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Sermon 52 "Is It Sinful to Play Violent Video Games?"

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The Red Cross has recently raised the issue of investigating whether the Geneva and Hague conventions should be applied to the fictional recreation of war in video games.

 

In other words, they are asking if humane treatment should be enforced in video games that simulate war. Is a gamer guilty of vicarious war crimes if he violates international law regulating the conduct of war?

 

Or should video games operate free from the humanitarian laws governing physical combat and treatment of prisoners?

 

What message is being conveyed to gamers if they can commit sadistic, brutal acts of cruelty in a video game that would not be acceptable in real life?

 

In this episode, we'll consider what sin is, how it darkens the heart, and whether cruelty in the imagination, in a fictional realm, is as bad as committing a violent or perverse act in real life.

 

Is it a matter of separating fictional activity from actual events or is it an issue of what is motivating a person to imagine a sin that he might not ever commit in real life?

 

What does the Bible say about mental sin vs. actual physical enactments of sinful behavior?

 

Is there a sharp division between imagination and actualization? 

 

Should Christians consider violent video games as just entertainment, fun, and fictional? Or should Christians abstain from all forms of evil, including vicarious crimes?

 

Is sin a physical act or can it also be just a thought? Is sin a mode of ungodly behavior or can it also be an attitude of heart, an orientation of soul, a mental event?

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