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Question

 

Gramps,

If a video game that is rated T is only rated T because of an optional thing, is it rated T if you don’t do that optional thing? Like playing just dance and it only has that one song with a swear word and that makes it rated T because of that one word. If you choose not to do that one song with the swear word then is it okay?

Sarah

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Answer

 

Dear Sarah,

We here at Ask Gramps often get questions that ask if doing this or that thing is wrong or sinful. In fact, aside from questions regarding the Word of Wisdom these questions might be the most popular ones we get!

Gaming is a very, very popular hobby, especially with young people. There is nothing inherently wrong with playing video games-in fact, often times video games can cross generations and provide a wholesome and entertaining hobby that the entire family can enjoy. Let’s admit the truth though-some video games can be inappropriate, damaging to your faith, or just flat out disgusting. Regardless of their rating, or if they might have appropriate content here or there, it’s never a good idea to support a game that has vulgar content- regardless of if it’s only a small part of the game or not.

The apostles have cautioned us, “not to 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.” They are, of course, exactly right. Instead of asking yourself if you can play a game that has an inappropriate part here or there, it’s probably best to avoid the game altogether.

This is not a condemnation of all video games. There are plenty of clean and fun video games that you can enjoy Sadly, some people in our society stereotype all video games as “immoral” or “vulgar”. This is clearly not the case, and it’s a statement as foolish as condemning all movies just because some are rated R. However, it’s important to understand that we need to be careful about our choices in media and entertainment, and the counsel that we have been given to avoid things that are inappropriate is wise counsel to obey.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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