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Alex Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can a person commit a mortal sin by playing a video game?

The reason I ask this is because I understand that the Catholic Church teaches that sins can happen in the heart (such as lust).

  • Is it possible that killing someone in a game is equal to killing someone in the mind or heart?

Thank you for your help.


  { Is it possible that killing someone in a video game is equal to killing someone in the heart? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

It is not exactly the same the thing, although imagination can take you quite far.

Most games are benign but there is certainly an occasion of sin for those who carry it to the extreme. Consider children: they see the world as full of good guys and bad guys. There is really no in-between. For them, killing the bay guys is a noble and good act. They are simply acting in justice.

There can be a certain element of this even in older folks who play these games — their imagination plays out the good versus evil theme. So, really no problem exists in this context.

For those who seek a thrill in killing, for killing sake, or some other motivation that springs from evil in the heart, there is sin.

  • How can you know the difference?

It may not be apparent to the human observer but God knows the difference. Examine your own conscience to know where you fall. So, you are right in saying that it can be perilous, even analogous to lust.


Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear Alex,

I just wanted to add to Bob’s answer from questions we have answered in our database.

This posting had two other postings, inside our answer, that are related to the question you have asked, so make sure you read them too!


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