CALLING ALL PARENTS!
I’ve got a parent-to-parent question: Will that new PlayStation 4 that your teen or 20-something is so eager to bring home this week keep him (or her) from going to church?
Does that sound like an odd question for OurValues? Let me explain: First, it’s true that most teens and 20-somethings don’t regularly go to church, or synagogue, or mosque. And, there are many reasons they avoid organized religion.
This week, we are going to discuss a series of columns written by David Briggs, one of America’s top religion newswriters. In these pieces, David has been reporting on research that links violent or sexually explicit media with a drop in spirituality and attendance at worship.
As we start, don’t dismiss this series as an utter “downer.” Here’s a hint about our fifth and final column on Friday: That day, I will tell you about some more hopeful research-based news in David’s reporting about young people, families and faith. Meanwhile, if you’re a gamer reading this column—we want to hear from you, too. Millions of Americans play these games and watch explicit movies. We hope to see some comments sticking up for gaming and media freedom.
Whatever your perspective, the research data David Briggs is uncovering should be fascinating to everyone concerned with these issues. Today, we’ll start with this link to David’s latest column in which he writes: “Researchers are finding many young adults appear to struggle with the radically different messages of ‘Machete Kills’ or ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and the Sermon on the Mount.”
At midnight on Friday, the long-awaited, super-powerful PlayStation 4 went on sale and, no, at the moment there is no “Grand Theft Auto” available for this system. (“Grand Theft Auto” is the most notorious—and most popular—of the video games in which players “win” by committing crimes in the fictional world.)
But the PlayStation 4 is selling plenty of other ultra-violent games. Sony boasts that its new “Resogun” puts “a diverse array of devastating weapons” in your hands. And in “Battlefield 4,” Sony proudly proclaims you can “immerse yourself in the glorious chaos of all-out war.”
TODAY, please, tell a friend about this series. In the next four parts of this series, I will link to more of David’s reports on research into these issues. (To tell friends, use the blue “f” Facebook icons or the small envelope-shaped Email icons.)
AND, PLEASE, tell us: Are you concerned about violent video games?
Are you a gamer? Can you add a positive comment?
Have you seen any efforts in your congregation to discuss video games?