By Daniel Chun
Over the past few years, I have come to realize just how much of an impact video games have on people. I used to be an avid gamer, playing six to eight hours of video games every day after school. Yes, I do mean every day.
Between sixth grade and my Sophomore year in high school (I’m a Senior now), I loved playing video games. It was an essential part of my day, just like caffeine is for many adults. After school, I would hop onto my bed and play whatever trendy game there was at the time. During those five years, my life was a mess. I was lonely, had few strong friendships, and felt depressed. I had no goal in life and wanted nothing to do with anything productive.
During my Sophomore year’s Youth Winter Retreat, God touched me. During that weekend, I let go of many things that were holding me back from God, and I decided to quit playing video games, cold turkey. Throughout these past two years, I have not always kept my commitment of not playing video games, but I have significantly reduced my average daily usage.
During this past Youth Winter Retreat, I re-committed to not playing video games again. This time, I am conquering this giant with other Youth who have been called to strengthen their relationships with God. So far, over half a dozen Youth will be committing with me, and many more have been challenged and are considering. God is doing some great things among our Youth!
Looking back, here are some things I have learned about video games:
1) It’s useless – Video games will not get you good friendships, a job promotion, or a happier life. Instead, use your time to invest in yourself. I can assure you that people who do not play video games are joyful, more productive people than those who do play video games.
2) It’s like a gateway drug – Video games led me to pornography, though I am two years clean only because of the grace of God. I have talked to a few people who have been involved in pornography in the past, and all of them have played video games.
3) It leads to depression – Every person that has committed with me to fast video games experienced loneliness, procrastination, and an empty void in their lives when they were playing.
In my experience, the more I let go and give control to God, the more I have control over my own life. I have gained the freedom of experiencing so many things because I let go of playing video games.
I believe the only way that God can really move in our church is for us to let go of these chains that hold us down. Video games are holding many of us down in our church, and it will only get worse if we don’t do anything about it. We already have the victory through Jesus Christ, so let’s win this battle. Let’s conquer this giant together!