Catalog of Little Choice
Looking beyond hardware and graphics.
More than any other sense we have, sight is often the most used to communicate information. This is especially true of gaming—doesn’t work out all that well when you can’t assess what’s happening on-screen.
But the focus on visual quality is staggering. 4K TVs, TrueTone HD, virtual reality and more. It’s amazing how much detail our eyes can perceive! That said, with this abundance of physical clarity, let’s stop and consider what we’ve been looking at.
Sight is a topic God intensely speaks about throughout the Bible. Take the first chapter of Jeremiah, for example. Twice God asks the man, “What do you see?” Not how the vision is turning out, but what’s in the vision. As a generation, we’ve received a fixation on the technology we use to play, but have all too often given up on what we’re enjoying for how it appears.
Identify the Sight
I was looking into PS Now, Sony’s expansion into the PC gaming market, introducing its PS3 catalog of games. It’s a subscription based model that will stream the games from Sony’s servers, an excellent way to keep using older resources to generate revenue! But a great number of the games I can’t go back and play. I no longer fight to ignore what I see.
What gets on our eyes has the ability to seat itself on the throne of our hearts.
What I see is the magnification of sin. Choppy dialogue and misogynistic plots litter games in that catalog like pepperoni on pizza. Excuses are made to justify illegal activity and disrespect as gameplay. Others make light of weighty matters as if those things are secondary, but any time sin isn’t identified as such is the point of the game produced.
It was difficult to see this before, mainly because I chose not to see them. I thank God that I can now see, especially as such games sit together in a collection (like watching multiple episodes at a time, instead of once a week of a certain show).
Clearing the View
Gaming carries more importance to us than we may initially realize. I’ve come into understanding that it’s best to trust God’s heart over mine. I’ve had to leave many games behind for their malcontent. I all too easily absorbed what I saw—the aggression, manipulation, lust and indifference. I deceived myself into thinking they served what I was playing. The truth: I attempted to justify what I knew to be error.
You may find yourself like how I was, thinking you’re in control. If we want peace, we must submit to God’s wisdom. The human heart is deceitful and wicked; no one can truly know it (Jr 17:9). What we look at gets into our thinking and helps mold patterns of behavior—for better and worse. When such games are absorbed, cynicism, fear, aggression, lust and disrespect are the by-products. What gets on our eyes has the ability to seat itself on the throne of our hearts. It affects our thoughts, our actions and our relationships. We become what we worship.
The Follow Through
So, how do we begin to clean up and filter what we look at? We have to first allow God’s Holy Spirit access to the lust of our eyes—then we can admit the problem exists. I struggled with this for a long time. I made excuses. And my detachment wasn’t without pain, but I was delivered from such denial with the help of my wife.
One of the most powerful tools in this fight of faith is accountability. You’re not an island to yourself. Since your actions affect more people than just yourself, trust that God has placed someone in your life who is strong in your weakness to be used by Him to strengthen you.
This activity positively affects your discernment, so you’ll know what pleases God in whatever you’re doing and playing. That’s God’s desire for you! Your peace is at stake and I know that’s far more valuable than that game you’ve been intimate with. Honestly, it isn’t that great when the blinders are removed.
I’m praying you’ll consider these words. To God be the praise, I’m able to write to you now, because I continue to pursue holiness especially with my eyes. Be honest about what you see and be free in Jesus. Your soul is worth more than all of the gaming catalogs combined.