What A Christian Says About Violent Video Games

May 31, 2006 at 9:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

in my last blog I pointed out how the Left Behind series is being made into a violent video game where one could play one of the characters in the books and go around killing “infidels” and “saving” them. Or one could play the anti-Christ and do the same.

So, why, I wonder, have we not heard an outcry from Christians about this new game? I mean here is Dr. James Dobson commenting about violent video games:

QUESTION: What is your opinion of Nintendo and other kinds of video games? They’ve been claiming a big portion of our son’s time over the past few months, and I’m getting uneasy about it.

DR. DOBSON: Depending on the particular games in question, you may have a valid cause for concern. Dr. Vince Hammond, head of the National Coalition on Television Violence, has described the potentially harmful nature of video games, especially those with violent themes. Some observers have come to the conclusion that these games can become obsessive and encourage aggressive behavior. There’s even evidence to suggest that children between the ages of 8 and 10 are 80 percent more likely to fight with one another after playing with them.

I’d advise you to put clear limits on the amount of time your son will be allowed to spend with video games or the Internet so that he won’t become obsessed with them. Insist that he avoid the violent ones altogether. With realistic guidelines, I think it’s possible to keep this kind of activity under control rather than letting it control your son and your family.

I wonder what Dr. Dobson thinks about the new Left Behind video game?

I want to hear from my fellow Christians out there. Should we not be protesting the creation of this game in which 13 year olds can get violent to others of a different religion?

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  1. I know a decent number of christians who oppose the “left behind” series in general.

    It’s poor theology.

    Personally, I support children playing video games. They’re mentally stimulating :)

  2. i tried reading the first book just to see what drove so many people to read them, but i had to give up when the writers began talking about Buck Raynor’s libido problems. Yuck!

    out of curiosity, have you heard any criticism from Christians you know regarding this new video game?

  3. My biggest fear of the “Left Behind” game isn’t the violence, but that it might cause a child to consider reading the book, thereby dumbing themselves down.

    I really doubt that Dobson cares. If it rakes in dollars for the Religious Right Paranoid Propoganda Machine, he’s probably all for it.

    Then again, he probably believes that fellow True Christian™ Rev. Pat Robertson can *really* leg press 2,000 lbs.

    http://www.cbn.com/communitypublic/shake.asp

    Religious Right power shakes. Someone please wake me when this is over….;-)

  4. well said Morgan. As I read the first couple of pages of Left Behind, I could not stop thinking, “Man, it’s so easy to rake in the big bucks! Just write a book about the end of the world for a Christian audience, and no matter how terrible the writing, you’ll make millions!” But oh the travesty in how dumbed down you have to be to read those books!

    As a Mormon, I believe the Glory of God is Intelligence and I normally would believe other Christians would have a higher standard for their storytelling, but alas no.

  5. “well said Morgan. As I read the first couple of pages of Left Behind, I could not stop thinking, “Man, it’s so easy to rake in the big bucks!”

    Christians are sort of a captive audience, especially the paranoid, rapture-believing one. It’s a good niche market for someone looking for an easy buck.

    The last “Christian” book I read – or tried to read – was at behest o the author and was so utterly horrible I emailed him back with apologies because I could not get past the prologue. It was the worst thing I’ve ever read, even worse than Left Behind.

    “As a Mormon, I believe the Glory of God is Intelligence and I normally would believe other Christians would have a higher standard for their storytelling, but alas no.”

    Yes, the Book of Mormon is *quite* a story. I read it once, but all the “verilies” were distracting, to say the least.

    I had a very dear colleague – an editor – who was Mormon. He had one of those CTR rings. He used to say on bad days that it stood for “Cruel to Reporters.”

    Sadly he died of a brain tumor about 1-1/2 years ago and left behind a wife and five little kids. He was a sweet guy, and we enjoyed debating theology. I still miss him.

  6. my condolences to the loss of your friend.

    I’ve been very tempted to write for that kind of audience, but the problem i keep coming with in my mind is that my theological views are…..slightly….different than the Bible belt reader might want to read, so it won’t work. Maybe i should suck it up and write some piece of trash, retire, and then work on the real stuff. :)

  7. “my condolences to the loss of your friend.”

    Thank you. I loved him very much. Working with him was like working with a slightly annoying, but sweet little brother. He was just a couple of years younger than I, but was so silly. And he wanted everyone to get along all the time, which just doesn’t happen in a competitive newsroom.

    At his funeral, his dad gave the eulogy. He was just torn to pieces. It about killed all of us to see him up there crying.

    His dad kept talking about the Patriarchal blessing his son had received, that things that Mormons get that’s supposed to tell about what will happen in your life. My friend’s had said he’d live to be old, and see his kids grow up.

    His dad spent some time during the eulogy trying to make sense of that. They were both really good Mormons and did all the Mormony things – Baptisms for the dead at the temple, etc. – his dad seemed to have a hard time understanding why the outcome was so different from the blessings.

    I don’t really understand it myself.

    I’m not knocking Mormonism, by the way. I don’t have a problem with anyone else’s walk. It just kind of bothered me that the blessing made my friend’s death and illness even more of a sucker punch, and kept them from accepting how seriously ill my friend was. His wife never did accept the fact that he was going to die, and it was because of that blessing.

    Do you have any thoughts on this? I know it’s totally off topic, but asking you is probably easier than running down some of those biking missionaries who drive around town.

  8. Oh, I forgot to add. I’m digging your blog. Very nice. Would you care to exchange links?

  9. Morgan,

    wow, I can see where that was really tough for both his wife and his dad.

    I’ll try my best to answer that for you.

    Patriarchial blessings are unique things. I don’t fully understand mine. There were things that happened according to the blessing and there were things like “i bless you to be a leader among your fellow missionaries” which, for the life of me, I can’t recall on my mission where I was a “leader.” perhaps in the future I will be some mission president (the one who is in charge of all the missionaries in a given region). The way I look at Patriarchal blessings is that they are more of a guide rather than a fixed direction for your life. I was 13 when I got mine and in one part i was counselled to listen to my mother. I think that was meant quite specifically for that period (though even today as we’re always supposed to honor our parents).

    But I’ve also heard of other blessings where the person was told they’d see the Millenium, and have kids in the Millenium. Now, we obviously don’t know when the Millenium is coming, when the Savior will appear again, so it makes it a bit incredulous.

    In my case, I am not going to put my faith in my patriarchal blessing as to how long I’m going to live my life. There are so many factors at play. What would have happened if in his blessing it said nothing about the opportunities of watching his children grow up? Would that not affect how he would act as those moments would come in his life? If you are told you are going to die at a certain time (like within a certain period of your life), how would you really react? There’s a reason such things are not mentioned in patriarchal blessings. They profoundly affect how one acts upon hearing that. The blessing will not take into account factors that will result in death because the patriarchal blessing is supposed to be a guide for what to do with your life, irrespective of when God wants you back. We’re not to know the timing of the calling back to God so that we don’t focus on that, but instead focus on living life.

    I’m sorry that your friend passed away, and that his father and his wife thought that the patriarchal blessing guarranteed a long life. It doesn’t. It’s one of those things among Mormons that will cause confusion if members don’t think about it carefully. They will start to question the validity of the blessing, but in reality, it is a guide, meant to help the receiver get closer to God in this life.

    I hope that is a good explanation of the blessing and more specifically in regards to the situation faced by your friend’s family.

  10. sure, i’ll be happy to exchange links. You’ve got a good blog going over there. :)

  11. “I hope that is a good explanation of the blessing and more specifically in regards to the situation faced by your friend’s family.”

    Yes, it was. And it does help some. I know my friend was ready for his death, because another friend who worked at the hospice where he died told me he was. But his family clung to that blessing, and it made things harder for them.
    That just reaffirms for me the importance of accepting what *is* rather than what we believe or want something to be.

    Thanks for linking to my blog, and for letting me link to yours. You should be pleased to know that I didn’t hold your affection for Jack Russell Terriers against you. Our neighbor’s JRT is my Arch Nemisis:

    http://onehippiesopinion.blogspot.com/2006/05/yappy-little-bastard.html

  12. haha, i’m sorry to hear that. the Jack Russell Terrier I’m holding in that picture is my sister’s. I’m sure her neighbors don’t like her either. :)

    but she’s great for the occasional visits i make to my sister’s house.

    so yes, faith is an important priciple, but it must be applied to the proper things. a person can have faith in Jesus Christ, but should not have faith in a patriarchal blessing that they will live until they are 90.


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