young christian gamer


Is Gaming Bad for Young Christians? 6 Factors to Consider

In 2018, the World Health Organization officially included gaming disorder in their classifications, sparking renewed discussions on whether video games negatively influence Christians.

With this, is gaming bad for young Christians?

In this article, let’s find the answer to that question by exploring the following:

  • Negative effects of gaming on young Christians
  • Its benefits on them

Is Gaming Bad for the Christian Youth? The Reality of the Issue

Heroes: Teenagers in a gaming tournament
Photo credit: Canva

The question of whether gaming is beneficial or detrimental for young Christians is a highly debated and nuanced issue.

On one hand, many argue that when approached responsibly and with discernment, gaming can align with Christian values and provide enjoyable experiences.

On the other hand, concerns are raised about its potential negative impacts, which we will discuss later.

As opinions vary widely within the Christian community, the discussion surrounding the compatibility of gaming with a Christian youth lifestyle remains a complex and ongoing dialogue.

3 Most Common Negative Impacts of Gaming on Young Christians

1) Gaming may lead to a compromise in their moral values.

Heroes: Kids fighting
Photo credit: The Wright Initiative

Engaging in certain video games can expose young Christians to content that challenges their moral compass, potentially desensitizing them to violence, immorality, or unethical behavior.

True enough, a 2018 study shows that exposure to morally questionable content in video games results in subsequent changes in attitude and behavior1.

On this matter, Philippians 4:8 serves as a timely reminder to focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.

2) It may result in neglecting their responsibilities and priorities.

Heroes: Child feeling lazy to study
Photo credit: VOI

Excessive gaming has the potential to divert young Christians from their responsibilities and priorities.

A 2011 study confirms this fact as it finds a correlation between problematic video game use and neglect of academic and other responsibilities2.

For this, Proverbs 20:4 (NIV) warns against laziness, stating, “Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time, they look but find nothing.”

3) It may trigger addiction and impair self-control.

Heroes: Child feeling angry while playing a game
Photo credit: Study Finds

Excessive gaming can lead to addictive behavior and impaired self-control among young Christians.

This is possible because games affect the brain in the same way as addictive drugs. Specifically, they trigger the release of dopamine, a chemical that reinforces behavior3.

This addiction impairs self-control, which conflicts with biblical principles such as what is said in Proverbs 25:28 (ESV). That is, “a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”

3 Most Common Benefits of Gaming on Them

1) Gaming can be a tool for Christian learning and education.

Heroes: Active class
Photo credit: Canva

Certain video games offer educational content and challenges that can supplement learning.

Our very own Heroes is one of those. As a Bible trivia game, it supplements their study of the Bible by asking them questions about its various characters and stories.

This increases their biblical knowledge and sharpens their memory4.

2) It promotes fellowship among young Christians.

Heroes: Fellowship
Photo credit: Canva

Gaming, especially if it involves the Bible, provides a unique avenue for young Christians to build a sense of community and fellowship.

Heroes, for instance, allows them to play Bible trivia with their families and friends. Through its multiplayer mode, they can just send them a link as an invitation for collaboration.

This aligns with the biblical counsel in Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV): “Spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together…”

3) It serves as a platform for evangelism and mission.

Heroes: The Bible and a mobile game
Photo credit: Tyndale House Publishers

When inspired by biblical content, a game can be an effective tool for spreading the gospel.

By introducing Bible characters and stories in a quiz format, Heroes, among several Bible trivia games, leads its players to knowing and developing an intimate relationship with God.

This fulfills the divine commission given to us in Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV): “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The Verdict

Given the positive and negative consequences of gaming, the answer to whether it is good or bad for young Christians depends on what games they play.

There are games that provide knowledge while others offer mere entertainment. There are those that teach good moral values while others promote violence.

Richard Machado, a QA specialist of Heroes, mentions, “There are some games that are truly not good for us, especially because we have such strong moral beliefs…Some of them challenge us and force us to make bad choices.”

With this, gaming is not necessarily harmful for a young Christian as long as he or she carefully chooses which games to play.

Share Your Insights

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Share them with us in the comments below.

For more information about this topic, watch this interview:

  1. E. Scharrer, G. Kamau, et al., 2018, APA PsycNet []
  2. Douglas Gentile, Hyekyung Choo, 2011, National Library of Medicine []
  3. Addiction Center, 2023 []
  4. Josh Griffin, 2021, Download Youth Ministry []
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