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Haven’t We Gone too Far? (Video Games)

December 17, 2006

This article was written by Seth D H on TheRebelution’s forum.

To my brethren,

Greetings and Salutations. I hope everything goes well for you.

I have noticed that these PS3’s and Xbox 360’s are, dare I say it, becoming too idolized. Let me explain. While driving by a Best Buy, we (my mom and I) had to take a detour because of all the tents. I said, “Mom, what’s going on here?” She said, “They’re waiting for PS3’s to go on sale in three days.” THREE DAYS! Excuse me, but that seems going a bit too far. I also noticed that the domain name ps3.com is selling for 6800 dollars. And the systems are going for more. Did I miss something?

Let us go back to my early childhood. The thing of the season was the playstation. Just the regular old playstation (I could play Frogger at home! Imagine!) Well, they were going for about $250 as I remember, and being 8, that money wasn’t going to be found in the nearest gutter. Than, with a descent of angels, and Holy spirits blowing trumpets, I had an idea. Santa Claus! What a wonderful man. All the things I wanted, he could make for free. I just had to believe he was real. Heck, I’d believe that Jay-Z was a pastor for a mega-church if it meant getting free toys! Anyway, I finally got one of those playstations, and still have one today. Back then, i could say, “I got a Playstation!” and all my friends would go, “You lucky booger!” Now, I am kicked out of youth group because I act like Playstations are awesome.

I can’t help but wonder, “Are we going to far with these video games?” It almost seems like people are idolizing these machines. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are nothing wrong with video games per se. But when we see people sleeping in tents, I get this message, ” I want this thing SO bad, that I’m willing to give up my bed and my three days, just to sit here and wait for this here playstation to be sold.” And that seems kind of ridiculous.

We could go round and round on this subject, so I really don’t want to get in a debate on the merits of video games. Remember, “all things are permissible, but no all thing are beneficial.” In my words, it says, “We can do anything we want, but not all the things we do are helpful to us.” I know some of you will disagree that we canNOT do anything we want. And I want to remind you, that God gave us free choice, not to abuse it, but in hopes (and he already knows) that we would give it back to him. There is nothing stopping me from getting off the computer and robbing a bank. But all things we do have consequences. Think about this. I just saw one of those playstations on sale. “The console, four controllers, and your pick of two games! Only $60!” That should tell us something. We should be faithful stewards of what God has given us, and things that depreciate in value, we should be careful on how much money we spend on it.

Once again, I am NOT condemning video games. I am merely making you, my readers, aware of the problems with new consoles. Think about what I said. A DOMAIN NAME is 6800 dollars. (don’t believe me? go to ebay and type ps3 domain names) And for those of you who do buy one, I’m not condemning. I am just saying that you should look at all the facts before you buy. As for me, I’m going to wait till I get a bargain on a PS2 since they are getting outdated quickly.

All of God’s Peace and Blessings
Seth

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17 comments

  1. I personally believe that the ones that stayed out for the PS3 were completely nuts, but who am I? Some find it fun to do so and many now will have stories to tell others and brag about.

    I agree with you about idolizing video games, but for some…it’s their hobby. It’s somewhat similiar to paying thousands of dollars for a pair of golf clubs, or tuneing up a car for no really good reason except you want too.


  2. Well… I agree with most of what “Seth” said. Video games aren’t evil – people putting them before God is what is evil. Anything that gets in the way of God is something that a person should avoid. Those things are different for every person. For some people that thing is video games. For some it is money. Security. Sex. Drugs. Relationships. Whatever. It’s wrong no matter what it is.

    However, I don’t really get what “Seth” is trying to say. He says he is merely making people aware of the problems with “new systems”. The only problem with the new systems is that people become obsessed with them. They are not and cannot be in any way evil.

    Just my thoughts.


  3. The gaming systems (or whichever idol in question) are not evil. They are items, the cannot be evil. However, placing that idol higher in your priorities than God is where things go bad.
    It’s somewhat similiar to paying thousands of dollars for a pair of golf clubs, or tuneing up a car for no really good reason except you want too.” (Unanimous) There are many things/hobbies/etc that can become idols. We have to be on our guard (1 Cor 16:13-14) for them ALL.


  4. As long as one has one’s priorities straight, I believe one can do what one wants with one’s free time.

    I’m one of the most hardcore Halo fans out there. I bought an XBox just to play at Halo LAN parties. Some of the brightest spots in a bit of a dark time in my life. I played in the Halo Action Reality Game. I’ve watched every espisode of RedvsBlue at least 3 times. I drove to Austin to play Halo 2 about a week before it was released [as reward for playing the ARG] – and I, of course, bought XBox Live to kick everyone else’s butt at Halo 2.

    Is Halo an idol to me? What would Seth say if he saw me driving in the middle of the night to play a video game with a few hundred strangers? What would Seth think if he saw me at the midnight sale of Halo 2? Would he rank me among those people he thinks have made video games too high a priority?

    Everyone who knows me knows I’d stack everything Bungie ever did in a pile and burn it if it pleased my Lord and King.

    The difference is, I’m a hardcore guy. I don’t do anything half way. I like Halo and thus I sink time and money into it. In a heartbeat I’d burn it all. And why? Because my life is not my own. I’m hardcore about *everything* Be thankful I’m not into guns. 😉


  5. I think the problem is that these games appear to be addictive for some people–especially boys & men–especially to people who “never do anything halfway”. I’ve seen grown men spend hours playing these games instead of investing the time into their familiies and the work the Lord has given them to do. The Lord put us here to bring glory to Himself. . I would agree that there is a time and place for entertainment, but I don’t believe that involves hours or days in front of a screen. There are many more worthwhile ways to spend our time. It looks to me like Satan has found a very effective way to steal our valuable God given time here on earth, to get us to squander it on activities with no inherent pupose or reward and to keep us from interacting productively with others around us…just my 2 cents.


  6. Something to consider when it comes towards passion.
    There are countless things/hobbies/etc people can be passionate about. Video games are the passion of many people in today’s culture. Some passions are more benificial than others. But, ALL passions MUST be kept in check. No matter what you do, you have to keep your priorities straight.

    But different people can have more time for their passions. It depends on the period of life you’re in (kid, teen, single, student, married, etc) and what position you’re in.

    At any rate, ALL things MUST be kept in check. “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.”


  7. As our dear Administrator pointed out, video games are a hobby, a passion. It is not mere entertainment. At the heart of the matter, there is no difference between video games and rabbit breeding. Any passion or hobby is only a good thing as long as it is kept in line with priorities, as I stated earlier. If you are neglecting your family to go hunting, there is something wrong. Hunting can be just addictive if not more so than video games. I’ve seen grown men pretty much abandon their familes for the sport.

    There is nothing wrong with hunting, there is nothing wrong with video games. What’s wrong is the *addiction* to any passion and the placing it above it’s God-given order.

    “get us to squander it on activities with no inherent pupose or reward and to keep us from interacting productively with others around us” – Who gets to decide what has an “inherent” purpose or reward? I can logically prove MOST hobbies as having no inherent purpose or reward, or make direct analogies between hobbies most people find acceptable and productive and hobbies some people consider “unproductive” as you seem to consider video games.

    Also, you must never have heard of a LAN Party. Playing Halo for hours on end with a dozen of my brothers counts as some of my absolute BEST teenage memories and led to some of the positive interaction with others in my time here on Earth.


  8. I sometimes wonder if God intended us to have hobbies at all. I mean I look at the life of the apostle Paul (since that is the prime example in the New Testament on how to live out our faith) and I see him pouring himself out completely for the cause of Christ. I have personally only been able to experience true joy and peace by giving up everything I want, literally–not that I attain this consistently on any level, but it is what I strive for. As a homeschooling mother of six children, I have struggled with selfishness and wanting time to do what I want to do and not always what others need me to do. I think this is what Christ meant by laying down our life for His sake. The point I did not make very well in my last comment is that I believe the addictive nature of these games makes it harder to do this when our lives get more demanding and more is required. Sometimes it is better to avoid becoming involved in activities than to wait until they have become such a big part of our lives that giving them up is painful–as seems to be the case with these fathers we were mentioning.
    I feel the same about other hobbies, although there are many which can be valuable to the cause of Christ by serving our families or providing for them in some way, such as hunting (done in moderation), sewing, gardening, etc. Think of the valuable skills you could develop were you to devote your time and energies to learning to do these things!


  9. That is an interesting point Marla. I never thought about it like that.
    However, you could consider your kids and homeschooling as your hobbies Marla.
    I’m not sure, that’s something to think about.


  10. hob·by1
    –noun, plural -bies.
    1. an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation
    Just to clarify what we are discussing, I decided we’d better get a definition of the word “hobby”. Like most homeschooling parents I know, I believe God has called us to homeschool. I can think of no better mission field than my own family. Our hope is that the generation of men and women we are raising will be committed to the cause of Christ and furthering His kingdom. Also, although there are definite rewards from homeschooling, as there always are when we are obedient to Christ, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I engage in it for pleasure or relaxation. Most of the time it is just plain hard work and apart from God’s strength I would never make it through a single day.
    I don’t want to give the idea that I’m against hobbies, but there are definitely some red flags going up when Andrew claims that Halo is not purely a source of entertainment. It makes me wonder what is going on when people take it so seriously and make it such a high priority in their lives.

    One other thought on prioritizing. It is easy to give lip service to what you want your priorities to be, it is another matter altogether to live it out. I would assert that your priorities are what you spend the most of your time and money on–something to think about.


  11. BTW–lest I sound too critical–I think you guys are great for discussing these things at all 🙂


  12. First:
    I must commend you on your dedication to following God’s will through homeschooling. Personally, I’m a die-hard advocate of homeschooling.

    Second:
    I wholeheartedly agree with you on prioritizing. It’s easy to say you’ve got your priorities straight – it’s totally different to live it out. However, keeping priorities straight is a very important aspect of life.

    Finally:
    Good thinking to define hobby. That is most interesting. However, something’s nagging about me for God intending for us not to have hobbies. Hobbies are often a source of enjoyment and, argubly, joy (if the hobbies are used in corrospondance with the right priorities). God designed life to be enjoyable. True, there are countless ways to enjoy life, and many don’t involvie “hobbies.” There’s something about that which is nagging at me – but I can’t place my finger on it.

    God wired us to desire fun/joy/etc. (Definition of fun) Since we were wired that way, I don’t think He would have wanted us not to have hobbies…

    Wow. Honestly, I’m not sure at this point. I’ve never thought about that Marla. Thank you for pointing that out.


  13. I agree with a lot of what you say, Marla. As you accurately stated it’s easy to give lip service to what you want your priorities to be, it another matter altogether to live them out. I know many people to claim they have their priorities straight, but spend their time and money elsewhere.

    Trying to look at it from a different point of view, I can see how what I said about video games, and specifically Halo, can be seen as too lavish. Too much time and too much money. I believe the only reason it’s *not* “too much” is because of how *much more* lavish I spend my time and money on my family and my God. I’m probably spending more on Christmas gifts for my family and friends this year than I’ve spent on my Halo hobby for the past 5. My church receives, on average, around 20% of my income. My main source of joy in life is pursuing God and getting to know Him better and better every passing day. I take great amounts of pleasure in spending time with other people, simply talking. My family and my friends and the constant conversations we have about important things and little always come before myself and my own personal hobbies. Not only because that’s right, but because I usually enjoy the company of people greater than the company of a book or video game.

    So when I spend $250 to go on a roadtrip with my best friend and bond with him over the world’s greatest paintball game, our family that spends a good deal of money each year on travelling to our extended family and good friends in NorthEast Texas, and how much I perfer time spent with God and people to time spent alone, perhaps you can see how I have no problem with what I mentioned in regards to Halo – the midnight sale of Halo 2, the short trip to Austin to play it before it was released, and the reading of a few Halo-themed novels.

    I say that all not so much as to “defend myself”, as I honestly feel no need, but to try and show you where I am coming from so you can, perhaps, see what I see.

    I didn’t get into video games as a whole, but I honestly believe I learned quite a few skills from growing up playing them. TV shows are entertainment, video games are interactment. Watching someone sew is entertainment, sewing yourself is interactment. Watching disengages you from reality, doing integrates you.


  14. rats! we can’t edit comments. Alas.

    I only wished to add that if you didn’t see how video games could teach anybody anything, I would be glad to share with you the profound positive impact they’ve had on my development [IMHO].

    Have a wonderful day Marla.

    Admin, I just saw your comment. I believe most hobbies were designed to also actively engage in fellowship. God didn’t intend you not to have hobbies… he intended you to let those interests lead you into interaction. Think about paintball. It’s strictly for pleasure and one could aruge that it’s good for exercise [but that’s not really that true] – it’s most definitely a hobby. But hobbies were designed, in my opinion, to be vehicles for fellowship with our brothers and sisters. Take out all the people and play paintball by yourself.

    Not so much fun [or profitable] is it? Now take all of your good man friends and sit them down to a tea party. Not quite so much fun, either? Fellowship and common interests or hobbies, work hand-in-hand.


  15. Interesting point Andrew. That’s a good way to look at it.

    Unfortunatly, I have to run.


  16. Andrew,

    Your first explanation of your Halo passion did give an impression of excessiveness. Without knowing you, the readers could easily misunderstand where your priorities are. I’m sure your clarification on the 20th helped clear that up a bit.

    I would warn anybody, however, that has a “passion” for a hobby, to have a system of checks and balances on your priorities with that hobby. As responsibilities increase with life (you’ll have seasons of very high responsibilities), you must be able to shift in and out of your hobby commitments as needed. AND THAT CAN BE THE HARD PART. As the Admin said, “Be on your guard.”


  17. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
    Different ‘things’ have different levels for too much. ‘Too much family time’ is totally different than ‘too much work.’

    checks and balances
    -Jeff S2K

    Very important.
    What ever you do, hobbies, work, what ever, keep it in-check and in-line with the Bible.



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