Once again, the topic of video game violence has risen in the media. From the President of the United States, Donald Trump, stating that there should be a rating system in place for them (we already have the ESRB, for years). Sure, there are lots of terrible games out there that promote violence among other things, but not every video game can be marked as evil and wrong to play. Even with the ratings that are in place, it doesn’t make much difference because it’s a heart issue. When people decide to commit acts of evil, they have already made the decision to do so.
Fortnite, currently one of the hottest games out right now, had a segment during GMA (Good Morning America). The hosts spoke to a “trending expert” (how do you get that title?) and a sports psychologist (again with the titles) to dissect what’s really going on in Fortnite. The first guy says how the game is a hindrance to outdoor activity for children or even getting homework done. The other gentleman talks about how he plays the game with his children to know what they are playing, which I thought was a fantastic idea. More parents should do that, and I believe kids would love if that happened. I would have really liked if my mother were to have played video games with me when I was younger.
The other points they make are how the game may have influenced the recent massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School, but they do not present any proof of that. I do agree though, that what we watch, play, listen to or experience will influence us whether we want to or not. The video ends encouraging parents to know what their children are playing and to have moderation for the amount of time they play.
Gaming and Entertainment
Now that I’ve gone over that, I want to cover some of my own thoughts on the video. To start, I wish they would actually bring real gamers to these segments. As always, America still looks at video games as something that children do, and if adults are playing they just look silly doing what a child enjoys. Imagine saying that about sports, when little boys and girls are playing baseball or soccer while grown adults spend their whole lives trying to go pro in the same sport.
My next point is that video games are still not taken seriously, nor are they regulated by parents enough. I am not a parent, but I am a teacher and have been around kids for over 8+ years of my career so I know that parents don’t discipline enough. Elementary and Middle school aged kids have their way in many homes, not obeying rules or even disrespecting their parents. Not every home is like this, but there are many, and I’m sure you have heard of or know at least one of them! Mothers and fathers need to set rules, even with games like Fortnite, and make sure they are being followed. Discipline isn’t fun, but it’s necessary to grow up into a mature adult.
For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.
When God disciplines His children, it’s for their own good, just like a parent would their own kids. A good father would not let their child put their hand on a hot stove, even if the child begged them that they wanted to “see how hot it really is!”. Or give them the car keys just because they want to drive one. That would be cruel parenting, so how much more God who loves us more than our own parents, wants to protect us.
Finally, video games aren’t going away and I feel that those who don’t play them or are confused by them, do not know what box to place them in. Is playing too many hours a gaming disorder? Are they damaging our health? They may be taking over way too many hours of some people’s lives, but the same can be said for any other form of entertainment. Movies, Netflix, sports, the internet, etc. Either way, whatever we do with our time and our words, we will be accountable to God for (Matthew 12:36).
I do not see playing video games as harmful, but I know from my own experience that they can take over a lot of your time. They are exciting, entertaining, and take you into another world where you are in control. The game experience can make lasting memories, and connect you with other players around the world. Still, boundaries have to be made either by parents or if the person is old enough, to know when too much is too much.
Do not stay inside all day, see what else God has for you in life. Enjoy video games with moderation, like everything else in life. Give yourself a time limit, get your schoolwork/chores/errands done and reward yourself with playing a game for a few hours. Life isn’t just about working all day, but to be enjoyed as well.
What were your thoughts on this video? Is Fortnite, or other games like PUBG, taking way too much time from schoolwork or other responsbilities? I want to know your opinions 🙂