In the news: Study links violent video games to violent thought, action
The original Story can be found here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2010/03/study_shows_violent_video_game.html
The age old debate for those of us thumb-calloused nerds. Does exposure to violent video games lead to violence in someones life. My answer? Yes and No.
The answer can’t be a purely black and white, Yes or No, simply because if that were true, every person who ever played a violent video game would have lashed out. But, obviously given this data, we can’t say that is has no effect on the prevalence of violence in someones lives either.
Even beyond scientific studies, observed trends etc. there is something even more indicative that violent video games (or other forms of media for that matter) can have a damaging effect on our lives: Scripture. Scripture does tell us to be careful what we expose ourselves to: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23 (sadly I can only find one verse on this topic, but I know there are more. Please feel free to add more in the comments section).
Now, playing video games is something that each believer needs to decide for himself/herself whether or not he/she should be playing a certain game, but also in addition to that, let us also be careful how much time we spend on them, as to avoid these games being elevated above God in our hearts and becoming idols. Like any other questionable activity (Violent video games, “over-sexed” media exposure through tv and movies, gambling) with consistent exposure, the “highs” decrease and the threshold and standard increase. This creates an ever increasing “need” for our flesh to be satisfied (I experienced this first-hand with lust and the internet before I was saved. Praise God I am free from that demon!).
So for those of us who do enjoy our violent video games I pose a few questions:
- Do you notice yourself becoming more easily agitated after a gaming session? (Sadly, I do)
- What are you personal “healthy” limits for gaming? (For me, just making sure that my other responsibility are taken care of and that I spend time with Jenn. To be honest, my desire to game lately has been reduced)
- Have you had an experience where you you said to yourself “Whoa, this is too much. I need to address this in my life.” (Yes: WoW…need I say more :))
- What other observations or questions do you have regarding this matter?
I pray that we are all able to look at ourselves and habits objectively and that we can enjoy this hobby while still allowing our hearts to belong “solely” (you’ll have to pardon the pun) to Jesus.