He will redeem their life from oppression and violence…precious shall be their blood in His sight. Psalm 72:14
Do you know how much big business spends on TV ads? A 30-second spot during “The Big Bang Theory,” for example, cost them $275,573 in 2012. ”The Simpsons,” $286,131. ”2 Broke Girls,” $269,235. Bigger money is spent on “Sunday Night Football” and “American Idol.” Those shows receive a little over half a million dollars per ad. And of course the biggest money goes to the Super Bowl. They raked in (on average) $3.5 million for 30 measly seconds of your precious time. Do you know how many pizzas Papa Johns has to sell to recover that kind of investment?
Why would they spend that much money?
Last year, Domino’s Pizza expected to sell 1.4 million pizzas during the Super Bowl alone. Papa John sold almost a million pies during the 2010 Super Bowl. To wash down all that pizza, the industry estimates that 1.2 billion cans (or bottles) of beer will be consumed Superbowl weekend. You read that correctly — 1.2 BILLION. Why do advertisers spend this kind of money on 30 second commercials? Because they work! If these businesses did not recoup on their investments, they would not spend the money. They have learned that 30 seconds is a sufficient amount of time to sway our thinking.
What does all this have to do with violent video games?
Consider this logically. If 30 seconds is enough time to influence the decision-making process, how much more so is 30 minutes, or an hour, or several hours. It stands to reason if your child is continually bombarded with violent imagery, it is going to have a negative affect. Tragically, through desensitization techniques, your child is being trained to be brutal, uncompassionate, and apathetic. Repeated exposure to negative and/or repugnant stimulus is harming your child and the community where your child roams.
For behold, (God’s) enemies make an uproar; those who hate You have raised their heads. They lay crafty plans against Your people; they consult together against Your treasured ones. Psalm 83:2-3 (ESV)
The Real Cost
In one study, three university psychology professors concluded that repeated exposure to violent video games leads to an extinction of fear and anxiety (aka: desensitization). As a result there is a decreased perception to emotional and physical pain, a passive attitude towards violence, a decreased sympathy towards victims, and an increased belief that violence is normal and acceptable behavior.
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the root causes of violence and violent crime. He co-authored a book titled, “Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence.” In the book he asserts that there is blame to be laid at the feet of the makers of violent video games, the TV networks, and the Hollywood movie studios. I would agree. However, I assert that the primary blame falls upon the parents who allow their children access to these things. While I am opposed to violating anyone’s First Amendment rights, I am strongly in favor of boycotting those who abuse the privilege.
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42
Going to Be Bold…
Mom and dad — If you’re allowing your child to have access to violent video games, violent movies, and violent music, you are in sin and you need to repent. You are allowing your child to sin and you are providing the means by which they’re doing it. These games and media resources are nothing more than demonic instructional videos and tutorials. Instead of training up your child in the way of the Lord, you’re training him or her up in the way of satan. You are doing great harm to your child and potentially the rest of society. If you’re partaking in these activities as well, you need to stop! Today is the day to bring an end to this travesty. You don’t need to pray about it, I assure you, God does not approve.
“…Those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:32
Understand that last passage in its context. In Romans 1:18-32, the Apostle Paul lists a bunch of sinful activities that the Lord hates and the last verse makes a surprising declaration — a person does not have to be directly involved in a sin to be guilty of a sin. Those who find pleasure in watching sin, or those pretend to commit sin, are just as guilty. That revelation from God should give us all great pause. If it doesn’t, you might be feeling the negative effects of cultural desensitization Now there’s something you can pray about it! Ask the Lord to search your heart for the truth.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
You May Need Help
The decision to remove or ban this garbage should be an easy one for the Christian parent, but implementing a successful plan to remove it may not be. While there are many good arguments for the ‘cold turkey’ approach, because of your particulars, it may create a dangerous or risky situation. Of course, you do need to be in prayer about these decisions you are going to make. Regardless if withdrawal is real or imagined, it’s still likely. While I’m tempted to provide a list to follow, I won’t. My advice, after prayer, is to consult your pastor. Confide in him your desire to repent, to turn away from your sin, to turn towards Jesus, and to begin brain-washing your child. As led by the Lord, begin to put together a plan that is pleasing to Him. If you should find that your pastor discourages your efforts, you will need to find a new pastor, but that’s a whole other blog.
“…In the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
These articles may or may not be related:
- Joe Biden shouldn’t blame video games for gun violence (o.canada.com)
- PAR Editorial: Violent games, violent behavior: science, law, policy are arguable, parental responsibility isn’t (penny-arcade.com)
- Violent video games put parental judgment to test (boston.com)
- Connecticut town holds drive to collect and destroy violent video games (polygon.com)
- 75% Of Parents Think That Violent Video Games Leads To Violence (ubergizmo.com)
- Sales of violent video games up, but violent crime down|Question after Sandy Hook: Do violent media inspire real-life violence? (rep-am.com)
- Massachusetts town to launch rewards program for turning in violent media and toys (polygon.com)
- Violent Video Games: More Playing Time Equals More Aggression (researchnews.osu.edu)
- Violent video games: More playing time equals more aggression (sciencedaily.com)
I am blessed that you took the time to read this blog. I pray you were somehow blessed as well. If you enjoyed the post, please like it, share it, subscribe to the blog, or leave a comment below. God bless!
*The original title of this blog has been changed to the current title.