Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
back
Church Internals
Church History

Laura Coutinho wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a friend who recently stopped role-playing with an online group because in the game we pretend that there are magical creatures who are using magic ceremonies and spells. There are also devil characters. My question is:

  • If we know it is pretend and do not practice magic or devil works in real life, is such role-playing is still evil?
  • Is it evil to play an evil character in a drama game?

I have since then stopped playing that particular version of the online role-play as well, because
I am just not sure.

Any guidance, advice, or even opinions would be appreciated.

  • Also, on a similar note, is it evil to write fantasy stories if there are evil characters in the book?

My book is a fantasy one and my evil character is a devil who has magic.

Laura Coutinho

  { Is pretend magical role-playing OK and is writing fantasy stories with evil characters OK? }

Mike replied:

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the question.

You said:

  • If we know it is pretend and do not practice magic or devil works in real life, is such role-playing is still evil?

It depends.

As Catholics, we look to the Saints as models of virtue and holiness to follow.
That said, for this or any similar question, ask yourself:

  • WWStTAD?
  • What Would St. Thomas Aquinas Do?
  • Would St. Thomas Aquinas role-play a magical creature just because it is pretend and not real?

I don't think so.

That said, while I have not been involved in any role-playing like you are describing, I have played other on-line video games that follow a similar pattern. There is no doctrinal Yes, or No answer to this question as it is a matter of prudential judgment.

In my opinion, it's a question of whether it damages or desensitizes you and your Christian morals or values. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a firm understanding of my Catholic faith?
  • Do I practice what I preach when I call myself a Catholic?
    • Do I renew my covenant every Sunday with the Lord at Mass?
    • Do I go to Confession on a regular basis, like once a month?
    • Do I pray daily/regularly?

Our behavior can be easily swayed into a unhealthy spirituality if we are not sacramentally grounded in the faith with a good prayer life.

In a college or university setting it can be very easy to rationalize such behavior as not sinful. Because your questions are similar to those we have received on video games, I've pulled these web postings from our database in the hope they may provide additional help and advice:

You said:

  • Also, on a similar note, is it evil to write fantasy stories if there are evil characters in the book?

My book is a fantasy one and my evil character is a devil who has magic.

Sounds to me, you are looking for an approval on a decision you have already made. Personally,
I can't condone writing fantasy stories with evil characters in the book, though my colleagues may see it differently.

I hope this helps,

Mike

John replied:

Hi, Laura —

You said:

  • Also, on a similar note, is it evil to write fantasy stories if there are evil characters in the book?

It is certainly not advisable. I don't go so far as to say that it is evil — as the person doesn't usually get into this sort of thing thinking in terms of wanting to do something evil, but it is a gateway.

We have to be careful not get too fundamentalistic about these things. Some people would go to the extreme of saying that the Harry Potter movies are sinful to watch. Well, the next stem would be saying science fiction movies like Star Wars or Star Trek are evil.

Fantasy literature and stories that contain magic, like the Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of Rings, or The Hobbit, for instance, have clear Christian overtones. They were written by Christian authors and serve as allegories.

The people that get involved in these games aren't evil but as I said, these sort of games become gateways. People can get lost in their characters and they may start to experiment with magic.

Then it becomes a real problem because you are inviting the demonic into your life so I would stay away from them but I would also be careful about labeling them as evil. When you do that, you turn people off to the message that they should stay away from them and they won't take you seriously.

John

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.