Just before Christmas I got myself a Playstation. As a male it is in my genes to love playing games, and that has for sure proved right once more. But, am I letting my Playstation stand in the way for success?
Back in the days, before I started working as a missionary, I was a big gamer. I loved playing games on my computer, and games such as Starcraft, Warcraft and Age of Empires were all big favorites of mine. From time to time i played games such as Need for Speed, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Diablo and other games, but the strategy games were for sure stealing most of my time. But, at the age of 18 I joined a mission work and that took all of my time. For several years I did not play any games at all, except from occasionally playing Subspace (Continuum), a very easy to play online game with bad graphics, but so easy to get addicted to.
It is in my genes to get addicted to gaming and that is why I have mostly never dared to even try games since then. One of my basic principles is that “I can get addicted to any game if I only have a few minutes to actually understand and try the game.”
A few years back I got a Nintento Wii which I wanted to use in Sunday school for kids. I did not actually get to use it there, but still we used it on church weekends as an activity and more. Luckily the Wii-games were quite boring and I haven’t used the Wii anything at all for the last years.
My Playstation 4 arrived just before Christmas
Just before Christmas I decided to enjoy a great Black Friday offer on Amazon.de. I could get my hands on a Slim Playstation 4 costing only 200 Euro. I ordered and had the Playstation delivered to me in about a week. It came without games, but I quickly ordered FIFA 2017 (I love football games), Need For Speed and I also wanted to try a FPS (First Person Shooter) which I could use to play together with friends in split-screen (and also online).
For some reason I could not stand the Need for Speed game, so I quickly stopped playing it. Instead I bought Drive Club (which I enjoyed way more), but it was as I ended up with Call of Duty: Black Ops III and FIFA 2017 I got into trouble. Both games were so easy to get started with, so easy to enjoy and throughout the day I just waited to be able to play again in the evening. That is kind of normal, especially if you have the gaming gene in you, but it can also be dangerous. If all you can do during daytime (when you are supposed to work) is to think about playing a game, then that will for sure not influence your work in a good way. And then, whenever you get a chance to play you take it. Your focus changes a lot, minute by minute, and instead of reading a good book, you just sit down to play instead. Recognize yourself in this situation?
Is it wrong to love playing games?
I would say absolutely not! But, one should be careful. It is not by coincidence that expressions such as game addictions exist. We all want success, but if you suffer from game addiction it is likely to stand in your way. Whenever you get the chance your brain power is used on how to improve in the game you are actually playing. Whenever you get five minutes of you play a bit. Your mind is not set on the things above (Colossians 3:1), it is not set on the family, it is not set on your work or your business… it is set on playing and gaming.
Now, if you are lucky and operate a gaming blog, you work with games or maybe have a Christian website for gamers, then that can be a brilliant combination. Playing games will give inspiration to new articles and also make you able to help others.
But, for people like me it is rather distracting. It is taking away the focus from what I need to focus on, and instead I dream about scoring a goal in FIFA or improving my aiming skills in Call of Duty.
What is the solution for people who get easily addicted to playing games?
I do not want to let gaming stand in the way of success, and I do not want gaming to stand in the way of doing Gods will. I guess the solution is to seek Gods kingdom first and his righteousness, and then he will have to help out.
We all need to relax, even bloggers, so playing a game can be a great way to do so. It is just important to play within the boundaries set by ourselves and by God. You might want to discuss this with someone you love, someone you trust. Set boundaries together and stick to whatever you decide.
When we once end our lives on earth to meet God I am sure that he will not care much about my aiming skills in Call of Duty. Get a vision and goal for your life. Maybe you can use gaming to reach people with the gospel? Or maybe you want to spend a few hours a week playing to relax after a hard week? Use the gaming to achieve something you want, but do not let the games take you wherever they want you to go. Do not let the game use you, instead you should use the game for a purpose that will help you (and maybe others)!