I’ve recently talked a lot about video games lately, and I have been a little concerned about what my audience may think of me. After all, I probably shouldn’t be wasting my time on video games anyway, and should concentrate my efforts on doing more Christian things like taking care of orphans and widows. I certainly don’t want anyone to do anything wrong because they are using me as an example. I think the bible calls this a “stumbling block”. Actually, I think Christians call it that.
Oh my gosh, how can a Christian recommend such violent, M-rated video games? Don’t tell me that you’re one of those “you can be a Christian and still…” guys. I don’t consider myself to be a liberal by any stretch of the imagination, but I simply cannot stand still as violent video games are being blamed for violent actions.
The arguments that link real violence with video game violence have some merit, but not all. If anyone is trying to tell you that a person who plays violent games will inevitably commit a violent crimes, then the human race really does have problems. If this is true, then all we are as humans are people who mirror the images that we see on television.
It reminds me of this story that I heard in first grade, one that I do not know is true. Some kid had seen the 1978 Christopher Reeve version of Superman and jumped out of his window and fell to his death. Now, is the Superman movie to blame for the death of this child? If that is true, shouldn’t there be more deaths as a result of watching this movie? Personally, I think it is a testimony to the intelligence of children that more kids don’t die as the result of imitating actions from imaginary superheroes.
In other words, if video games really have this power over people, wouldn’t there be more school shootings and various acts of seemingly random violence? Granted there are a lot of them, but I’m talking that they would be so frequent that everyone would have some personal experience with them. The truth is, most of us just hear about them.
I will also shoot down an argument that some gamers will say that doing violence in a video game might be some sort of socially acceptable outlet for aggression. All I have to say to that is if you need some sort of outlet where you must kill people, real or imaginary, then there is something wrong with the way you are dealing with your issues. I’ve heard arguments that pornography can somehow curb a rapist’s appetite for sex, but this would be like someone on a diet looking at pictures of food that they cannot have.
The fact is that I play video games because I know they are something that I can win. They teach me to do something that I may not ever have to do, but I am ready to do: fight. Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Duerden in Fight Club stated that we have no great war, and the only great depression is our lives. There were a lot of other negative things said in his tirade, but the basic supposition is that men today do not have anything to fight for, and therefore have little to live for. Video games teach us that if we keep fighting, then we will eventually win.
It is the same reason why men play sports. I guarantee that no Christian that I know of is against sports. They may be against the corruption that accompanies it, but the basic concept, as a whole, would never be seen as sin.
I’ve seen a sports cliche that reads: “Nothing matters but the game”. Of course this is not true, for life and love are far more important concepts, not to mention God. However, the game is all about the willingness to fight until we win or cannot win.
The fact that gamers play games where they shoot zombies that geyser blood isn’t the reward they want to see. They want to know that if the dead ever rise and come after them en masse, that they will be able to stand against them victorious. This is a promise that Christians have a guarantee for.