Did you know that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified “gaming” as a condition caused by addictive behaviors? This is the same section that deals with alcohol, drugs, and gambling.
As a Christian youth, you believe that by avoiding worldly pleasures like alcohol and drugs, you have already done your part. But now that you know gaming is one of them, isn’t that a little disturbing?
In this article, we’re going to talk about:
Let’s get started!
Is Gaming Bad for Young Christians?
The answer actually depends on the games you play.
Some games can make you more productive and be more beneficial than harmful. These games encourage you to think and improve your cognitive skills, as well as spend more time with your family.
On the other hand, there are also games that, when played without moderation, contribute to health problems such as obesity, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
The decision as to whether to play or not to play, especially for Christians, should lie on these points:
- What is the purpose of the game?
- What age group does the game target?
- Is there a logical reason for the character’s behavior?
- How do you interact with other players in the game?
As you begin to answer these questions, you would also find yourself drawing a line between the pros and cons of gaming.
Let’s discuss what these are.
Resisting the Bad, Absorbing the Good
“Games: Are they good or bad? What’s the deal with games that young people are so much into?” Pastor Ted Wilson, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, asked two young people who are part of the making of Heroes Bible Trivia Game in an interview in the Revival For Mission series.
Richard Machado, a Q & A specialist of the Heroes Bible Trivia Game, answered this question.
He said, “I do believe that there are some games that are truly not good for us, especially because we have such strong moral beliefs, and some of them challenge and force us to make bad choices. I try to stay away from those games because I don’t want to hinder my connection with God just because of the game.”
In a Christian youth perspective, Richard knows the rating of a game, whether good or bad, depends on the game and how it is being played.
Negative effects of gaming
Aside from what Richard mentioned earlier, he also pointed several factors that bring gaming in a negative light, such as:
- It makes you less productive
- It consumes your time
- It keeps you away from meditating and spending time with God
We can all agree on these negative effects.
Imagine someone asking you about your favorite game and to name all the effects, characters, and how the game is played. You might answer all of them by heart.
But how do you answer these questions:
- How many hours have you spent playing that game this week?
- How many hours have you spent reading your Bible this week?
Yes, it’s pretty straightforward. But it’s a reality check for you to assess whether what you have absorbed in gaming are the negatives or the benefits.
Positive effects of gaming
Speaking of benefits, Machado went on with the positive sides of gaming. According to him, these include:
- Triggering good teamwork
- Improving your communication skills
- Bringing out leadership qualities
- Activating quick thinking and problem-solving skills
In addition, Moraya Truman, the community manager of Heroes Bible Trivia Games, also answered this question in the interview.
She highlighted that gaming brings families closer together. It is an opportunity for parents to connect with their kids and ask them how they’re doing. It is also a plus if parents play with their children.
With all these points, you might be asking, “Is there a game that is good for me?”
A Game Made For You
Yes. There is.
Heroes: The Bible Trivia Game isn’t just your ordinary, boring Q & A Bible quiz game. Along with it are a lot of stories, special effects, and lessons that you will learn as you unlock new levels.
How does it work?
Each game has 12 questions, and your score is determined by how quickly you answer them.
If you give a wrong answer, you will be given additional time. But, here’s the catch: every time you pick out an incorrect answer, you have access to ten special effects to help you out. You can also use these effects to save time and advance more quickly.
The more XP (experience points) you earn, the more heroes you’ll be able to unlock.
This is just an overview of the many things you will discover with Heroes.
Now, what makes this game better than the others?
Playing Heroes is like hitting two birds with one stone. It can help you learn more about the Bible, its characters, and history without actually opening your Bible while giving you the satisfaction of a full gaming experience.
Aside from these, why was Heroes: The Bible Trivia Game created?
Well, it has something to do with the advancement of technology and the mission to spread the good news of salvation.
Even before the pandemic, the church was already one step ahead in sharing God’s message.
How is this possible?
Evangelism Over the Years
The church had set up publishing houses when the printing press was the latest technology.
Radio stations were established when the radio was the latest technology. From televisions to the digital world, it followed the same pattern. And now that everybody is playing games, the church has been using it to proclaim the message of hope.
This is how cutting edge and advanced in evangelism the church is. God wants His ministry to spread the good news of His love as fast and modernly as possible.
Mobile Games Can Promote Evangelism
In the same interview, Pastor Wilson was asked this question:
“Why is it so important that the church remains as far ahead as possible in using every possible mean?”
“It’s important that people are in contact with others where they are,” he replied. “And you can’t be speaking to someone and trying to engage them in a spiritual emphasis when they perhaps don’t ever hear you.”
Suppose you meet someone who speaks a language you don’t know. Would you be able to communicate clearly with each other?
This is exactly the reason why Pastor Wilson emphasized the importance of the church being as far ahead as possible.
Who is the Ultimate Example of Evangelism?
In that same interview, Pastor Wilson added, “And so, in terms of electronic digital outreach, the aspects of using unique forms of interesting people in certain subjects are so vital. And now, we’re using a lot of things, especially technology, and the internet, to attract people.”
This is true, because technology has advanced a lot over the years, and a lot of people have been drawn to it.
He also said, “This is because Jesus Himself told stories, enlisted the interest of people to lift them in an understanding of what their lives are to be.”
Even before, Jesus has set Himself as the ultimate example of how we should do evangelism. He used stories to draw people to Him and show them how to live their lives.
Evangelism and Heroes
This game was created to reach out to people, especially the youth, to share God’s love through the Bible.
It is a way to be in the world, but not of the world. It is like speaking the world’s language but conveying a different message. And this message is about love and hope through the Bible.
So, the reason why the game was created is proof enough that there is actually something good in gaming.
Aside from this, young people actually tried the game and can testify that gaming is good indeed.
Gaming Can Be Good
With all these, you can conclude that gaming can be harmful in some conditions, but that it can also be good for you.
1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV) says, “’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything.”
You can also use this simple checklist to assess whether the game you’re playing is more beneficial or harmful:
- Does it trigger good teamwork?
- Does it improve your communication skills?
- Does it bring out leadership qualities in you?
- Does it trigger critical thinking and problem-solving skills?
- Does it bring you closer to your family?
- Does it bring you closer to God?
Suppose you answered most of the questions with a “yes,” good for you! You’re gaming the right way.
But if not, you might need to assess your lifestyle. Also, you can realign it in a way that would fit what God wants you to do.
After all, 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT) states,
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Gaming is just one of the many topics discussed in the Revival for Mission series. If you want to learn and watch more about these, you can visit their website.