Re:Formed and Relevant — Video Games

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One of the most interesting conspiracies I’ve heard came from a reporter who suggested that video games were a source of Lanza’s plotting of killing the children. The reporter didn’t seem able to source where she got her information, but piqued an interest in how we ought to process video games from a Christian perspective, especially for a generation infatuated with video games.

To begin, I’m not sure an issue like this has a right or wrong answer. Even as I understand myself, so much goes into every individual’s thought process: family history, social history, even environmental history. Ask any psychologist to break down the motives of a savage act, and multiple books can be released. Therefore, I think the questions for Christians is this: what role might video games play in our lives and in the lives of our students? 

Video games are thrilling. I have a smartphone which currently has two installed, but that’s only because I’ve gotten bored with the 13 that came before them. They are a simple way of passing time and losing ourselves in a world removed from reality. For that reason, video games can serve value, allowing people to release the tensions of business through the clicking of buttons (or the touch of a screen). 

Also, valid arguments for video games is the networking (socially and objectively) involved in some of the online platforms. As the speed and quality of the internet continually improve, so do the avenues of networking availability made possible by the likes of “Xbox Live” and “PlayStation Network”. I’ve met people who have actually used this stratosphere as a way of meeting their future partner. 

But are those arguments big enough to answer the question of our role (as Christians) in video games? The Corinthian church may not have struggled with video games, but they had significant struggles in their church (possibly even more complex). And as Paul tried to help them understand their struggle, he wrote these words which are a powerful testimony to our evaluation of this issue: “‘Everything is permissible’ — but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is constructive.” That passage goes on to deal directly with issues much like video games: is what we do with our minds beneficial and constructive? 

The world watches Christians with a close eye because as Christians we hold ourselves to a higher standard. I won’t argue for or against your desire for video games, I’ll only ask that which Paul asked the Corinthians: are we following the example of Christ through the use of our gaming systems? 

Here’s to the release of the new PlayStation counsel!

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