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A lesson to learn from pornography in video games: What do we really want?


What does a rich man want after he has everything he needs?

More.

We humans need to know who we are, and pornography can teach us that.

I learned a lesson recently, when I found a video on the Internet, about problems with video games. Apparently, there are censorship organizations that restrict excess behaviour in video games.

READ: Video Game Censorship

I don’t play video games, although there was a time when I enjoyed flinging Angry Birds across the computer screen at other little animals. It was addicting.

I watched the information video, out of curiosity, and I learned something about us. We like to mix good and bad; we like to do the wrong thing to get us to the right place; and we lie to ourselves. Those are all different views of the same thing.

I was surprised to learn one thing about video games. When we can do anything, when we can go bad without restraints, we like to kill each other. Sometimes we settle for injure and torture. I used to work in developing online education, and I am interested in the technology of video games. The old games had simple two-dimensional characters, not even up to the standards of Angry Birds.

Things are different now. The most sophisticated graphics are almost at the level of movies with real actors. Expert developers are working on realistic movements and facial expressions. Now, playing a game is like making your own movie, with you being a lead character. It’s all created by graphic designers, and the story could be about anything.

It’s easy to see why we have censorship of video games.

What surprised me was how we behave when we are free and unrestricted. I expected concern about explicit sexual material, and that was mentioned, but the real concern was for violence in video games. In one game, the character enters a room and needs information to move to another level. That information is extracted by torturing someone who is tied to a chair. The sample I saw was brutal, and the graphics were realistic. The developers could have included pornographic, sexual material, but apparently the market isn’t asking for that. Explicit content has to include violence and abuse, to sell.

I had a friend, in church, a few years ago, and he told some of us about his problem. According to him, he was addicted to pornography and he was struggling to recover. This was surprising because he was surrounded by good people. His wife seemed to be loyal and supportive and his children seemed to be well adjusted teenagers. He had friends, including me and we all wanted the best for him.

It was clear to us that he was referring back to the good things in his life, when he stepped out and went bad. His addiction was an extension of something very good, a loving wife and a happy family. He was lying to himself that the wrong behaviour would get him to a happy place.

Hugh Hefner, who founded the Playboy Empire, was raised by strict and religious parents. It seems clear that he always had an anchor in a conservative family with moral values, and he played against that. In pictures, he was seen in neat conservative clothes, with a matching haircut, and sometimes smoking a pipe. Pornography sells when we still respect the truth.

The lesson in pornography is that we can lose the anchor in things that we know are good. We can grow past rebelling against our parents and conservative society, and then we can become what we really are. Explicit pornography is only an early step. After a while, that market dries up.

With enough time and resources, we will show what we are. I don’t know if violence in entertainment can make us violent, but it lets us be who we are, and show where we want to go. “What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45)

Long ago, a good religious man spoke to Jesus about truth. That good man was told “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3: 3) We need to change and become different people, and that includes the good people. The changes and adaptation in pornography and video games show our direction. If we continue without change, our entertainment shows who we want to be.

If my friend needed motivation to fight his addiction, he could learn the lesson of video games. Our direction can take us to some dark places, if we continue.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3: 16 to 19)

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