Monday, November 14, 2011

Video games and Sports

One common complaint by DeYoung and others has to do with the playing of video/computer games by men. In their thinking, such is a sign of immaturity. But is that really so?

What is the difference between playing video games, and watching college football? Has any of these events any ultimate value? Just look at the number of men keeping track of their favorite teams, watching Superbowl or whatever sports league is present. Watch how much money, emotional investment and time the diehard fans spend to support their team. Do any of these have any ultimate redemptive value?

The Puritans in the 17th century were outraged by the introduction of the Book of Sports. They were outraged that the King was mandating the playing of sports on the Sabbath and violating the Lord's Day. Of course, now not only is sports agreeable on the Sabbath, few people see any problems with it.

So back to the issue at hand, is video games a sign of immaturity? If both video games (e-sports) and sports do not have any redemptive value, then why the hypocrisy on condemning one while being silent on the other? One can argue about the time spent on video games, but doesn't this apply also to normal sports? Isn't that therefore a question about the priority of time, not about the activity of playing video games itself?

Until DeYoung and others start condemning the time Christians spend on sports, their attack on men playing video games is vacuous and hypocritical. The issue should not be whether men play video games, but about their priority in using the time they have. Those who focus on video games are mistaking the symptom for the problem, and are no different from the legalists of a former era who condemn dancing and drinking merely because the world abused them.

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