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.


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.

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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When not conquering digital worlds in video games, he can be found reading, watching anime, listening to music writing, and just enjoying life as a geek in the city.

3 thoughts 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,

  2. I work as a sign language interpreter, so the conversation of language and language type definitely piques my interest. It is part of my job to vocalize and sign swearing, cursing, taking the Lord’s name in vain, etc. It was a huge struggle, and I believe I’ve been blessed to not have to interpret a bunch of that in my near 10 years in the field. Related to interpreting, if I am in front of an abortion support group (for example), I would spell the word in ASL, as opposed to signing the sign for abortion (a very visually graphic sign), so as to not add any undo trauma to those involved. If I were to sign the sign for abortion, I feel like that crosses the line of language into “sin-potential” territory, depending on my motive. I think that’s what it has always boiled down to for me: motive. What is the motive behind my language choice, is it healing, hurting, praising, etc? I know this is a cursory delve into the subject, but it’s a hint at my approach. In general, personally I don’t use much “cussing” language in my own day-to-day, but I don’t begrudge the believe that does. Speaking not out of love, I’ll call them on that every time.

    1. Hey there Matthew, thanks for the comment! Yes, motive is definiltely something we need to consider if we are concerned about what we are saying. Our words have power, life and death is in our tongue. You can insult and cuss someone out and that may traumatize them or they may remember it all their life. How many times can we remember negative comments from years ago that people have said to us.

      And yeah me too, I am not out to begrudge believers, BUT as Christians we need to have standards and be separate from the world. Jesus Christ was the first one to point out that we need to live a holy life, pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

      Thanks again for your comment, hope you check out my future posts 🙂

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