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

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

74220070
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’?”

Advertisement

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. 

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.