When I was on my way to give a workshop on ‘Catholics and Social Media’, I came across a room that read, “Catholics in Gaming.” It made me really confused and at the same time really fascinated. I was, and still am, a hardcore gamer so this made me inspired to write this. Hopefully, gamers and Catholics would appreciate, relate and learn from this short realization.
Gaming has been a fad or even a cult in the past 30 years. Fan boys and girls have emerged from different countries and cultures. I remember picking up my first joystick of a Family Computer playing Rockman battling robot masters such as Cutman, Gutsman and the evil Dr. Wily. From then on I was hooked. Others’ first experience in games were Mario, Tetris, Pong for the older generation, and Warcraft for the younger generation, but the experience was the same, we were instantly engrossed by video games. The feeling pumped my blood when I first beat the first boss of stage one or from when I executed my very first hadouken. Why are people so addicted to video games you ask? Simple, it’s crazy fun. Gaming has become a phenomenon and has millions worldwide asking for more. This is why it is so important to talk about this topic.
The next question is, “How can I become a Catholic in gaming?”
Say No to “Bad” Games.
A lot of games give you objectives that outright go against good moral values. Games like Grand Theft Auto would ask you to shoot a person, steal a car, or have sex with a prostitute for you to move on to the next mission. Thrill Kill is a senseless fighting game where four characters fight each other in mortal combat. Senseless because there’s no story and the game really wants you to kill your opponents in all brutality. The Postal series, a first person shooter, will make you chop of civilians, kick dogs in half and shoot guns made out of the bottom part of the human body. Avoid these games! They are (I repeat) senseless! No moral value, no social value, no value at all! I don’t care if GameSpot rates GTA with an excellent score of 9/10, they have no contribution to your life and make you unlearn everything that is good.
Choose the Light Side.
Some games make you choose your actions and decisions of your controlled character. Games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, InFamous, Knights of the Old Republic, Dishonor, and Elder Scrolls make you, the player, decide on your character’s path and this in effect affects the whole story of the game. Always choose to be the good guy. Thou shall not steal, lie, covet your neighbor, or kill even in games (as tempting as is it). When you hear the words, “Finish Him/Her” in Mortal Kombat, stop doing those series of buttons you usually do for a Fatality. Just punch the guy unconscious.
Keep the Trash Talk Clean.
I love trash talking my opponents. It pumps my competitive drive. But I’m always conscious of what I say to the person I’m against. Avoid cursing and saying bad words to your opponents. I know this will be hard, believe me, I was a potty mouth whenever I play Tekken 3 until I decided to stop. If you have nothing good to say, then don’t say it at all. I’m talking to you online gamers! The thing with online games, players are miles away from each other and their personal information are either fake or non-existent. This makes them braver, bolder and stupider. They start insulting and cursing their opponents because they think they’re untouchable. I’m tired of hearing players talk a bunch of trash in DOTA. Mute them or block their messages so not to get me riled up. It’s OK to trash talk as long as you and your opponent are aware that it is for the sake of competitiveness and it’s nothing personal. Once you make the trash talk personal, it’s time to get personal to a priest and confess.
Realistic but not Real.
The PS4 and the Xbox One were just released and man(!) were the graphics so realistic! I swear, I thought I was watching a real NBA game when I saw NBA 2K14 displayed in a TV in SM. Not only the graphics, but the stories in games are getting more realistic. They make you think that the events in each mission actually happened in real life. An example is Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft uses real time historical events and relates them to the Assassin (your game character) you are controlling which makes the game mind blowing. When you play games like these, make sure that you are secured in the real world and secured in your faith. Some theories in the game are similar to the book and movie, Da Vinci’s Code, may shake your reality and may shake your faith. Remember, these stories are not real and purely fictional.
Video games are a part of our modern society, and many games are subliminally or purposely against our Catholic values and beliefs. Always remember that we are Catholics in the real world and in the cyber world. Be Catholics even when you are holding that joystick, keyboard, or mouse.
By the way, I accept any challenges in 2K14, Tekken, FIFA, MvC, or DOTA. Bring your ‘A’ game! Hahahaha!
GG!. Game on and God bless!