Are Savegames a One-Way Ticket to the Fiery Bowels of Hell?

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Oh, wow, the social science boffins over at Terra Nova have stumbled across a blog post by a Catholic priest claiming that the presence of save/reload options in video games is eroding the spiritual fiber of young men and women.

Wait a minute. The video game industry churns out horrors like Japanese rape simulators and games which depersonalize the deaths of millions, and the best thing religious types can find to criticize is…a feature that lets people get up and go to the bathroom?

Father Chris Balka makes his point through statements such as:

“When things are really difficult, [goddamn kids these days] get the codes from somebody else rather than wrestling with the problem.”


“[W]e often receive the greatest blessings in our lives by learning to persevere through the challenges in the great game of life [, UGH].”

Obviously, the poor cleric’s argument is moot, since actually attempting to cheat at most modern games results in either A) eliminating all challenge from the title, thus rendering it a dreary slog, or B) providing an unexpected thrill at manipulating a piece of software and a concomitant intro the the Joy of Hacking.

But, still! His argument provokes a series of deeply important questions, namely:

  • Does anyone else remember how in Neverwinter Nights you could save the game, reload it (resetting all of the enemies to “unaware” status), then perform sneak attacks against all of them? Was that inviting level-up ding actually beckoning us into the warm (pulsating?) embrace of the Adversary/Old Nick/the Morning Star?
  • Is speedrunning more or less the equivalent of presiding over a Black Mass?

More importantly than all of this, though, is the most obvious question:

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