If you have gone into any store that sells electronics or seen any ads on TV or online, you are probably already aware that there are new video game consoles on the way. Or you may pay no attention to such things, in which case I am informing you that there are new, very pricey, and cutting edge gaming systems planned for release this Christmas. And I am not buying one.
A brief preface for the following. Obviously, as with any form of entertainment, all is not wonderful in video game land, where there are horrid games and endless hours wasted by dull, often young male, players. My intent, however, is not to throw the entire industry under the bus. Instead, it is to caution and call for personal responsibility to a generation that is embracing arrested development. I played video games in some of my spare time starting when I was high-school age. In college I went so far as to defend the story-telling capabilities of gaming, noting the similarities with film and even literature. I still hold to this theory in some respects, and believe that many can enjoy and appreciate games as they would any other medium. All entertainment must be in submission to Christ, and video games are no different.
Five months ago, I married my wonderful wife. Two months ago, I sold my Xbox 360. Not everyone who owns a game system and is also married needs to sell their system. Yet, as a newly married man, with a range of new and different responsibilities and new and wonderful joys, the game console sat forlorn. And this was a good thing. Life kept, and continues to keep, me blessedly busy. And so, with a twinge of nostalgia, I took the console to a video game store and left with a handful of much needed cash.
My life changed a great deal in a short amount of time, and the place for video games, a place of relaxation, curiosity, and even narrative enjoyment and interest, was no longer there; marriage filled all the nooks and crannies. The new adventure had begun. And I was happy
Sadly, there are many who wish to live only in the small, false adventures. As the consoles and games become more engrossing and technologically impressive, the desire to stay in front of the screen will continue to grow. Any form of entertainment can become too powerful in a person’s life, and video games are no exception. We must be wise as serpents and know when to put aside what is unnecessary, even when it is not strictly injurious, and do the next responsible thing.
This post first appeared in the November 2013 issue of Every Thought Captive magazine.
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