Fallout New Vegas: Comments from a Christian

Update:  If you’re interested in the newest Fallout game, I have a detailed (two-part) review here, Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Overview) and Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Story)Note:  Here’s another FNV related article, a detailed look at the Honest Hearts DLC and its By the Waters of Babylon theme.  Thanks for checking them out!

Having played Skyrim so much, and liking it (for the most part), I finally ventured to play some other Bethesda games.  I played Fallout 3 for a while, then started Fallout New Vegas.  I was initially not going to get the game at all, simply because of its name.  I have no desire to go to Las Vegas, and deplore the “please sin in our city and enjoy committing adultery” TV ads put out from that place.  I was concerned that the game might glorify sin, although I was a bit confident that Bethesda as a company – while trying to appeal to the widest possible audience for its games – was still not into the glorification of bad behavior.

I like role playing games (RPGs), which Skyrim and the Fallout series are (my son plays Borderlands and tells me it’s an RPG, but it seems to have less freedom about it and simply more shooting – I just don’t think of it as an RPG).  Skyrim is more free however (and beautiful), it seems to me, with more rewards for exploration, than the Fallout games I’ve played so far.  These games let you fulfill your desires for adventure, for completing difficult tasks, and for mystery-solving.  So while these games are gory, crude (some sections of the games, and some game add-ons, have very crude language), and even sexual to a more or less degree, their verbal and moral choices contents are not much different than the real world.  The gore in the Fallout series is pretty nasty though, and there’s no way to turn it down.

And if you didn’t know, the Fallout series takes place in the somewhat distant future, after a major nuclear war.  The look is not futuristic, but more like retro 1950s (apparently evoking the falsehood of post-WWII optimism).

If you’re wondering if your teens should be allowed to play Fallout 3 or New Vegas, I think I would be criticized by many for saying “it depends.”  Fallout 3 does not have the sexual content that New Vegas does, that I’m aware of (Fallout New Vegas has at least two females that you can “sleep” with, and they aren’t spouses), though it does have some pretty crude language in parts.  The reason why I may seem wishy-washy about this is that, while I homeschool my son now, he had been to a small Baptist private school for two years, and what he heard and learned while there was nothing at all different than what is in the Fallout games.  What kids are exposed to these days is horrible, not just that they learn bad words or sexual things, but that so many kids are very selfish and promote actions that hurt others a great deal (and these often involve sex).  Truly, we live in a fallen world.

But to be more specific, Fallout New Vegas is not a game for older teens unless they’re very mature and have experienced the crudities of real life already (or read books with similar content).  One can play Fallout New Vegas for the adventure and play a good character.  Since it is an RPG, one can make all the best choices and do a lot of good in this fallen and war-torn part of the world, and basically ignore people and quests that are unethical.  That’s part of what a role playing game is, after all.  Whether you choose to let your older teen play it may depend, too, on your weighing of the game choices available for older teens.  Do you choose games that are simply all shooting constantly, like Black Ops II, or Borderlands II–which is inbetween an RPG and first person shooter, in my view–, or games that are non-violent . . . well, you might be wishing for too much there . . . though there is Minecraft (which both my husband and son like to play) and sports games (which they don’t).  And, of course, it would depend on your teen’s attitude – does s/he simply want to play a challenging game that is basically realistic, or are they out to experience a sinful fantasy?  If the latter, then no matter the person’s age, there’s a problem there if one calls themselves a Christian.

Basically, these games are like living in a fantasy book, where you make the moral choices while battling for your life.  And while dealing with gore.  If the gore takes too much effort to deal with, don’t play the Fallout series.  Skyrim has very little gore compared to these.

Some other comments.  If you buy the Ultimate Edition of Fallout New Vegas, it comes with all the additional content.  “Old World Blues” is good to play as early as possible since it has your own home in it with all the work stations, and talking appliances.  It has quirky juvenile humor.  “Dead Money” is very unpleasant and there isn’t much reason to play it, except for additional game play time (it is very gory and my husband even thought it was just stupid and low of Bethesda).

"Old World Blues" image drifting around the internet.
“Old World Blues” image drifting around the internet.

“Honest Hearts” is pretty, well, the scenery is quite a bit prettier than the main game’s map; it is in Mormon territory and this added content astonishingly quotes the Bible.  This is pretty cool, actually, but the buzz I got from that dissipated upon hearing the outcome of the quest’s story.  Main quests in the games have a visual story that plays when you complete them, showing different outcomes based on the decisions you made in the game.   Because I helped the tribes defend themselves against the violent, slave-taking invaders, Bethesda chose to say that the tribes became militarized instead of just going back to their way of life.  Wow, Bethesda, no on can defend themselves without becoming militarized . . . (pretty bizarre attitude for a violent video developer).

Another religious aspect of the game, though subtle and apparently confusing, is the inclusion of the Followers of the Apocalypse.  This group has a very nice cross as its symbol and this is not hidden.  They reside outside of the Vegas Strip in an old Mormon fort, while giving medical and educational aid to the area residents.  If you visit the wiki site and read up on The Followers, you will read that they are a “secular humanist” organization.  I’d like to know what secular humanist organization will use a cross as their symbol?  Part of their reasoning comes from something the founder of the group said in an earlier game, about not worshiping so much as helping people.  So, at least to a degree, one can’t blame atheists or anyone else for being confused about them.

What I don’t like about this aspect of the game is that while these people appear to be Christians, with their traditional cross flag and their type of aid that is traditionally Christian, they are in a Mormon fort.  An uninformed player could easily get the impression that “Christian” and “Mormon” are the same, though they are not at all the same.  Of course, Mormons have been pushing the Christian claim hard for some time now, but any real look into their main doctrines will show that many are diametrically opposed to basic Christian belief.

If you want an overall rating of the game, I’d say it’s OK.  There are problems with it, like the multiple quest-arrow system that you can’t adjust or turn off, it not having a compelling enough main quest storyline, and – this is a biggy – when the main quest is completed the game is over.  That is, you can’t play anymore unless you go back to a previous save.  It’s very odd.  Originally, I had finished the main quest before doing all the added content.  I was shocked to find that the whole thing ended, so went back (the game does give you this choice before it shuts down).  Frankly, I have no desire to play the game again, though the thought came to mind because of the additional “Old World Blues” content.  It’s upsetting that it wasn’t a part of the original game; it doesn’t do anyone any good to get a fantastic and helpful home when the game is just about over . . .

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24 thoughts on “Fallout New Vegas: Comments from a Christian”

  1. You are kidding right? About mormons? We are Christians. Our churches full name is the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. If your too dumb to recognize that we’re Christian too then maybe your the one that isn’t Christian.

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    1. Just because someone names themselves something, doesn’t make it so. That you have that name in your title suggests, strongly, that the Christians that existed at the time of your “church” formation were false. That means we still are. Your church’s doctrines are wholly opposed to basic Christian doctrine. If you don’t know what this means, then maybe you should find out. By the way, real Christians don’t go around calling people stupid just out of the blue. I have reasons for what I wrote. I reasoned with the scripture and the doctrines of the churches. Anyone who reads the NT can know quite easily that Jesus isn’t Satan’s brother, that men and women are equal in God’s eyes, that God does NOT condone polygamy, etc etc. The list could go on and on. Mormonism has doctrines that are very earthy and nonspiritual. If you don’t know this yet, please read essays and books by ex-Mormons, some of whom didn’t know the actual doctrines of the church until they were in it for many years. A church that keeps its actual doctrines secret from many of its members is no church of Christ. Christ and His church are open and welcoming; they don’t hide behind shuttered buildings.

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  2. Interesting you fall into the trap of thinking that Mormonism condones polygamy. That doctrine was abandoned years ago. Sure, there are polygamist extremists who claim the ‘Mormon’ title, but the LDS Church doesn’t recognize them. As to equality between the sexes, have you read St Paul’s admonition on women keeping silent on Church matters ? I have actually read the New Testament from cover to cover. By the way, the only proscription on polygamy I found there referred to Church officers (‘Deacons’ in the text) who were supposed to practice monogamy, if they were to marry at all, presumably so that their time would not be unduly taken up by the demands of a large family.
    There’s an interesting take on who is brother to whom here as well. If God created every being, every soul, every angel (including fallen) then everyone is as brother and sister under God. And this will shock you, as you haven’t given this enough independent thought – that’s going to include the Man Downstairs. Mormonism looks generically like one of the many sects into which the early Church was divided. Although all gave great importance to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, some of them gave headroom to some quite bizarre ideas from a modern perspective.
    By the way, your view from what looks like Christian Conservative viewpoint on Fallout New Vegas’ take on the Roman Empire (a major problem for early Christians) is missing from your review.

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    1. What’s really funny is that you think I don’t know things, haven’t studied them, and am presumptuous. Honestly, you’re the one who is presumptuous. In my comments to Mormons with this kind-of attitude, I haven’t given links to articles, essays, books, etc., on Mormonism. Perhaps I really need to, since much of what Mormons say is very highly refuted by ex-Mormons who left that church after moving up in it.

      Ok. One. There are Mormons who still practice polygamy, and from your own words you show that you don’t read God’s word in its entirety, at all, to see that polygamy is not only not condoned by God, but He tells us not to do it. Everywhere throughout the Bible, God refers to marriage as between one man and one woman. People did “do” polygamy, but He never approves of it. The kings of Israel were told not to be polygamous, but they didn’t listen to God and took multiple wives anyway. Regarding what Paul said, well, sure – there were people who were coming to Christ from various cultures that practiced polygamy. Since one spouse was God’s plan and will, then only those who indeed had only one spouse were to represent God as leaders in the church.

      Regarding what Paul said about women being silent, I guess you choose to ignore the places Paul says that women were prophets and co-workers with him. When he talked about that one issue, it had to do with that church, in that culture. I suggest reading “Veiled and Silenced: How Culture Shaped Sexist Theology” by A J Schmidt. Male-centered theology has changed things so much that in the early church, the woman at the well was considered an apostle, while today many just consider her a slut . . . LOL.

      And your take on brothers and sisters is very worldly. When we accept Christ as our savior, our sin is no more in God’s eyes, and we are ADOPTED into God’s family. We are co-heirs in His kingdom. All are created by God. Tell me something I don’t know. But we are not all God’s children just because we’re born human. Good grief. Why would any go to hell with Satan then? You are the one who needs to not only read the Bible, but study it, and learn from those who spend their lives understanding the languages and cultures of the past to flush out meanings where they are foreign to someone 2,000 years later. It’s harder than just saying we know God now and are changing His words to what we want and can understand.

      Your comments are kind-of silly and disrespectful. They are more about what you think you know and trying to figure out what I don’t. I’m not even a conservative Christian. I’m just a Christian, and that’s all I’ll say since you obviously haven’t bothered to find out more about my thought elsewhere and don’t care. Why would I care about what the game writers put in about the Roman empire? Why not more about how they depict people who revert to tribalism after civilization is blasted away?

      Good Lord. Your comments are so arrogant. I really need to get some links on here from former Mormons . . . but, Mormonism isn’t your central problem, I don’t think. People who are drawn to God’s love and His desire for us – humility in love toward him and others – wouldn’t comment like you have. I’ll pray for you, that you will be open to Him (Jesus, who died for us, the only one who saves because of His love – we don’t save ourselves by working) and His truth.

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  3. Feel free to pray. I think I’ve at least shaken you up a little. Mormonism isn’t my beef anyway (am not and have never been one) and I know for a fact that the Book of Mormon contains errors about the Americas in Biblical times. On the other hand I’m not going to denigrate someone else’s sincerely held faith, no matter how strange I find it. When you talk of ex-Mormons, how many of them were of sects actually recognized by the LDS Church ? And how many simply want to make trouble ? Be very careful about second hand reports. As to calling me arrogant because we don’t see eye-to-eye : hey sister, your take on Christianity is definitely more conservative than mine. If you are worried about New Vegas’ depiction of tribalism in the absence of civilization,have you actually seen the international news from places like Afghanistan – banditry, feuding, sectarian violence ? The drug war in Mexico is another example, over 50,000 dead, often murdered in particularly horrific circumstances and their government powerless to stop it. Man is imperfect and without civilized direction will tend to turn barbaric. I’d be interested to see your Old Testament injunctions on monogamy chapter and verse – and how you reconcile this with the rule about a man having to marry his brother’s sonless widow(s) no matter his own circumstances.

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    1. See, you really just jump to all kinds of conclusions about me and what I think. All those things are only in your own mind, as you don’t try to find the truth of the matter. And yes, telling me what I think, telling the world what I think and insulting me, when it has no basis in reality, is arrogant.

      My background is anthropology and I am still interested in that type of study and I think that way, that is why I mentioned the tribals. Lol. That I have a degree in anthro is no secret, though I don’t write about it. I’m very serious about looking at evidences, too, and finding out the truth of things, if possible; it’s what I’ve always done and I’ve even had three different professors–all secular and two in grad school–tell me how good I am at analysis and that what I had written and concluded about a matter was better than anything published that I read. I say this not to brag, but only out of extreme tiredness at stranger’s comments (like yours) about me and how I think and all that, without knowing me or looking into things further.

      Anyway, so your comments related to the tribalism business are just really bizarre. You’d know that if you read much of my other posts. Also, the ONLY reason I hadn’t posted links to article and books – that I thought were good and legitimate – that condemn Mormonism is because I don’t like that kind-of thing. I don’t LIKE being negative towards people’s faith, yet, Mormonism is carrying people AWAY from God’s grace, so I do intend to post those links. Hopefully soon . . .

      Regarding marriage, God is actually quite clear regarding monogamy; other issues related to marriage aren’t as clear and people tend to get confused about God’s overall intent. I could talk about an issue that people rarely talk about that could make God look bad in that regard, but there’s no point; God and what He desires is not always easy to understand (usually, but not always). Also, God gave different information about subjects at different times, dealing with different circumstances, and the contexts need to be understood. People often don’t try and do this. Your question of a brother marrying his sister-in-law because her husband died is one such example. That is an old command for tribal Israel. It doesn’t apply to Christians (I don’t know what modern Jews think of it), just as the laws given to Israel as a growing nation don’t apply to Christians overall. Israel was under the law, as an example, Christians – the Christian era – is under grace.

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  4. Thank you for your review of Fallout from not only a Christian point of view, but being open and not ‘This game is of the devil!’ type of atitude. I used to be a very avid gamer, but 3 months ago, I felt the Lord’s calling to get rid of both Fallout 3 and NV. So, wanting to be an obedient servant, I got rid of them. I am also glad that you have actually gone through and played the games that you allow your son to play. So many times parents just turn a blind eye or don’t give the game a chance.

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    1. Thank you very much, Ezra! Just curious about God’s calling – did you get rid of all games or just those two? I’m seeking direction in my life from the Lord; I wish I could hear something from Him, a nudge or anything.

      The reasons I like playing Fallout 3 are: The family oriented story; the humor; the explosions, especially the cars (lol); it’s first person; and it’s quiet. I grew up where it’s quiet and there weren’t a lot of cars. Where I live now it’s way overcrowded, it’s all man-made, and there’re always lots of cars – can’t even take a peaceful walk around anywhere. It stresses me out and I wish I could move! Anyway, I actually prefer the blown up landscape compared to where I live, LOL. So, I think for people who have a nice life and live in a natural area, etc., etc., they can’t understand the appeal of playing games, or not as much.

      Anyway, if I got a better job with more hours, I’d be playing less! Right now we’ve been having some fun playing Garden Warfare. Thanks again for the compliments. It’s so hard anymore when Christians can’t love, based on the basics of the faith, and focus on differences/questions they think they know the answers to and cause division. It’s all so negative out there – I can’t even get a write back from a couple a queries I sent to a nonprofit ministry! Oi!!! So what I’m getting at, is that I truly appreciate it! The Lord keep you.

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  5. Im not overly religious but the content in this game, should not be taken lightly, this game is completely offensive to God, i know as christian we want to do and have fun like everyone else, but being a christian is all about sacrifice. The devil is out there trying to destroy our lives, in every way possible, spiritually and physically! in my opinion everyone, refrain from playing this game, the sin meter on this game is off the charts! blasphemey, homosexuality (1 time i believe), prostituation, gambleing, sex, language, downing women, etc. Im saying this because i love my brothers and sisters in christ, refrain from this game!!!

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    1. Well, I wouldn’t say that the game is completely offensive to God. One thing I didn’t write about in my original post–because I had avoided prostitutes–turned out to be a very wonderful thing in the game. (I should look into all those aspects of the game more adn write about them . . . perhaps some day.) I talked with the prostitute you meet in the hotel and found that you talk to her to help her. She was forced into prostitution by the owner, and you, as the character, can free her and reunite her with her boyfriend. It is about the best thing that happened in the game! Releasing slaves and prisoners is pleasing to God. Not all things in games are as they first appear, and this is so in many RPG that involve morals.

      It is a sad reality of video games that most or all of the best ones – with more in-depth stories and all – have a lot of violence and offensive things in them. The video game makers are selling to the widest audience. Fallout New Vegas, like any good role-playing game, gives you choices. You can choose to be a saint-like character in the game and people love you for it, because you’re good and sacrificial. This is good. So no, I don’t think the game is completely offensive to God. To say so would be to say that God is completely offended by the world we live in, since the game shows and reflects a lot of the same things that happen in our world. I do think that it makes sense that God would be far more pleased if we did things in the real world, instead of the video game worlds, to help others.

      There’re no shortage of ways anyone can help real-life sexually trafficked victims, slaves, victims of land mines and war, persecuted Christians, etc. For anyone who feels that video games aren’t they’re thing, please spend your time helping the oppressed in society, as Christ calls us to do.

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  6. You lost me when you tried to compare Christians from the far future to modern Christians. Otherwise everything before it was pretty good.

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    1. Hans, nice name! I don’t know what you’re talking about, so I’ll have to re-read what I wrote. Lol. Am I talking about a prophecy? Otherwise, I don’t know the future.

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    1. The “Red Cross” is not secular. It had Christian origins, at any rate, and the Cross is a Christian symbol. It’s getting very tiring that so many “references” on the internet purposefully leave out the Christian beliefs of the founders of organizations, of poets, or scientists, etc. This is very unacademic. The founder of the original Red Cross relief organization, Henry Dunant, was a devout Christian and he used the Swiss flag, reversed, for the first Red Cross symbol (he was Swiss). The American Red Cross, founded by Clara Barton, came later. Clara was motivated by her patriotism and her faith as a Christian. People who are opposed to Christianity would never use a positive Christian symbol in a good way for themselves. That the American Red Cross itself even ignores the faith of its founder just goes to show how bizarre this culture has become (like, somehow, Jesus’ healing of people and helping the poor didn’t influence His followers . . . to heal and help the poor. Lol).

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      1. If I wanted to merely provide an example, I could pick Anthem Blue Cross. Or maybe Cruz Azul Fooball Club. Or some other organization with a cross in their logo. Eventually one of those would turn out to be secular… But my thought goes actually this way: at face value, the Followers of Apocalypse reminds me of Red Cross kind of organization, rather than a religious church. That’s because in general in post-apocalyptic genre writers tend to avoid depicting existing religions – it’s easier to assume they are wiped out by that nuclear disaster than to risk alienating your audience. So, on the side of the good guys, we are probably stuck with only such quasi-secular factions as FoA. Not that I mind.

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        1. Well it’s good to explain yourself. As with the Red Cross, an organization that knows perfectly well why they used the cross, became secular and most members ignore it. Even main stream media know, however, that the cross in that organization is from it’s Christian origins (just as the Swiss flag is). There’s a reason why the Red Cross is not accepted, but the crescent moon is, in other parts of the world. For people with beliefs and convictions, they know perfectly well what these symbols mean. Symbols can lose their meaning when people forget them, and they might be used for decorative purposes only, but these game writers are well-versed in myths, stories, genres, and symbols. They know perfectly well (and yeah, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt) what they are doing when they use symbols. I’m sure for some of them, it’s the only way to get some point across; some will see it while others ignore it or not know it has any meaning. In today’s games, however (how quickly things change now), everything is becoming secular as to not offend anyone, and while doing so, games are turning more purely action oriented instead of story oriented. I need to check out some of the new RPGs, however, and wait for some of the next serialized ones to come out. (In the real world, beliefs and convictions are suppressed in the public sphere, with the only thing people have in common rising to the top: money and commerce.)

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          1. Yes, indeed – at least one RPG of 2014 is heavy on non-secular. But it is a fantasy one, so I would not be so confident about its writers employment of symbols; from what I’ve seen, it’s suns and swords all there.

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  7. Im a christian and play falout all the time. there is a side quest in fallout 3 in the dlc point lookout that has some christian stuff in it. I saw a vers in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 and it got me rattled a little but i looked more into it nad i really never felt a nudge from God as i played fallout 3 so i think its fine

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  8. You’re worried about the name….. the certain things, but you play Skyrim…Magic, seriously forbidden in the Bible…. You’re ether want attention or you’re not not Christian…

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    1. The only reason I approved this is because you’re seriously bizarre, judging and unthinking. Skyrim is a game, and one doesn’t perform or participate in magic by playing it. Me thinks YOU are the attention seeker (or non-christian?). Talking about Vegas is talking about Vegas – sin and corruption – it’s a starting point in discussion. Apparently you can’t get that either. Do you go around the internet looking for ways to insult Christians who are engaging the culture, as some kind of way to get them to stop? Anti-Christ much? Don’t bother responding, since it won’t mean anything and it won’t get approved.

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  9. I think an important thing to realise is that the Followers of the Apocalypse base is called the old Mormon fort is because it is an actual fort in Vegas. That is old. And was built by Mormons.

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