A few weeks ago the New York Times ran a story on churches using violent video games to attract youth. Now there’s a story out of Alabama about a lock in sponsored by a First United Methodist Church featuring games like Halo. Reflecting on whether this is appropriate or not:
Some churches monitor the games, opting to restrict the games played in church to ones that aren’t violent. Others, however, say children will play the games no matter what, and they might as well play them in church, where adults and ministers can talk to them about their moral implications.
I’ve heard this “they’re going to do it anyway” argument before – usually in relation to sex, drugs & alcohol. There was no indication in the article that the church in question was featuring “safe sex rooms,” or “clean needle rooms,” or “drink till you drop, then sleep it off in safety rooms.” At least not yet.
Talking about the moral and spiritual implications of video games is a good thing. But why do we need to encourage killing (fake) people to do it? Will the kids not know what we’re talking about? I doubt it.
“But the kids won’t come” if we don’t do this! I don’t believe it. Sure, there are some events that some kids won’t come to. (Some kids won’t even come to a “Frag Fest.”) But does the end of getting kids in the door justify any means used? I’ll need to hear some better arguments before I’m convinced.