Friday, May 02, 2008

Grand Theft Retort

I write about the various musings of Dr. Albert Mohler from time to time, so I hope you won't mind if I bring him up again. Earlier in the week, Dr. Mohler dedicated his daily radio program to discuss the release of Grand Theft Auto IV. As you can imagine, he didn't have much good to say about it. How convenient for this post, then, that he condensed the program into a blog post.

There's a lot for me to agree with Dr. Mohler regarding this subject. I can't really defend the content of GTA games, as I'd never play them myself. Games where the goal is to act criminally do not sit well with me. Anti-heroes are not what I would consider to be enjoyable escape.

That out of the way, Dr. Mohler makes a lot of mistakes in how he approaches this subject generally. While he acknowledges that these games are clearly meant for adults and not for children or teens, he seems to place equal blame on both the parents who buy these games for their children and on the creators for making the game in the first place. This is just indefensible. Should we not create things for adults only for the risk that children will be given access to it by the irresponsible? Should we ban the Bible at the risk of children reading about Lot and his many adventures?

Additionally, Dr. Mohler never explicitly comes out against video games in general, but his thematic approach is to deem them "inappropriate" at best. As in, "What responsible adult would waste their time with such things when there are other important matters to be dealt with?" This is a trend I hear a lot, and it's quite annoying. So many people tend to treat any form of entertainment with disdain, as if you're wasting your life by enjoying anything of the sort and good Christians would be better off reading the Bible than getting bogged down in that junk.

The problem is that so many people selectively apply these things. Video games are bad for you, but television is okay. Movies are bad, but literature is just fine. Card games are evil, but board games are fun for all! Take your pick, someone has argued against or for any of the above.

I can't defend people who do anything obsessively, especially when it gets in the way of real obligations and healthy lifestyle choices, but this vendetta against video games in general is misguided. There is nothing unbiblical about video games. Even if you consider it a waste of time to play them, that is your opinion. People can certainly enjoy them while maintaining a healthy balance in their life.

No comments: