To develop strength of character we need to feed the good wolf. But to eliminate flaws in our character, we also need to starve the bad wolf. “Starve the Bad Wolf” is an equally important half of the wolf-feeding parable; but would have made the title of my book too long for a 6 x 9 inch cover.
Everyone has heard the comparison that the human brain is like a computer. A computer is only as valuable as the input it receives. While we are loading quality programs into our computers, we also need to keep the negative from corrupting our hard drive. We should be just as careful of what we put into our brains as we are of what goes into our computers. If you never install virus protection on your computer and you visit a bunch of sites with dubious reputations, then you deserve to have your computer be sluggish, not secure, and prone to viruses. And if you don’t protect your brain from negative influences, then you generate negative thoughts; and your brain becomes sluggish, insecure, and prone to sickness.
The video game industry brings in more revenue than movies, television and radio combined; and has been doing so for the last ten years or so. Unfortunately, like movies, television and radio, many games feel the need to push the envelope of the rating system as far as it can go.
If man is a product of both genetics and environment, then how can anyone possibly think that it’s a good idea to spend any length of time in a video game environment surrounded by graphic death and destruction? I would be willing to bet that in a few years there will be an epidemic of video-game-induced PTSD; although it will have a brand new name so that a psychologist can publish a paper and take credit for diagnosing this “new” mental disorder.
But there is another aspect of video games outside of graphic content that is feeding the bad wolf. The allure of video games is that they create the illusion of achievement. In most games, you play a character that develops skills, acquires wealth, unlocks secrets, gains power, defeats the enemy. As human beings we are designed to be goal-striving organisms. We are happiest when we have a sense of purpose. Except that all that skill, wealth, and power exists only as electronic data bits that can all be wiped out by forces outside your control. You are spending hours and dollars developing a game persona that is both fictional and temporary.
Some men die by shrapnel,
and some go down in flames,
but most men perish inch by inch,
playing at little games
Video game companies are not your friend. They are just farming you for dollars and giving you just enough of a feeling of self-satisfaction to keep you logged in.