January 24, 2007 1:12 PM PST

Pope condemns violent games

If Jack Thompson, the self-proclaimed crusader against violent games, was looking for a powerful ally, he just found one.

Pope Benedict XVI, current head and spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, voiced his opinion on games Wednesday from the Vatican, saying that violent or sexually explicit games are a "perversion" and "repulsive."

As part of the annual papal message for World Communications Day, the theme of which was "Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education," the pope talked about the media's effect on children, paying particular attention to games and films.

"Any trend to produce programs and products--including animated films and video games--which in the name of entertainment exalt violence and portray antisocial behavior or the trivialization of human sexuality is a perversion, all the more repulsive when these programs are directed at children and adolescents," the pope said.

Pointing toward the media's growing influence on youth, he said the media can support a family's education of children provided it "promotes fundamental human dignity, the true value of marriage and family life, and the positive achievements and goals of humanity." He called upon media leaders "to safeguard the common good, to uphold the truth, to protect individual human dignity, and promote respect for the needs of the family."

Pope Benedict XVI's entire address is available in English online.

Tim Surette reported for GameSpot.

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