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Author Topic: Sorcery in games  (Read 1287 times)

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Änσnymσus

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Sorcery in games
« on: May 25, 2022, 06:40:07 AM »
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  • There have already been numerous topics on similar issues, but I wasn't sure whether they necessarily apply to my case.
    Growing up as an acatholic I was what one would classify in modern language as a "nerd", reading Tolkien and similar literature and eventually getting involved in the tabletop hobby ( = painting tiny miniatures of soldiers and moving them across a gaming board, pretending you and your opponent are engaged in a massive battle. Yes, the players are 99.9% men, why do you ask?).
    Specifically I am engaged in the Lord of the Rings and Warhammer Fantasy variant. It's a nice hobby and I usually listen to Catholic apologetics while painting. But the background stories of these gaming systems also include sorcery and that is simulated in the game by virtue of rolling dice and having "wizards" cast "spells", the effect being that the opponent is forced to remove some of his miniature models from the board because they have been eliminated.
    I never much thought about this much until recently when I realized that this is indeed simulating and esteeming sorcery on some level.
    Would you say that is inacceptable and something a Catholic should not engage in?

    Änσnymσus

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #1 on: May 25, 2022, 08:11:22 AM »
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  • Do you summon demons or "hidden forces", "the energy", "spirits of nature" "pagan gods" (all of these are demons in disguise) or something similar? or said spells or performed magial procedures while playing this game? or some kind of demonic or pagan ritual?

     If you're not doing any of that I don't see what is the sin.

    Sorcery is a sin because it involves dealing with demons, whether the sorcerer knows it or not, and we cannot serve God and the Devil. We must choose one of them. Either we serve God, or we serve the Devil, but they aren't compatible.



    Offline Drolo

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #2 on: May 25, 2022, 08:12:39 AM »
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  • I answered. I forgot to check the box to show my nickname

    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #3 on: May 25, 2022, 08:17:39 AM »
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  • Do you summon demons or "hidden forces", "the energy", "spirits of nature" "pagan gods" (all of these are demons in disguise) or something similar? or said spells or performed magial procedures while playing this game? or some kind of demonic or pagan ritual?

    If you're not doing any of that I don't see what is the sin.
    This would be the only concern I would have. And even then, it's debatable whether just pressing a button that signifies a "spell" on a keyboard or controller even constitutes sorcery. Because we have to remember the legalistic nature of the demonic. Sorcery isn't as simple as having some made-up sigil and pressing an input command. When I play Elden Ring, me pressing an input command to provide a "buff" for my character that is labeled a "spell" or "blessing" in the game isn't genuine sorcery.

    It's just fantasy and I would only be concerned about occasions of sin and whether or not this hobby serves as a vice.

    I personally still play the occasional video game and when I do I have to ask myself whether the content of the game is an occasion of sin and whether I'm getting "addicted" to it and its turning into a vice which takes away from my duties to my family and God.
    We have to keep in mind that any hobby can turn into a vice, even something as benign as woodworking or piano if it isn't properly ordered.
    "The declared enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics, must be criticized as much as possible, as long as truth is not denied. It is a work of charity to shout: ‘Here is the wolf!’ when it enters the flock or anywhere else." -- Saint Francis de Sales

    "For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:" [2 Timothy 4:3]

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #4 on: May 25, 2022, 08:57:47 AM »
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  • if it's just pressing a button that signifies a "spell" on a keyboard or controller, and the character throws (for example) a fireball it's ok.  for me. But if the character begins to recite a spell or summons a demon, then I would refuse to play or see that. The fireball is fantasy, it has nothing to do with real sorcery, but the other thing is like real sorcery.

    On the other hand, most gamers sin against temperance. If you play 2 or 3 hours a week you are not doing anything wrong, but if you play 40 hours a week (as incredible as it may seem there are people who play video games 40 or even more hours a week) and you neglect your obligations then you are sinning.  Personally, I prefer traditional games like table tennis or table football. But when I cannot access them, because there are no people available, there isn't money or you cannot go because we are in quarantine or they ask for Green Pass, then video games are a substitute for me. They are very cheap in terms of cost per hour and can be played at home. But I play 2-3 hours a week, I'm not an ICEL who spends all day playing in his mother's basement, the problem is that this last profile is too common, and that can't be ignored when it comes to talk about this topic.

    There are also games that are inherently sinful, like games that contain sɛҳuąƖ immorality or blasphemy.

    Violence in games, if I'm not mistaken, is not necessarily a sin because it isn't real violence, nobody is suffering, unless the game recreates it and influences the player to recreate it, in which case they would be sinning due to bad thoughts. For example GTA. But violence like Mario, Zelda, a shooter that doesn't have blood or dismember body parts etc, which the violence is there but the game doesn't recreate it, it's not a sin for the average man. 

    A problem with video games is that they are very modern, the industry was developed in the 80s. So, just as the cinema became more and more immoral around that time, video games were born when this immorality was becoming more and more common.

    At least I understand it that way.


    Offline Drolo

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #5 on: May 25, 2022, 08:58:28 AM »
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    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #6 on: May 25, 2022, 09:05:23 AM »
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  • if it's just pressing a button that signifies a "spell" on a keyboard or controller, and the character throws (for example) a fireball it's ok.  for me. But if the character begins to recite a spell or summons a demon, then I would refuse to play or see that. The fireball is fantasy, it has nothing to do with real sorcery, but the other thing is like real sorcery.

    On the other hand, most gamers sin against temperance. If you play 2 or 3 hours a week you are not doing anything wrong, but if you play 40 hours a week (as incredible as it may seem there are people who play video games 40 or even more hours a week) and you neglect your obligations then you are sinning.  Personally, I prefer traditional games like table tennis or table football. But when I cannot access them, because there are no people available, there isn't money or you cannot go because we are in quarantine or they ask for Green Pass, then video games are a substitute for me. They are very cheap in terms of cost per hour and can be played at home. But I play 2-3 hours a week, I'm not an ICEL who spends all day playing in his mother's basement, the problem is that this last profile is too common, and that can't be ignored when it comes to talk about this topic.

    There are also games that are inherently sinful, like games that contain sɛҳuąƖ immorality or blasphemy.

    Violence in games, if I'm not mistaken, is not necessarily a sin because it isn't real violence, nobody is suffering, unless the game recreates it and influences the player to recreate it, in which case they would be sinning due to bad thoughts. For example GTA. But violence like Mario, Zelda, a shooter that doesn't have blood or dismember body parts etc, which the violence is there but the game doesn't recreate it, it's not a sin for the average man.

    A problem with video games is that they are very modern, the industry was developed in the 80s. So, just as the cinema became more and more immoral around that time, video games were born when this immorality was becoming more and more common.

    At least I understand it that way.
    Agreed, moderation is key. Like any entertainment medium these days, you really have to be careful. It's like a minefield. That's why it's best to avoid it altogether, or, if you do partake, be aware of what the content is ahead of time.

    As for time spent, this is the biggest problem associated with it. If you're spending that much time on any hobby, you really need to reassess your priorities. Because at that point it is a serious vice. I can speak from experience on that one in my past life.

    There was some mobile game I remember coming across that explicitly summons demons to battle on your phone. That, to me, would constitute something that is genuinely demonic and to he avoided entirely.
    "The declared enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics, must be criticized as much as possible, as long as truth is not denied. It is a work of charity to shout: ‘Here is the wolf!’ when it enters the flock or anywhere else." -- Saint Francis de Sales

    "For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:" [2 Timothy 4:3]

    Änσnymσus

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #7 on: May 25, 2022, 11:49:24 AM »
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  • Do you summon demons or "hidden forces", "the energy", "spirits of nature" "pagan gods" (all of these are demons in disguise) or something similar? or said spells or performed magial procedures while playing this game? or some kind of demonic or pagan ritual?

    If you're not doing any of that I don't see what is the sin.

    Sorcery is a sin because it involves dealing with demons, whether the sorcerer knows it or not, and we cannot serve God and the Devil. We must choose one of them. Either we serve God, or we serve the Devil, but they aren't compatible.


    Well no, it's not like that. A player announces that this or that model will attempt to cast this or that spell. He then has to roll dice, his opponent may attempt to prevent the attempt by using dice of his own. Once it is resolved whether the spell is "cast", the effects of the spell according to the rules of the game are applied. So for example an enemy unit receives so and so many hits and that results in a certain number of models being removed from the board. Most of the game works like a traditional wargame and the wizards are more of an addition as well as other fantasy elements. Basically it's a huge game of chess but with much more rules and it includes dice so that players have to account for a certain amount of randomness to occur.


    This would be the only concern I would have. And even then, it's debatable whether just pressing a button that signifies a "spell" on a keyboard or controller even constitutes sorcery. Because we have to remember the legalistic nature of the demonic. Sorcery isn't as simple as having some made-up sigil and pressing an input command. When I play Elden Ring, me pressing an input command to provide a "buff" for my character that is labeled a "spell" or "blessing" in the game isn't genuine sorcery.

    It's just fantasy and I would only be concerned about occasions of sin and whether or not this hobby serves as a vice.

    I personally still play the occasional video game and when I do I have to ask myself whether the content of the game is an occasion of sin and whether I'm getting "addicted" to it and its turning into a vice which takes away from my duties to my family and God.
    We have to keep in mind that any hobby can turn into a vice, even something as benign as woodworking or piano if it isn't properly ordered.

    if it's just pressing a button that signifies a "spell" on a keyboard or controller, and the character throws (for example) a fireball it's ok.  for me. But if the character begins to recite a spell or summons a demon, then I would refuse to play or see that. The fireball is fantasy, it has nothing to do with real sorcery, but the other thing is like real sorcery.

    On the other hand, most gamers sin against temperance. If you play 2 or 3 hours a week you are not doing anything wrong, but if you play 40 hours a week (as incredible as it may seem there are people who play video games 40 or even more hours a week) and you neglect your obligations then you are sinning.  Personally, I prefer traditional games like table tennis or table football. But when I cannot access them, because there are no people available, there isn't money or you cannot go because we are in quarantine or they ask for Green Pass, then video games are a substitute for me. They are very cheap in terms of cost per hour and can be played at home. But I play 2-3 hours a week, I'm not an ICEL who spends all day playing in his mother's basement, the problem is that this last profile is too common, and that can't be ignored when it comes to talk about this topic.

    There are also games that are inherently sinful, like games that contain sɛҳuąƖ immorality or blasphemy.

    Violence in games, if I'm not mistaken, is not necessarily a sin because it isn't real violence, nobody is suffering, unless the game recreates it and influences the player to recreate it, in which case they would be sinning due to bad thoughts. For example GTA. But violence like Mario, Zelda, a shooter that doesn't have blood or dismember body parts etc, which the violence is there but the game doesn't recreate it, it's not a sin for the average man.

    A problem with video games is that they are very modern, the industry was developed in the 80s. So, just as the cinema became more and more immoral around that time, video games were born when this immorality was becoming more and more common.

    At least I understand it that way.

    Thank you. I played video games in the past but had to cut them out of my life because I simply get horribly addicted when I play them. Since these tabletop games require at least one other player in the real life and some preparation, I spend perhaps one evening per month on them. The time investment is mainly the time which is required to paint the miniatures, but it's a recreative way to relax in the evening and I always listen to audio books (or the Dimonds) while doing so.


    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #8 on: May 25, 2022, 12:00:07 PM »
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  • Well no, it's not like that. A player announces that this or that model will attempt to cast this or that spell. He then has to roll dice, his opponent may attempt to prevent the attempt by using dice of his own. Once it is resolved whether the spell is "cast", the effects of the spell according to the rules of the game are applied. So for example an enemy unit receives so and so many hits and that results in a certain number of models being removed from the board. Most of the game works like a traditional wargame and the wizards are more of an addition as well as other fantasy elements. Basically it's a huge game of chess but with much more rules and it includes dice so that players have to account for a certain amount of randomness to occur.


    Thank you. I played video games in the past but had to cut them out of my life because I simply get horribly addicted when I play them. Since these tabletop games require at least one other player in the real life and some preparation, I spend perhaps one evening per month on them. The time investment is mainly the time which is required to paint the miniatures, but it's a recreative way to relax in the evening and I always listen to audio books (or the Dimonds) while doing so.
    Then it sounds to me like you have things well-ordered and needn't worry much about it. It's as you say, like a game of chess. I see nothing wrong in that just because it has the accidents of a fantasy theme. I wouldn't worry yourself too much about it if it isn't affecting your spiritual life.

    But that's just my two cents as a layman.

    I would talk to your confessor about anything more serious involving it and take what I say with a grain of salt.
    "The declared enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics, must be criticized as much as possible, as long as truth is not denied. It is a work of charity to shout: ‘Here is the wolf!’ when it enters the flock or anywhere else." -- Saint Francis de Sales

    "For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:" [2 Timothy 4:3]

    Offline bodeens

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #9 on: May 26, 2022, 01:00:37 AM »
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  • A lot of games have indecent content, but playing, say, a competitive game of Pokemon does not make you an evolutionist. The primary object is strategy, you can abstract the layers away here and you are competing with one set of numbers vs another. I don't think in this example I provided there is even a remote ocassion of sin. You are obviously mature about this hobby but I think the people who play might be a problem. With Pokemon, for example, there are lots of atheists and liberals, so if you are very susceptible to peer pressure social gaming is potentially bad IMO. Lots of "alternative" people play tabletops, I played board games for a while so I can understand and yes, for the people in particular be on your guard.

    DL's example of fake religions and paganism raises a good point, I wouldn't play anything that mocks the Trinity or any game with an ADS false religion. 
    "We dare not even start to hope until the Faith, the true Faith, and its revealed content, are secured in our minds. Only in terms of Faith do we dare to hope."

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #10 on: May 26, 2022, 10:19:10 AM »
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  • I suppose any game can be made into sorcery, if that’s your intention. A person could assign different moral or spiritual entities to a game of chess and make it evil.  The same could be said of the children’s game, Chutes and Ladders.  What about Trouble?  Some numbers could be considered evil, as could the colored pegs!  Think of the potential for idolatry in Monopoly!  The single shoe marker, or the flatiron?     
    I would, however strictly limit time on screen games. Want to play Solitaire? Use a deck of cards rather than a screen. It’ll keep your hands and fingers nimble in your old age.  It worked for my grandmother who lived to age 101!  Needless to say, also stay away from games that call on evil or preternatural forces like D&D or Ouija boards.  Games that reenact history, like strategic war games with ships, soldiers, and real characters, no problem, IMO, so long as you don’t play them to the neglect of your duties or put them above relations with real people.  The good thing about them is that you can stop at any point, leave them set up as is, and resume any time.  Just remember whose move is next.  We do this with chess all the time.


    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #11 on: May 26, 2022, 04:03:52 PM »
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  • DL's example of fake religions and paganism raises a good point, I wouldn't play anything that mocks the Trinity or any game with an ADS false religion.
    What does this mean?

    I've found that a lot of games will make up a religion to avoid offending people, albeit recent years it has become apparent that many Western games do it to mock Christianity or religion in general. One of the only series I still occasionally play are the Dark Souls/Elden Ring games because they have some very interesting themes, see this post from a while back. But, again, it's a struggle with time consumption and my duties, so I haven't touched a game for a good two months now (especially with an infant to help care for)
    "The declared enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics, must be criticized as much as possible, as long as truth is not denied. It is a work of charity to shout: ‘Here is the wolf!’ when it enters the flock or anywhere else." -- Saint Francis de Sales

    "For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:" [2 Timothy 4:3]

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #12 on: May 26, 2022, 05:26:53 PM »
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  • Hellslave just released on Steam, and it's a perfect example of a game to be avoided.

    It's a turn-based dungeon crawler.


    Game description:


    Quote
    Prevent demon’s horde from unleashing hell on this world in this dark fantasy Dungeon Crawler. Fight fire with fire, make a deal with the Devil and choose which demon to worship.


    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #13 on: May 26, 2022, 05:30:02 PM »
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  • Hellslave just released on Steam, and it's a perfect example of a game to be avoided.

    It's a turn-based dungeon crawler.


    Game description:
    Perfect example. Wow. :facepalm:
    "The declared enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics, must be criticized as much as possible, as long as truth is not denied. It is a work of charity to shout: ‘Here is the wolf!’ when it enters the flock or anywhere else." -- Saint Francis de Sales

    "For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:" [2 Timothy 4:3]

    Offline bodeens

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    Re: Sorcery in games
    « Reply #14 on: May 27, 2022, 12:31:30 AM »
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  • What does this mean?

    I've found that a lot of games will make up a religion to avoid offending people, albeit recent years it has become apparent that many Western games do it to mock Christianity or religion in general. One of the only series I still occasionally play are the Dark Souls/Elden Ring games because they have some very interesting themes, see this post from a while back. But, again, it's a struggle with time consumption and my duties, so I haven't touched a game for a good two months now (especially with an infant to help care for)
    Absolute Divine Simplicity, I think any false religion in any game that has anything too close to the truth isn't good either, almost better to be some obviously fake polytheist garbage that isn't remotely believable. Think about Eastern Orthodoxy, if it was explicitly polytheistic (people *becoming* uncreated in The Triads) people wouldn't be fooled but instead you need to understand the Palamite position and most lay EO probably don't even understand why Barlaam left EO in alarm (staring at belly buttons aside).

    I know when I was a kid I thought from the Civilization II tech tree that monotheism is a more advanced form of polytheism :confused:. Just shows though, without catechesis there can be problems. I imagine brainwashing in modern games against Catholicism is very much more advanced though, like attacking ADS/monotheism in more subtle suggestions.
    "We dare not even start to hope until the Faith, the true Faith, and its revealed content, are secured in our minds. Only in terms of Faith do we dare to hope."