Pat Robertson: Video Game Murder Basically Like Killing Someone in Real Life

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 6 2013 11:41 AM

Pat Robertson: Video Game Murder Basically Like Killing Someone in Real Life

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Pat Robertson in 2007

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Who better to give video game advice than 83-year-old Pat Robertson?

On Friday, noted technology ethicist Robertson devoted precious minutes of The 700 Club to answer the conundrum of a viewer named Nathaniel. Nathaniel emailed The 700 Club to ask: “What do you think the Bible has to say about video games? Is there a way to interpret the Bible for ‘virtual sins’?”

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Of course there is a way to interpret the Bible for virtual sins, Nathaniel. And virtual sins are just as hellacious as IRL transgressions. Sayeth Robertson, who admits he has never played a video game, “If you’re murdering somebody in cyberspace, in a sense you’re performing the act.” With violent video games, books, TV, movies, “you lose your sensitivity to God,” Robertson says. “[Y]ou will grow dead in your heart. That’s the danger of all of this.”

Just to be safe, we should assume this does not only apply to usual suspects like Grand Theft Auto. “Think of the number of animal abuse charges that could be leveled at me for all those turtles I stomped on in Super Mario Bros.,” Timothy Geigner writes on Techdirt.

No word yet on how Robertson feels about the idea of video games as a religion. But we can assume he would be apoplectic—or, if you prefer, apocalyptic.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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