Poll Results: Quitting Games on Moral Grounds

Last week we asked you if you "have you ever stopped playing a video game on moral grounds?" The question was inspired by this story about a man who got a refund from Valve because he objected to a certain scene in the Steam version of BioShock Infinite involving a religious rite.

Thanks to the 677 people who voted in this poll. The majority of you – 60 percent (405 votes) – said that you have never stopped playing a game because it offended your beliefs. Twenty percent (137 votes) said "no, but there are games I refuse to play for moral reasons." Twelve percent (80 votes) admitted to quitting a game for moral reasons, seven percent (47 votes) said they have come close to quitting, and one percent (8 votes) said they had quit a game for moral reason but ultimately returned to it later.

The one game that made me almost stop playing was a PS2 title called Drakengard. There's a battle that involves killing giant babies. 'Nuff said.

Thanks again to everyone who voted! Look for a new poll shortly.



Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Sajomir says:

    I don't really understand this argument at all. I am a Christian and I don't want to play games like Manhunt or RapeLay. There's no narrative to be had, just… a lot of things that I find disturbing without any other reason for existing.

    On the other hand, I finished Bioshock Infinite just fine. I always think fictional takes on real-world religions are interesting, especially when they're well-researched. Interestingly enough, the only time I batted an eye at the game was my first melee execution on a clearly female soldier. It was kinda weird, I didn't expect to care about anything like that, but something about the look of panic the NPCs face at the impending claw made me pause for a second.

    The violence itself doesn't bother me. Most sexuality found in video games doesn't bother me. I don't mind playing a game where I'm allowed to make "evil" decisions, because it's all in the context of a game. That would be like saying party games where you try to fool other people are wrong because you're lying. Everyone agrees within the context of the game that they expected to be lied to.

    I guess I just don't understand why I supposedly "as a Christian" can't object to games I feel are wrong, while playing some of the other games I enjoy?

    At the same time, why would Christians want the Bible banned for that sort of content you're talking about? We believe it to be history, not fiction. You wouldn't ban a history book because it talks about a war, would you? The local news because a rape was reported? I'm not gonna argue about anything deeper, I'm just saying that's how most Christians see the good book. You don't cover up history just because bad stuff happened.

  2. 0
    Xlorep DarkHelm says:

    “Moral Grounds” is an ambiguous, and effectively flawed position for anyone claiming to be a Christian to take. It is plain Moralism, which is a confusion between the two main components of Christianity – Law and Gospel. The very notion that you can do anything to somehow earn brownie points with God is ridiculous. Further, it is a arbitrary line to draw in the proverbial sand. Where do you stop? For instance, if you play a game where you are playing an evil character, is that wrong? And if it is, then what about authors that write books with villains in them — because they have to “get into character” for the villain to correctly write about them. Or maybe we should just avoid books with villains in them entirely, to prevent supporting authors that write about evil? Oh, crap… then that means you have to ban the Bible as well, since it definitely has villains in it… See, Moralism is broken. People who believe that they can refrain from sinning by avoiding something like video games are just fooling themselves.

  3. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    As stated during the poll's inception, I usually only refuse to play games based on objections with it's developers.

    The only game I could never finish was Man Hunt. It wasn't the violence itself but the pointlessness of it all. The game really was a "murder simulator", as Jack Thompson might have put it. It's story was shallow and served only as a cheap excuse to kill everyone.

    I don't necessarily agree with why it was banned in New Zealand (there's plenty of games where the primary goal seems to be killing people – notably generic first-person shooters) but it certainly wasn't that fun a game to play.

    Granted, I guess I could stop playing games for similar reasons (Hitman, for example).

  4. 0
    soulmotor says:

    The only game I quit on moral grounds was GTA III.  It wasn't the killing or even beating dudes to death with a dong that bothered me, it was how many times "nigger" was thrown about in the first 10 minutes of the game.

  5. 0
    Imautobot says:

    I would have thought a Christian gamer would have known that there is never anything Christian in a Bioshock game.  Basically this guy played through one game which involved beating a man to death with a golf club (which his character didn't have a choice in), but ultimately objects to the notion of a virtual baptism (which his character didn't have a choice in).  I don't follow that logic.  

    More than likely this was someone who just wanted to get 3 seconds of fame for being the first person to get a moral refund.  Bravo dude, we know your name, now get out of my way I've got skyline to ride.

  6. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "There's a battle that involves killing giant babies."

    If I'm remembering right, Carnevil (an arcade light-gun game) featured a giant baby boss.  Some versions changed it to a giant teddy bear.


    Andrew Eisen

Leave a Reply