or values.

  • If you are still under your parents roof and care, they should be discerning this.
  • If you are on your own, financially supporting yourself, you are the one to judge that.

Mike

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