Why I gave up Vid!


In 1990ish I was introduced to the world of Mario. I remember playing Nintendo a lot. I think at one point I had about 30 Nintendo games. I remember the sheer excitement when I got a Super Nintendo for my birthday. My friend had Sonic the Hedgehog and I remember staying up late at night getting as many rings as I could as if it really mattered. That was the topic of conversation at school as well. It was a big competition to see who had already “beat” a game first. The crazy thing is that my gaming hours was actually pretty moderate compared to many kids my age.

Up until a few years ago I was really big into video games but that love faded away recently but it didn’t come easily. Video games give us an outlet to relieve stress and get our minds off the problems of the world. I remember having one particularly violent game (tame compared to today’s standards) that I would sometimes put on when I was upset about something. It gave me an outlet to take out my anger without actually hurting someone else. Video games have also been shown to improve our cognitive ability to solve problems. It increases reaction time. It’s also something so much a part of pop culture for the younger generation that if someone cracks a joke with the punch line of “PWND” and you do not laugh, people will either think you are too old to understand or grew up under a rock.
So, why did I walk away from video games?
Something changed in me. I began to question what I was doing with my life. I began to seek after the truth of my existence and follow after that at all costs. I looked at the problems of this world and rather than feeling helpless or upset about them, I gained compassion and a desire to do something about it. I could no longer play a video game without this feeling inside that there was something better for me to be doing with my life. I felt that I was ignoring the cries of those who are hurting. I looked at myself from the third person point of view and thought “What strange behavior!” Where is the justice in this? What would I say if someone who was hurting or had no hope in life were there in the room with me as I played these video games. I know it’s something that most people would say “You can’t let those things get to you.” or they might say that those who are hurting are not smart enough to help themselves so they don’t really care to be helped. What a bunch of lies!
Ignorance IS NOT bliss.
As my understanding of the Gospel went from a state of near nothingness to at least a glimmer of light, so did my desire to fulfill the greatest command of God: to love Him with my whole heart and to express that by loving others.
So, you might say, well if you feel so strongly about that, why aren’t you overseas right now feeding the hungry?
There lies the misunderstanding. You see, there are people starving here in my backyard. Oregon is the least “religious” state in the country. There are people HERE starving for the gospel. They may be financially rich, but they are dirt poor in spirit. I see the hurt in people’s eyes all around me and none of them seek after God. They have some sort of false view of who Jesus is so they push it off and move on to the next thing that is able to fill that missing part of their soul.
But I have a problem. My understanding of the gospel is so shallow. I realized that if I even wanted to share the gospel, I would have to first desire to, and second, know how to.
So, the past few years I have been eating up books and gaining understanding. I am in awe. What have I been doing my whole life? Why did I ever think that something as stupid as video games would be the end of my joy in this life. The knowledge of God is an overflowing well in the desert. It is so fulfilling and its depths never end.
I pray that you would evaluate what you love in life and don’t want to give up and ask yourself this question….Is there something better? Begin to learn who Jesus is and seek the truth at all costs.