Category: Business Matters
Fatwa#: 40577
Asked Country: United Kingdom

Answered Date: Sep 08,2018

Title: is it permissable to work in Game development?

Question

1. Is it permissible to work in game development? 2. Is this method of earning money considered gambling?

Salams, I have been wanting to work as a developer for generally shooting games. This would likely not involve showing human faces and instead have a mask, however it still is a possibility that a face is shown. The characters will likely be humans, but also possible for them to be robots (does this change the ruling in anyway?). The aim of the game would be strategy building. It will not contain music (but will contain sound effects such as beeps when clicking buttons), or vulgar language, or any clear immoralities (displaying women, gambling). 

The aim of these games is strategy and teamworking, similar to that of sports. I am wondering, are these considered as shari benefits? Is there any leeway, especially considering the animation aspect. I will be working as programming the game as well as the internal design.

2. The game will likely have a feature where players can spend real money to buy in-game items. The items cannot be sold for real money, so it's one-way. Instead of this, would it be permissible to add a random item feature, where players can spend money to open a box, which would award the player with a random item. This item may be "valuable" or low value. The value of the item would be determined by the players e.g a player could get a silver item or gold item etc. The items themselves have no actual value since you cannot sell it for real money, however, another player may have a gold item and may want to trade it for the silver item from another other player, due to personal preference. The items are purely cosmetic and only differ in rarity from the boxes, e.g. a gold item may be twice as rare as a silver item. Is this permissible? 

 

JazakhAllah

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Hereunder are the answers to your queries in sequence:

1. It is apparent from your query that there may be pictures of animate objects in the videogame. Moreover, it also appears that there is killing and violence in the game. Accordingly, such games should be avoided.[1] Apart from spiritual harm, such games may have psychological and social implications.[2]

Video games generally fall in the category of amusement (lahw) and should therefore be avoided.[3]

As far as designing and creating video games is concerned, it is permissible to do so with the following conditions:

a)     The game should not have any animate pictures.

b)    It should not have music.

c)     It should be free from any vulgar language.

d)    It should not promote immorality, corruption or evil.

e)     There should be some Shar’i benefit to the game.

2. Working as a game developer will not be considered gambling

3. There is no prohibition of putting such a feature in a game provided that there are no un-Islamic features in the game.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Abdullah Syed Sajid

Student Darul Iftaa
Houston, TX, USA 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



  فتاوی دار العلوم زكريا (جلد ٧/ ص ٦٤٠)  [1]

 

كتاب النوازل (جلد ١٦/ ص ٥٤٢)

 

 الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 348) [3]

فاللعب وهو اللهو حرام بالنص قال - عليه الصلاة والسلام - «لهو المؤمن باطل إلا في ثلاث: تأديبه فرسه» وفي رواية «ملاعبته بفرسه ورميه عن قوسه وملاعبته مع أهله» كفاية وكذا قول الإمام ابتليت دليل على أنه حرام 

 

 

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