Alright, part three, here we go. There’s probably more stats that I could share with you, but I think something that’s just as important are the stories of individuals who actually have dealt with compulsive behavior when it comes to playing games.
Bryan Hall, at his blog JohnnyBGamer actually began talking about the idea of game addiction at the same time I did. He dedicated one post to sharing an analysis of the term “addiction” to see if it really applied to videogames. In his second post, however, he shared candidly about a season he now refers to as a “lost summer,” where he did almost nothing but play World of Warcraft for several months straight. So what happened as a result? In his words, “My personal relationships began to suffer during this time. I drove my parents nuts, almost lost my girlfriend, and did nothing to grow myself physically/ spiritually.”
Drew Dixon’s first article for Relevant actually had something to do with the subject too. It’s entitled “Beating The Video Game Fixation.” He candidly shares the way he struggles with maintaining composure while playing competitive video games online. The article is not as much about having a lifestyle built around compulsive playing, but it still illustrates the incredible power that games can have over our behavior, and that you don’t necessarily need to reach the depths of a destructive lifestyle that will be described in the next example for games to negatively influence your life.
This, now is the story that inspired the entire series. James Portnow is the writer of a show called Extra Credits. In addition to being professionally involved in the gaming industry he also writes regularly for numerous online journals. In fact he wrote the script of the video that I shared last week. If you would watch this video you’ll see that he meant to write a script dealing further with the idea of game addiction, but the idea of it just hit too close to home and he was compelled instead to sit down in front of a webcam and share his story of dealing with game compulsion in his own life.
My favorite quote of his has to be “Life always welcome you back.” I was reminded while watching this video of the parable Jesus told about the son who had abandoned his home, lost his inheritance in wild living, and returned home, full of shame, only to be welcome in by his father with open arms. I was reminded of my own story of abandoning God, wasting my life on pointless living, driven on by my own shame. It wasn’t ever that I was afraid to come back to God, it was just that I thought I was too far gone, had made too many mistakes. But God always welcomes you back, and he can redeem even wasted time.
James’ story inspired me to tell my own. It inspired me to put together the talk that I’m going to start presenting at local churches on this very subject. (My first opportunity is coming up soon, on the 28th. Pray that I would have courage and wisdom to say what i need to say!) I’m also going to type up some of that story in the next day or two. Thank you, everyone who has read this, for all your encouraging feedback. We’re definitely on to something here.