Do first person shooter video games violate the command against murder?

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by shackleton, Sep 9, 2008.

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  1. shackleton

    shackleton Puritan Board Junior

    The thread about watching football violating the Sabbath command made me think of this.

    In fact, not only video games but most forms of media entertainment violate more than on of the Ten Commandments, so how far should we take not violating the Ten Commandments?
  2. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Did the zombie attack first and you shot them in self-defense? :think:;)
  3. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    We should never violate the Ten Commandments. Period. Is it possible to play a game that has violence in it without violating the sixth commandment? I think it is possible, depending on the person. In principle, it is not a different category from boys playing guns and "shooting" one another. It is different in degree, since the violence is all too realistic these days. There are degrees of violence shown in video games, as well. So, the question might be too broad. It might be more helpful to say whether a specific video game violated the sixth commandment by making violence seem too attractive. I think that there are violent movies that dramatically uphold the value of human life. Take Harrison Ford's movie The Fugitive, for instance. Although not a movie for children, I think the movie dramatically upholds the value of human life. Same thing with Air Force One (I really, really like Harrison Ford as an actor!). The problem comes mostly when violence is glorified for its own sake. Violence is sometimes necessary, as in just war theory. Do we want to encourage violent behavior in our children? Of course not. Therefore, it is a matter of wisdom to know how such and such a game/movie will affect such and such child (or adult!).
  4. Galatians220

    Galatians220 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    We can't/shouldn't afford it... To spend money on these things and to bring them into our homes is to countenance their content.

    I think of Philippians 4:8 often, and more and more frequently now, as the issue of "entertainment" for my family and myself intrudes more urgently as the culture coarsens. Uh, you rule out a whole lot of things that are acceptable now to the vast majority of people if you aim to think only of things that are "honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report" (KJV). But what else should a son or daughter of the King, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, give him- or herself over to? :think: Things that are not honest, just, pure, etc.?

    Trying right now to acquiesce to a huge re-working of my own entertainment tastes; the Holy Spirit is one powerful Master of Ceremonies, that's for sure! :) :eek:

    Thank you so much for this thread!

  5. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

  6. shackleton

    shackleton Puritan Board Junior

    I guess technically there is a difference between anything from the Grand Theft Auto series and anything from the Tom Clancy series.

    In the former the character is doing various criminal activities in the later the characters are killing terrorists.
  7. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

    I'm always the good guy. They are always the bad guys. It's extreme justice. I need more ammo. :eek:
  8. Solus Christus

    Solus Christus Puritan Board Sophomore

    I definitely agree with Lane's assessment. Clearly we should always be striving to uphold the Ten Commandments. As for the subject of video game violence I'm not sure it really is so cut-and-dry. Surely it is not edifying but not all "shooting" games could be deemed violent (imagine a clay or trap-shooting game). The problem though becomes stickier as technology improves and tries to give gamers a more "realistic" experience. As your computer simulated opponent becomes more and more life-like I believe that is where more concern is needed.

    Another sticky area is with online games or MMOs. Often your very opponent is another living person, albeit, represented by some colorful pixels. As Lane pointed out it can vary from person to person, but some players see it only as a game, others take it too personally. These latter individuals can end up having murderous thoughts wanting to extract revenge. Obviously this can come dangerously close, if not even, to violating the sixth commandment. Just my :2cents:. A good question Erick.
  9. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Any Halo 3'rs out there? Holla!! You wouldn't want to meet me online hahahahahahaha oh sorry :offtopic:
  10. wturri78

    wturri78 Puritan Board Freshman

    I have to come in on the side of "it depends..." The comment about Tom Clancy games vs. Grand Theft Auto games was well taken. In fact, I was a HUGE fan of the GTA games before I had a sudden attack of conscience (stupid conscience!) and realized I was putting hours into a game that had me killing innocent characters for money and drugs. It was weird...the next time I played the game, I just couldn't do it anymore and it suddenly repulsed me.

    Shame...from a gaming and computer graphics point of view, they were some of the best games made, in terms of physics engines and the ability to interact with the game's environment. Sorry, the computer geek in me just got out again!
  11. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate

    No. First person shooter video games do not violate the command against murder!


    I think it's important to keep a clear distinction in mind between what is reality, and what is fiction.
  12. shackleton

    shackleton Puritan Board Junior

    Somewhat related

    Does shooting people in video games (and watching many violent movies) desensitize the player (watcher) against real life violence?

    I have seen statistics that state that people of the present generation, who are in the military, do not have any compunctions about pulling the trigger on another human being, but in the past it was not unusual to find rifles that had not been fired, presumably laying next to their dead bodies. Is this because of the above question?
  13. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    What if there were a game about sex? Would it be a legitimate game, so long as the game said that the woman was your wife each time? No need to explain the details of the game. This one seems cut and dry.

    It's more difficult when you are killing people left and right, and it looks realistic. Certainly sin should never be seen in a positive or even neutral light. Both are schemes of Satan. If you are a first-person murderer, then, sure, it's wickedness to imaging killing innocent life. If you are a first-person (say) member of Wyatt Erp's group of law-enforcers; then you are dispensing justice, and are not imagining taking innocent life, but guilty life.

    As alluded to, games which glory in the murder of the innocent are used by the devil to desensitize men to the nature of sin, and are part of the depraved imaginations of man's heart from his youth. Grand Theft Auto certainly fits the bill of glorifying lawlessness.

    Generally, the context of a game helps determine whether it's lawless or not. As Scripture uses sin, not to glorify sin, but to condemn it, so a game could.

    Anywho, those are my two cents.

  14. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    I play Sauerbraten every now and then. You're either 'killing' evil looking creatures or when playing multi-player you're 'killing' other players. Of course you're not really killing anyone. The person gets a new life in multi-player mode. Generally I like to wait at the red regen point and kill them off as they regenerate. Either way I'm not thinking of killing people, only clearing out the level in single player or getting flags for my team in multi-player. It's a good hours worth of fun. More than that and I see it when I close my eyes.

    I also like Destroy All Humans 2. Hippies gotta go! What's fun is using your telekinesis to throw them. Generally you're spending your time trying to save the human race. And hiding Mothras eggs.
  15. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    But I think that this is one of the very points at issue. How many teens who saturate their minds with FPSers keep such a distinction clear - lest we forget Harris and Klebold of Columbine infamy?
  16. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    we boot spawn killers!!!
  17. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Be truthful. You know you do the same after somebody frags you.

    Didn't know there were any other Sauerbraten players here.
  18. ManleyBeasley

    ManleyBeasley Puritan Board Junior

    Its fine as long as you're killing bad guys. If you ARE the bad guy then I think there's something wrong with that. I like Halo alot. Call of Duty 4 is even better! You get to use guns that actually exist!! :p
  19. Kim G

    Kim G Puritan Board Junior

    What is murder? I think Christ made it clear that murder is 1) the actual taking of a human life, and 2) hatred in the heart. Video game shooting does not take a human life. If the game causes hatred (for police officers, law-abiders, etc.), then that game isn't appropriate for you (and each person would have to listen to their conscience on this).

    I think the issue of sex, which someone brought up, is the same thing. Adultery is 1) the act of infidelity, or 2) lust. A video game player isn't actually having sex, but it can cause lust, which is still adultery.

    I think it's important to draw your own boundaries where you believe Scripture does (also taking into account the amount of time spent and the kinds of things we're supposed to dwell on). However, we can't bind anyone else's conscience where Scripture does not.
  20. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

  21. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    I've actually never heard of Sauerbraten, but I have played Star Wars: Battlefront 2 in the past with a younger friend, and as far as I am concerned Spawn Killers are personae non gratae in whatever game they may be found. No excuses, you! :lol:
  22. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Any mobster players out on Myspace? I need recruits. I am getting killed on level 27.
  23. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    It may not be murder that is at the heart of the issue with these games. It can be. It can also be lust. There are many kinds of lust other than sensual lust. People lust after many things besides the opposite sex. People lust after the rush they get when playing a game, or the fear factor in a scary game, or the one upsmanship in games, the pride of your skill in killing in the game.

    These games are sin playgrounds. Everything is virtual except the sin in your heart. There aren't real bad guys or good guys, it is all a sham for entertainment. When this is what we seek as entertainment it should give us pause. We can and do suppress the truth from ourselves in unrighteousness when it comes to pet entertainments.

    Just so you don't think I don't know what fun it is, not so long ago my husband and I were playing Gears of War together system link on our two Xboxes. We both shudder at the money we spent on it all now. We sold all our games that would sell less than a year ago. Thankfully God convicted us at about the same time and we have been trying to redeem the time ever since.
  24. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    It's not murder because no one is really dying.

    And, if you like Xbox 360... look at my website

    Mostly COD4 right now. Some Rainbow Six 2, Brother's in Arms: Hell's Highway is coming up. Also, Call of Duty 5 is coming out soon.

  25. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I'm working my way through Bioshock right now. Amazing game!
  26. charliejunfan

    charliejunfan Puritan Board Senior

    when i make mario jump on a koopa am i sinning? :judge:
  27. Answerman

    Answerman Puritan Board Sophomore

    Although I agree with the cautions given in this thread, on a related note, given the advancement in technology where future wars may very well be fought with human controlled robotic units, violent video games could legitimately be used for training, and of course the same cautions would still apply.
  28. staythecourse

    staythecourse Puritan Board Junior

    It is 100% OK and even good to shoot images of man.

    In fact SEGA is introducing the game everyone has been waiting for next month: Virtual Murder (TM).

    In VM (TM) you start as a common thug and try advance all the way to professional assasin!

    After strapping on your Virtual Reality headgear and plug in your cranial chip attached to your frontal lobe you can actually see, hear, feel and even smell and touch your virtual victim.

    With the low-cost upgrade, you can give you victim families, hobbies, and an entire personal history so real that you will be convinced you know them! The advanced AI each of your victims will leave you wondering "Was that real?" with all the anguish of guilt for you desire for your actions (a simple control located on the helmet can increase or decrease the amount of guilt you feel by an elaborate endorphin mechanism.) And besides, when you take the helmet off (if you can pull yourself away for VM (TM)) studies show many people can easily re-assimilate to the Real World and the people they see are real people, made in God's image and should not be harmed but loved. You would never harm a real person, would you. No, but thankfully we have VM!

    You will be amazed as you able to stalk, approach, and take by surprise your VV (Virtual Victim) with all the life-like reactions you could expect from a real person! These reactions are based on meticulous studies of actual murder victims which we incorporate in of VV AI for your complete entertainment. Feel the sense of accomplishment as you remove the evil in your virtual world through your well thought-out tactics!

    So strap on that helmet! Look your victim in the eye! Hear their shrieks! Touch the trigger! And smell their fear! When you are done we are sure you'll find yourself grinning ear to ear and ready to start your next assignment in your own virtual world!

    OK. Bad writing but since we know that games are only meant to become more life-like, what sickness and perversion drives mankind, when he has the technology, to prove their manhood (or womanhood?) in killing? Especially when we are supposed to be going out of our way to be kind to the image of God.
  29. Rev. Todd Ruddell

    Rev. Todd Ruddell Puritan Board Junior

    Sounds like video games have really advanced beyond my last venture into "Asteriods".
  30. Solus Christus

    Solus Christus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Not sure about that, but what happens when people take on the role of Mario in Donkey Kong? :think:


    I guess as long as they don't make a live action version of Grand Theft Auto we'll be ok. :lol:
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