I know violence is bad, but wrestling and exercise/sport are good. Joseph Smith was a great wrestler. So where is the line between violence and ‘grappling’? Is it anger vs competition? Can we fight / spar in good spirits? Then we get into the violent gaming conversation (grappling games, war games, etc.). Is it OK if we’re shooting “aliens” / “bad guys” just not civilians? The For the Strength of Youth manual on entertainment states “Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable.” I’ve heard wise men say we let kids essentially chose their entertainment with some guidelines, focusing on letting them safely explore their interests/talents rather than micromanagement.
What about the stories of the hero’s with their bow and arrow, their sword on their horse, is it so different to have the hero holding a gun? Even scripture characters use “violence” when needed. Should we just say ‘hands off’ policy on violence unless someone is literally trying to kill us?
Can we picture George Washington, Captain Moroni, or Joseph Smith playing war/battle-based video games in their free time? It seems these men of combat who we hold highest in our esteem are they who liked it the least. One the other hand, perhaps what they do for recreation doesn’t matter so much as that they didn’t seek to have too much of it.
I recall a study which showed that those who watch violent media are slower to react with compassion to the suffering/needs of others. This violent media could include film, gaming, or even music with improper lyrics or tones.
As a father, I often take the role of “you can do it, be strong, toughen up, get ready for the outside world, compete, try it on your own, you don’t need help, make your own decision” sort of character. So I’m afraid my liberal view on gaming may be imbalanced when compared to a woman’s view.
I don’t think paintball is bad, so why would a game doing something similar be?
Porter Rockwell certainly liked to shoot guns, and guns are often a friend to the friend of liberty, a tool to be respected and restrained rather than a venom to throw away.
In the book “Daughters in My Kingdom” (published by the church about the Relief Society), one sister preaches that we should not let our children play with guns (perhaps she was referring to very small children? I would agree if such is the case.)
Also Joseph Smith reportedly said that those who tote firearms will one day live to regret that. Obviously, Joseph wasn’t anti-gun, he hired Porter to defend him with a rifle, and Joseph carried his sword when acting as military leader for the citizens of Nauvoo, him being the governor.
To be immersed in blood baths and gore, and detailed killings, these things are obviously not good at all. If a game has a sense of fear and darkness, it is likely not of God. Perhaps the greatest measuring rod is the spirit which the activity produces. If it creates the spirit of contention (which is of the Devil), or if it produces a simple uplifting competitive activity.
as for violence in the games: does it glorify violence? You make the call. Kids wrestle, etc. Some “fighting” is more playful grappling than warfare. I don’t think paintball is bad, so why would a game doing something similar be? Granted it also seems that you’ll need to judge the disposition of the child to see if they are mature enough to remain a peaceable soul if they play such games. The body is a blessing from God which we can use to grapple etc. Joseph Smith liked to wrestle people, and was very good at it. Porter Rockwell certainly liked to shoot guns, and guns are often a friend to the friend of liberty, a tool to be respected and restrained rather than a venom to throw away. There is debate on the subject. In the book “Daughters in My Kingdom”, one sister preaches that we should not let our children play with guns (perhaps she was referring to very small children? I would agree if such is the case.) Also Joseph Smith reportedly said that those who tote firearms will one day live to regret that. Obviously, Joseph wasn’t anti-gun, he hired Porter to defend him with a rifle, and Joseph carried his sword when acting as military leader for the citizens of Nauvoo, him being the governor. It’s also good logic to say that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, and thus we should be armed in whatever grade equipment which the military has, so we could, as a local militia, defend ourselves if ever a tyrannical government sent troops upon us, as happened at that time of the revolution of America. So we see that men must deal in guns and so forth at times. We might consider that the age of man used to be lower than what it is now, namely that 12-year olds were essentially considered often mature enough to have a job, and perhaps a few years later to start a family if another mature candidate of their age so inclined. The historian will understand that we used to consider our younglings our able of understanding mature topics, and participating in the transition to adulthood at a younger season. Today a new advent of transition to adulthood from age 18-25 has risen, perhaps an older standard for maturity (as measured by the willingness to assume mature roles in society, namely those of being a spouse a parent and an independent worker (and yes college students can live on their own with their own created families and be independent workers, they need not wait for all those things until graduating college)). I seems to me reasonable that some amount of becoming familiar with weaponry through video game consoles could be beneficial in the fun aspect (fun is good in and of itself), and the aspect of learning respect for firearms. But to be immersed in blood baths and gore, and detailed killings, these things seem not good at all. If a game has a sense of fear and darkness, it is likely not of God. Perhaps the greatest measuring rod is the spirit which the activity produces. If it creates the spirit of contention (which is of the Devil), or if it produces a simple uplifting competitive activity.
Do not the heroes of the stories go about with their swords, the bow and arrow, and was not their bravery with those tools considered something of high regard? Do not even the characters of scripture at times use weapons? The Book of Mormon depicts that usually it is both parties in a way who are in the wrong, but it also points out that it is better to fight back to defend one’s self than to let an enemy mow you down.
It seems not very different weather the hero wields a sword or a gun. Their hero is noble if he only uses force when absolutely needed, and never to an opponent unworthy of battle, never with by standards who need not be engaged.
It would also seem useless to have a conquest where there is no story, no scenario to show that the battle was needed. And surely if the character warring is doing so for an evil motive, such as taking money from bystanders not involved in declared war of defense, surely such a character is the one who glorifies violence. To glorify violence, to love and thirst for blood, to seek destruction, this is the opposite of the man who only resorts to violence when it is to defend life liberty and property, for these are sacred.
Perhaps it’s just a simulation and violence is only when we are using our body to harm someone else’s body?
I polled groups of primarily large families and homeschool families on their thoughts about violence in video gaming. Here is a synapsis of their comments.
-how does it make you feel about the holiness of life?
-are they in control like any good sport, or losing control?
-are they getting interpersonal skills?
-killing is crossing the line and no longer is ok, it’s not a sport we tolerate
-wrestling is good and right for body and soul
-there must be consent between competitors
-the scriptures tell us to not do violence or anything like unto it, and simulating is like unto!
-does it correctly portray good and evil?
-does it involve strategy, or just violence as the answer to everything?
-remember context, intent, boundaries, cooperation, sportsmanship,
-aggression in man needs to be expressed correctly
-3D simulation tricks the mind and leads it hungry for more since no physical activity accompanies it. Pause often for physical activity.
-is winning more important than people?
-not only have no evil, but have the presence of good, not a void
-sports, not violence, are the channel God has given us to entertain ourselves.
-would I be ok with myself doing this in real life? Do I wish for my subconscious repeat this scene of “my” actions over and again?