A University of Missouri study analyzed an unusual topic, recently. We are all aware of the debate over whether violent video games impact youth. This debate has been raging for years, especially in the wake of games like the Grand Theft Auto series that seem to glorify violence and a criminal lifestyle. However, until now, no one had really studied religion in video games. The study analyzed a few popular video game titles that had a religious element. Some featured a fictional religion within the gaming world, while others dealt with real-world religion, namely the Catholic Church. The twenty page study found that video games with religious undertones glorified the more violent side of religion. For example, one game, Assassin’s Creed, focused on the religious crusades and all the atrocities that were committed there in the name of religion. Others had fictional religions embroiled in crusades and wars of their own.
This is an interesting study, but the question is what is being insinuated? Are we trying to say that youngsters playing these video games are being encouraged to start a religious rebellion? To take to the streets and kill in the name of God? The problem is that religion, unfortunate though it may be, has always been tied to violence, going back thousands of years. This is nothing new, and these kids should be learning just as much about the topic in their history classes as they are in video games.
Sometimes it is what it is.