Question:

Jeffrey,

I know your busy and don't want to waste much of your time, but I have a question. I have OCD so I think I'm over analyzing everything. 

Anyhow, I have always played the Legend of Zelda series from Nintendo since I was a kid growing up.  I never really have time to play video games anymore anyhow, but I still have my games and would like to play at some point when I have time.  I never really liked the fact that within the storyline they started inserting so called goddesses into the story who supposedly created Hyrule (the fantasy world).  I always in the past simply overlooked it because they used lower case g's in reference to them on screen and they where mentioned very little.  However in the back of my mind I've never really liked their presence in the game at all even though I know its fantasy.

I don't ever want to do anything that would offend our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ or the Father, or the Spirit.  I have always been a fan of this series but will gladly give it up if it is a problem.  I just recently started thinking about it even though I haven't been playing the games.  Naturally I looked up stuff on the Internet and of course there is a bunch of denominational people on there condemning the series.  I don't want to be mean but I'm not going to take advice from people who can't even get the plan of salvation correct. 

I have studied Romans 14, I Corinthians 8 and 10, and Revelation 2.  I've been trying to put it all together and for the most part think I have. My question is: even though I know it may be stupid, is this sin for me to play these games anymore?  This is not idolatry is it?  The one thing I can't wrap my mind around in the Scripture is that in I Corinthians 8:10 Paul makes the following statement "For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idols temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols."  Seeming as if the one with knowledge could sit at meat in the idols temple.  Yet over in chapter 10 to me he is clearly telling them to stay away from an idol feast. Then, of course, Jesus condemns it in Revelation which I have to take to mean partaking in the worship of idols.

I'm sorry about the lengthy question and that it is probably a silly one, but I'm just seeking some guidance.  I over think everything with my OCD problem.  When I have done wrong in the past I have definitely known that I've had serious conviction from the Holy Spirit.  With these things it just seems more OCD related.  Does this make me the weaker brother with the weaker conscience?  I know this is just a fantasy story and is not real, I just do not want to offend my Lord!


Answer:

A video game should be treated the same as any other story. See: What makes some fantasy stories wrong? The biggest difference is that a video attempts to draw the player into the story so that he feels like is a part of the events, much like a story told from the first person. Still, we have to examine what moral choices the story teaches.

I happened to have seen many of the Legend of Zelda games being played. Though a person plays the part of Link, there isn't difficulty telling that this is a story. A part of this is due to the fact that in many places the choices are limited by the game designer, so your own choices are not always included.

Yes, there are goddesses in the story line, but they aren't obviously worshiped by the main character. Rather they are used to assign tasks and reward the accomplishment of those tasks. One of the things that make idolatry wrong is that it is fake. The supposed beings being worshiped do not exist and cannot do anything in the real world. Here in this story, the whole world is fake, including the goddesses the imaginary characters might worship. In other words, I don't see this as much different than reading about another culture that happens to worship an idol. Knowing what they do doesn't make me want to go out and do the same.

If I have a complaint about the Zelda series, it is that in the newer editions, the graphics have become more realistic and the goddesses are too scantily clothed.

Morally, the series tends to emphasize good traits, such as standing against evil and helping others. It doesn't promote sexual immorality, stealing, etc.

As long as you, as the player, realize that it isn't you in the story, but rather this is a story about someone else, then I don't see harm in the story. For parents, things like the goddesses, and the behavior of the characters can make a good discussion regarding what is right or wrong, but like you can discuss a book. But if someone struggles separating fantasy from reality or sees himself as the character in a fantasy story, then it would be better for such a person not to get involved in those types of games.

Jeffrey,

Thanks you so much for the thoughtful response. I really appreciate it! I love the web site and I know it is a place where people can come to get the truth about the true plan of salvation and Christian living.

Thanks again,