Today’s Radio — Video Games and the Lure of the Unreal

In today’s commentary, “Video Games — The New Playgrounds of the Self,” I take a look at Christine Rosen’s important article, “Playgrounds of the Self,”…


In today’s commentary, “Video Games — The New Playgrounds of the Self,” I take a look at Christine Rosen’s important article, “Playgrounds of the Self,” published in the current edition of The New Atlantis. That’s also the topic of today’s edition of The Albert Mohler Program.
Here are other articles we’ll be considering on today’s program:
Chasing the Dream,” The Economist, August 4, 2005, [subscription required]. A selection:
Gaming has gone from a minority activity a few years ago to mass entertainment. Video games increasingly resemble films, with photorealistic images, complex plotlines and even famous actors. The next generation of games consoles–which will be launched over the next few months by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo–will intensify the debate over gaming and its impact on society, as the industry tries to reach out to new customers and its opponents become ever more vocal. Games consoles are the most powerful mass-produced computers in the world and the new machines will offer unprecedented levels of performance. This will, for example, make possible characters with convincing facial expressions, opening the way to games with the emotional charge of films, which could have broader appeal and convince sceptics that gaming has finally come of age as a mainstream form of entertainment. But it will also make depictions of violence even more lifelike, to the dismay of critics.
Thomas Griffin, IV, “Video Gamers Anomymous: Unplugged From the Matrix,” Boundless, 2005. A selection:
But finding identity in video games carries a cost I didn’t understand until just a few months ago. First it detracts from the identity I am commanded to have in Christ. We are to look to Him – the author and finisher of our faith – for our sense of self-worth and purpose. Supplementing with something else is a mistake, especially because extra sources of identity demand time and resources. Apart from Christ, identity is not a gift – it is a return on investment. Put another way, our identity in Christ is derived from what He did on the cross, what He does in our lives and the future He has promised us. My identity in the Legend of Zelda was derived from the staggering amount of hours I spent figuring out how to get to and defeat dungeon monsters. [Thanks to Justin and Alex at Between Two Worlds for this link]

R. Albert Mohler Jr.

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