There is no shortage of people in this world with opinions about what you should be, or do, or like, or believe. Or, almost more prevalent, what you shouldn’t. They may not always say it explicitly, but it’s pretty easy to get the hint.
I, for example, shouldn’t like video games. Why not? Well, because I am:
A. An adult.
B. A girl.
C. A Christian.
A. Put the video games down and grow up:
I can’t hide it any longer. I’m in my late 20’s now, which means I can’t even call myself a young adult anymore. I’m just an adult. And while it’s all fine and good for kids, teenagers, college students and young adults to play games, once you drop the “young” you have to become a real adult. Get serious about life. Start your career, if you haven’t already, and get on making Mom and Dad some grandkids.
It’s fine if you used to play games when you were younger. Lots of people used to. But now that you’re a contributing member of society, or are supposed to be, it’s time to develop some more productive hobbies and pursuits. Otherwise you’ll end up like this guy, living in your parents’ basement and drafting “Strategies for Getting Girls While Living With Mom and Dad.”
B. Games for girls and girls for games:
Video games are for boys, silly. I’m not sure what I’ve been thinking all these years, playing video games. I’m obviously confused. I should’ve been spending my time with more feminine pursuits, playing with my Barbies nicely, then learning about fashion and how to get my makeup just right. Maybe I wouldn’t be so socially awkward if I had.
If you are a girl and you want to like video games, though, there are options these days. Video game companies these days are making more gender-neutral games, and trying to appeal to the other sex.
If you want to play with the boys, however, you have to be able to put up with the boys. No complaining. Don’t worry, though, you can play with a girl character! More and more games are including customizable female character options so you can feel more like yourself when you play!
C. What would Jesus play?
If I want to be a good Christian I probably shouldn’t be rotting my mind with video games. There’s so much violence, so many terrible messages, not to mention the problems of addiction. Video games are a dark place where you can play with evil magic, opening yourself up to real life vulnerability to the occult.
If you insist on playing video games, though, at least play some good Christian games. You know, the kinds that are all about peace and hope and loving one another…
In conclusion, this is just skimming the surface of the issues of gaming, gender, adulthood, Christianity, and the interplay between them. I’m sure there are also a lot of other reasons I’ve missed for why I’m not “supposed to” like video games, and I know the factors I’ve mentioned here are much more complex than I’m making them out to be. I’m just getting started, and I hope to delve into these issues more in the near future, so if I’ve caught your attention please stay tuned!
As for me, all this talk of video games has reminded me of something else I meant to do tonight…
You Are What You Plan… Or Are You? – Experimenting With Morality In Video Games – Breaking Moulds
Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games – Book Review – The JWs Do Japan
11 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Supposed To Like Video Games”
I am so glad one of your posts was Freshly Pressed! I have been enjoying reading your other great ones, like this one. I have been pondering some of the same thoughts about Christianity and video games lately. Mostly because I was actually watching some gory movies and thinking about how I should be interacting with such violence in our culture.
I love the way you write. I feel your struggle!
Thank you! Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying my posts. I think that simply thinking about how we should interact with X in our culture is a good start, and as games go I think conversations like the ones going on in the comments of my “freshly pressed” post are a huge step in the right direction! Thanks again for your comments, see you around! 🙂
Firstly I would like to say your blog is amazing! Both me and my friend Danni have come across the first two points you made. People are often surprised when I tell them what games I play purely because I am a girl and should be playing a dress up game instead. (This happened to Danni just a few days ago when buying The Last of Us). I am 21 years old and many of the people I know complain about the amount of hours I put into games but at the end of the day I am doing something that I enjoy and that is what matters to me.
Thank you! *blushes* You’d think, as a society by now we’d be past this “girls can’t play video games” thing, but apparently not. In terms of hours we put into games, everything in moderation and I suppose it’s up to each of us to decide what’s healthy, but I find if you ask people how much time they spend in front of a TV screen or on Facebook it shuts them up pretty quick. Personally I feel that video games are a better use of my time than passively watching TV or scrolling through updates about what my friends had for lunch or how many hours their babies slept in a row. 😉
I’m not religious (agnostic, in fact), but when I was younger and went to church regularly I remember our youth group did a Q&A where the youth wrote down any question they could think of, and the wise leaders would answer your questions. I remember there being this sermon the week before about how Christians should not listen to secular music or watch secular TV OR watch violent movies. And I asked why it was so wrong to watch/listen to these things. They said simply that those types of media glorified the devil’s work and did not bring you closer to God. “You must live in the world, but not be a part of it.” I call BS on that. Who can just ignore everything around them? We don’t live (and shouldn’t live!) in a vacuum. I felt the church was around to repress your enjoyment of life experiences and conform to its ways of thinking (that’s all I’ll say to that…that’s a different blog discussion for a different time ;))
I also knew someone who said that you must live in the secular world to know what there is out there, what evils exist and how to gain perspective so that you can reach out and spread your truth and become a better Christian. That makes better sense to me. All this nonsense about what one should and shouldn’t play is just that – bogus. Does it bring joy to your life to play? Then do it. You aren’t hurting anyone. It’s all fantasy…Fiction! Above all, FUN! Nothing wrong with that! I’m sure Jesus doesn’t mind.That’s how I see it!
Game on! 🙂
So much good stuff to respond to here! I remember going through a “no secular music” phase in high school, ah nostalgia! The separation of Christians from culture is a pretty potent school of thought in a lot of circles, but I’m inclined to think it’s rather ineffective, both in terms of personal/spiritual life and in terms of engaging with the world. How can you have anything relevant to say to people, to cultures, if you won’t get your hands dirty, so to speak? Jesus got his hands dirty time and again with “untouchable” people. Also, his first miracle was to turn water into wine, after all, so I’m sure he’s no stranger to fun… 😉
It galls me that the greatest part of the NT are Pauline text but, with that, it’s still clear by virtue of their actions that a great many Christians do not understand (1) Paul’s mission or (2) the ‘household code’ found in Ephesians and Collosians. This is no doubt because of the remarkably emotive languages Paul used and no technical Christian tradition (read: strong system).
“If I want to be a good Christian I probably shouldn’t be rotting my mind with video games. There’s so much violence, so many terrible messages, not to mention the problems of addiction. Video games are a dark place where you can play with evil magic, opening yourself up to real life vulnerability to the occult.”
On the one hand, this is undoubtedly said with tongue planted firmly in cheek and, on the other hand, this is the glossed response that a good many uncritical Christians would no doubt give. Note the key term ‘uncritical’. If the Bible tells one story well, which makes no attempt to tell the full story of the formation of Christianity, it tells the story of perseverance in a violent world and by sometimes having to use violence to make positive changes. If uncritical Christians would be willing to concede that point they would be inclined to see that a good many video games are about just that. Doom is a fantastic example, where the entire point of the game is shut down the minions of hell and prevent them from destroying the Earth.
Uncritical Christians, indeed! Of course it’s tongue and cheek as I intend to follow it up with responses to these sentiments in future posts, but yes, many Christians give these exact responses because I’ve heard them, given seriously, many times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Fun post! how did you find my post on how to get girls living in mom’s basement?
Hi Sam, wow! I didn’t expect you here! (#^.^#) I think I googled “adults living in their parents’ basement” or something to that effect and found your post. The picture caught my eye. It was hilarious, by the way, I loved it! m(_ _)m