Monday, 23 September 2013

Video games and the eye as the lamp of the body...

By the sovereign goodness of God, our church has a high proportion of young men, some of them married, many of them single.  One of the popular pass times for young men (and increasingly, middle-aged men), in our culture and even in the church, is "gaming".  Many of the most popular game franchises grow more explicit in their depiction of sex and violence with every new iteration.  Tim Challies shares some good thoughts for the young (and not so young) men who are into games, such as the new Grand Theft Auto V, which just experienced the most popular entertainment release in history, making $800 million in its first day.  Here's a sample from his summary:
"GTA V is significant in that movies allow us to watch violence and sexuality, but games allow us to experience and participate in these acts. We do not passively consume games, but interact with them and make choices that carry us through them. As games grow more powerful and as both hardware and software continue to develop, we can expect the experiences will grow ever-richer and ever-closer to the real thing. Realism combined with the desire for sex and violence will have inevitable consequences.
GTA V is significant in that it proves there is broad appeal in games that are blatantly violent, crude and sexual. Few people who bought the game will be shocked to find that it contains these elements; most of them expected and demanded it. We can expect competing game-makers to emulate what made this one so successful and we can expect they will ramp it up all the more. There is no reason to think GTA V is at the end of the trajectory.
The fact is, we are more than the games we play, but we are certainly not less. Games like GTA V offer choices—hundreds and hundreds of choices. Though a player is experiencing this world through a controller and a screen and fictional characters, he still makes choices and every choice is moral. Every choice matters. Every choice is significant. Every choice says something about who he is and what he values. The things that entertain him shine a powerful spotlight into his heart."
You can read the whole thing here

For young men out there, here is something to remember in your entertainment choices:
"The eye is the lamp of the body.  So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!  No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money."       (Matt. 6:22-24)
 ......and no, this doesn't just apply to money. 

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