What about violent video games?

    “What about violent video games?” New Era, Sep. 2007, 30

    “I know that being violent is wrong, but what about video games?”

    Spending time relaxing is an important part of life. We all need some free time to spend with activities of our choosing—reading a book, listening to music, watching a movie, playing video games. However, monitoring the quality of your entertainment is essential in following the Savior.

    For the Strength of Youth states: “Depictions of violence often glamorize vicious behavior. They offend the Spirit and make you less able to respond to others in a sensitive, caring way. They contradict the Savior’s message of love for one another” ([2001], 19).

    When questioning whether a video game or any other form of entertainment is acceptable, ask yourself, “What is this game trying to represent? Is it drawing me away from the Spirit?” No matter how clever or skillful or fun, the game isn’t worth playing if it damages your ability to receive and respond to the Spirit.

    Elder M. Russell Ballard has said: “Limit the amount of time spent playing computer games. How many kills you can make in a minute with a computer game will have zero effect on your capacity to be a good missionary” (“The Greatest Generation of Missionaries,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 48).

    With video games, it’s not always what you’re doing that’s the biggest drawback, but what you’re not doing. If you’re wasting valuable time in front of a monitor in a virtual world, you’re keeping yourself from the blessings and joys of the real world. Instead, spend time with your family and friends, play sports, or attend service projects and other activities that make your life more fulfilling.