The question of what we expose ourselves to being entertained or conditioned is coming up once again in concert to a tragic outcome.
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, the author of “On Killing”, has as ominous quote concerning the proliferation of violence in movies, television, and video games,
“If we had a clear-cut objective of raising a generation of assassins and killers who are unrestrained either by authority or the nature of the victim, it is difficult to imagine how we could do a better job. The inflicting of pain and suffering has become a source of entertainment and vicarious pleasure rather than revulsion. We are learning to kill, and we are learning to like it.”
Lt. Col. Grossman’s assessment is spot on when considering the mayhem unleashed in Southern California last Friday by a young man’s obsession with video games and believing the world was passing him by regarding sexual activity.
Once again the killer was a loner, once again he had a preoccupation with video games, and once again the belief that “everyone was doing it” except him regarding sex became a point of anger and hatred towards others.
Guarding your heart is an old fashioned Biblical warning to be careful what you subject yourself to because “everything is permitted, but everything is not expedient for you.”
Jesus stipulated that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”, and the raging manifesto of what this disturbed young man did was articulated on Facebook and on a rambling one hundred plus haunting letter.
Naturally there will be those in denial that his narcissistic attitude combined with his video gaming has nothing to do with behavior, however when one once again looks at the facts concerning violence in the entertainment industry, an undeniable common factor emerges with past tragedies.
By age 18 the average young person will view over 200,000 acts of violence on television. This dramatically increases with the violence in video games.
In 98% of games the aggressors goes unpunished. Over half rewards aggression. Within the first ten minutes 78% of games have lethal violence up close as the solution. In nearly a quarter of the games the player viewed himself as a stalker according to an article published called “Popular Video Games, Presentation of Violence and the Context” in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media by S. L. Smith.
Add to the issue of violence with the portrayal of unrealistic and unhealthy sexual exposure to sexual behavior, and one should not be shocked that the outcome would be a confusing expectation to anyone growing up in that environment.
Perception can turn out to be a terrible reality to a preoccupation to violence and sex.
Gunning down people you don’t even know is about as detachable as one can be to its victims, a clear residual impact that can be tied to video game violence as noted by the author Lt. Col. Grossman who is the author of “On Killing”. This scenario has been played out before by those with an unhealthy addiction to violent gaming material.
In Psalms 101:3, a warning is given to “set no wicked thing before mine eyes”. There is also a note in Proverbs 15:14 concerning “don’t feed on foolishness”. The common sense theme and wisdom of the Bible consistently admonishes not to allow things to have mastery over you.
Being thankful for what you have instead of worried about what you do not have can easily drive discontent.