The Pope Speaks His Mind on Video Game Violence

A new voice has joined the fray regarding violence in video games, and that voice comes directly from Pope Benedict XVI, head of the Catholic Church. In remarks made in the annual papal message for World Communications Day, Pope Benedict said, "Any trend to produce programs and products–including animated films and video games–which in the name of entertainment exalt violence and portray anti-social behavior or the trivialization of human sexuality is a perversion, all the more repulsive when these programs are directed at children and adolescents.”

However, Pope Benedict did point out that the responsibility of policing content and educating children in regards to what is acceptable media is primarily the job of parents. "Educating children to be discriminating in their use of the media is a responsibility of parents, Church, and school. The role of parents is of primary importance. They have a right and duty to ensure the prudent use of the media by training the conscience of their children to express sound and objective judgments which will then guide them in choosing or rejecting programs available."

He pointed to the immense influence that the media has on young people, saying that the industry could help in educating children properly by promoting "… fundamental human dignity, the true value of marriage and family life, and the positive achievements and goals of humanity." He called upon the leaders of the industry "to safeguard the common good, to uphold the truth, to protect individual human dignity and promote respect for the needs of the family."

While it is highly unlikely that the heads of the major media corporations will take action on the advice of Pope Benedict, his speech certainly adds additional fuel to the fire over the debate of who is responsible for keeping inappropriate game content away from minors. But if Pope Benedict’s recommendations are taken to heart, it would seem that–in his view–the responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of parents.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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