Foul Language, Videogames and the Bible


I used to love to cuss at people. Yes, I wasn’t always a Christian nor was I “raised in the church” so swearing was just normal language for me. Finding it in videogames sometimes didn’t surprise me either, nor did I even notice it until I got older since it got more prevalent.

When I would play on my NES, SNES or Genesis years ago, games were made for children and for families to enjoy. As I got older, a lot of games were being released that were mature in rating, especially the infamous Grand Theft Auto. It’s the poster-child for everything wrong in videogames that people point to. Games like Duke NukemFinal Fantasy VII and later on most FPS (first person shooters) games included cussing as part of their dialogue.

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I still do not enjoy games that push so much swearing because I don’t use that kind of language anymore since I’ve given my life to Christ. God has helped me not to cuss, even when I get mad. It’s through His supernatural grace that it happened, not through any other means. So when I am playing videogames that rely heavily on foul language, it bothers me because it reminds me of how I used to talk.

Even so, there are games that I will tolerate a certain amount of crude language. It’s not because I lower my values but because some games use it in a realistic manner. We can’t live in a bubble and pretend nobody cusses in real life, so when a game uses dialogue that may be offensive but is part of the character’s personality then I can handle that.

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Red Dead Redemption 2

My most recent example would have to be Red Dead Redemption 2, which is an M for mature rated game and lives up to its rating. It contains lots of language, but it’s not so saturated and used in every sentence. Often, characters cuss because they are mad, getting shot at, or arguing. I would not recommend this game to a young child or even a teenager, or if you feel uncomfortable with violence.

I have read conversations where people of faith feel it’s alright to cuss and use certain words deemed “bad” because they are just words made by man. They say it’s not a big deal, since those words aren’t even in the bible and as long as we aren’t insulting someone, no harm, no foul. I would disagree, as the bible does mention on how we are to speak several times.

Ephesians 4:29-32
29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

The Apostle Paul was talking to the Ephesians through this letter, giving them advice on how to fix the issues they were dealing with like getting rid of the above behavior. He was encouraging them to be kind and respectful, instead of using words to bring people down.

If your struggling with cursing too much, I’ve been there myself, then ask God to help you with. When you want to use a derogatory word, think of a better way to say it or just replace it. Instead of s***, say “garbage”, instead of f*** say “fudge”. It sounds silly but it’s a strategy to help you start renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) and getting those words out of your vocabulary.

Do you think videogames have too much foul language in them? What is your opinion on those types of games? 

Looking forward to your comments 🙂


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One thought on “Foul Language, Videogames and the Bible

  1. Hi there!

    I don’t think that the verses you’ve provided here strictly speak against swearing, it depends on how you look at it. I’d say language is a tool that we use to communicate and express ourselves. So, “foul and abusive language” gets its negative meaning only through my intention. A word itself cannot be bad or good without context. Swearing can even be “good and helpful”, not towards others, but by yourself. If I hurt myself, it can be helpful to just let out a loud “F**K!”

    It also can help to get rid of (like you cite) “rage and anger”. Of course, it should not be directed towards another person, that’s the opposite of what I mean. Just a quick, “neutral” outburst can help clear your mind, so that you can continue being kind and helpful.

    But generally speaking, you are right. Swearing is not something one should strive to do, as the context mostly is negative.

    All the best,
    Quietschisto

    Like

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