Someone asked a question recently that has had me thinking quite a lot; are violent video games alright to play?
After a lot of thought, I believe the answer is yes, because in almost every case you are playing as the hero fighting evil. There may be death portrayed but no one actually dies. In general, there is nothing wrong to be found here unless you are someone playing games with a lot of hate. Just like lust is adultery of the heart, if we hate someone Jesus says we have murdered them in our hearts, and just like lusting after a character in a game counts as adultery/fornication, I believe it counts as murder if you truly hate a character in the game because it is a heart issue.
Now this thought process led me to think even harder about things and I think there is something to be said about the types of games we are willing to play. Violence isn't automatically evil but there are other things that are, like murder, sexual content, stealing, and so on. After thinking about it for a long time, I have concluded that as Christians we shouldn't be playing games that make you do these things. There are many games now days that either straight up make you the villain or give you the choice to be the villain if you want to be. I believe the former should be avoided altogether because why would any Christian want to be the bad guy on purpose? It goes against everything we are and we should not indulge in sinful behaviors we would be against in real life. I personally am incapable of it, even back at a time when I started to play something as a bad guy, I was never able to get very far at all. It really just bothers me despite it only being fictional characters. I don't think I am the odd one out for this, and until now I wasn't that worried about it, but as Christians games like GTA or God of War shouldn't even be on the table because why would you want to be the villain? I think this speaks to what is in our hearts and if you actually enjoy running around being terrible, that is something I think you should take some time to really think about.
This leaves the games which leave the choice up to you, and I think these fall under your discretion mostly whether you want to play them or not. If the game has made it so that to 100% it you have to do the bad play through, that is something that you should keep in mind because that is a game pushing you to make very immoral choices intentionally. If you are someone that seems to hang out more on the bad side and actually choose to be evil on purpose when you play these games, I would say avoid them because they aren't healthy for you. If you are someone who always wants to be righteous, than I don't see any issue so long as you have no intent to actually do the bad side of things just for the sake of it.
We always need to be cautious with what we do as Christians, we never want to enjoy being evil, even in a fictional universe. We need to avoid even appearing to be evil and do all that we can to follow Jesus Christ. That means never playing games with sexual content, with grotesque violence just for the sake of violence, and games that make you the bad guy. I am not saying this is an easy thing to do, especially in modern times where we seem to slip more and more by the minute, but it is what I believe we are expected to do. So please try and keep all of this in mind when you are looking for a new game to buy.
Finally, if you own games like GTA, my advice is simple: break the disk and throw it out. You will be much better off without those types of games in your life, I promise.
Dedicated to making strong disciples of Christ.
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