Giving Into the Lust of My Flesh
Addicted to Video Games
By Aaron Gagnon
In today’s fast paced world, it is all too easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of technology available to us. It is moving as fast as lightning and virtually impossible to function in society without keeping up with the constant technological advances. One of the subjects to consider in this ever growing and advancing technological machine is video games. They started off in their primal state as huge machines that would take up the space of an entire room, and have evolved today to miniscule size, easily fitting in our hands. Now it’s as easy as picking up a remote control to a game console or even easier, picking up a smart phone, to become immersed in the video game world, making a trip to the video game arcade a thing of the past. But does this convenience come at a cost? And what are the effects of having the ability to plug in at any moment?
An extreme illustration of this technological advancement and its effects can be seen in the case of Kim Jae-beom, and his wife, Kim Yun-jeong. Their 3 month old daughter, Sa-rang, which means ‘love’ in Korean, starved to death because of the couple’s addiction to video games which led to the neglect of their daughter in real life. They lacked the “natural affection” to simply check on their newborn’s needs, which, I can speak from first-hand experience, a baby will let you know when they need something. The parents were absorbed and gave into their own lusts, making it impossible to become anything other than “lovers of themselves”.
Another extreme instance of pure addiction to video games can be seen with online gaming (specifically a game called World of Warcraft). Some teams make it common practice or even mandatory for their players to wear adult diapers so that way if you have to go to the bathroom during the game you don’t have to leave the computer and risk your team losing the match. Excuse the modern pun but are you SH!##!NG ME?
Researchers have discovered that when imaging a brain of a child playing video games, the brain’s frontal cortex, which controls executive functioning, including impulse control, looks exactly the same as the brain of someone using cocaine. The addiction is arousing enough that it stimulates and raises dopamine levels as much as sex or getting a fix would. Researchers are now referring to screens as “electronic cocaine” and “digital heroin”. One researcher who has been researching video game addiction calls video games and screen technologies “digital pharmakeia” (Pharmakeia being Greek for drug).
I’ve seen first-hand people neglect their relationships in favor of digitally filled lives. Many times people will choose their own self indulgence over a care of others to play their video games. Newlyweds separating due to one’s preference of their virtual life over real life. Parents neglecting to do their duties in raising children and maintaining a household over playing video games. Children addicted to video games, and when parents attempt to discipline them they become violent and “disobedient to their parents”. I’ve seen countless amounts of co-workers stay up until the wee hours of the night playing their video games, always saying things like “just one more level”, only to come in the next morning barely able to function from sleep deprivation. In lots of cases, I believe people prefer their digital lives over their real flesh and blood lives. They become “lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God” (if they even give God the time of day) but why do we see it so much especially in my generation (the millennial generation)?
In 2 Timothy we are given a clear understanding of what will happen with men in the last days;
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Tim 3: 1-9
Video game addiction is more proof that we are living in the last days. All of these traits have become common and apparent in our society, and technology has worked to move them in that direction. Just because it is surrounding us in our everyday lives, doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. It shows us a finite moment on God’s timeline. Jesus told us that in the last days these times WILL come, and again, they’re obviously here. He also urges us to turn away from
I used to play video games and I would go through periods of being purely addicted to “plugging in”. After I really came to the Lord, I know that he showed me that I could be using my time a lot more wisely. I didn’t even have to question it, I just knew that my time spent playing video games was purely vain, and it was giving into a lust of my flesh which wars against my spirit. 1 Pet 4:2 Says “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” There is a helpful article you might want to read called Overcoming Satan, The World, and Our Own Flesh
There are many things to be addicted to in this world, too many to list. I am here simply to suggest to the reader, like Paul suggested to the Corinthians, that ye be addicted to Jesus.
“I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.” 1 Cor. 16:15-16