Are Video Games a Problem?

The Problem Behind the Problem with Video Games

I have been involved with mentoring apostolates for young men since I was in high school, and I can tell you that in the last 5-10 years there has been a major shift in the topic of video games. Prior to this shift, proposing that video games might not be a good thing resulted in benign reactions, maybe a little pushback, and usually just a reinforcement about moderation in all things, blah blah.

But now, the defensiveness of those wrapped up in video games reveals deep insecurity and disordered love. Recently I was in a room with hundreds of young men, and the talks were ranging from the problems of abortion, masturbation, pornography, adultery, gay marriage, transgenderism, and every other hot-topic of the culture wars. But then someone brought up video games, and suggested that perhaps young men should put those aside in order to grow in maturity. Outrage! The roar in the room and the backlash was astounding. You would think someone propose that they castrate themselves. Someone was attacking a disordered love and insecurity.

His title implies that there is a problem with video games. Maybe the push back he’s getting is because he’s lumping video games in with abortion and pornography and is trying to take games away from them.

In America, young men who are the same age as Don Juan of Austria was when he won the battle of Lepanto are rallying for few things, but they rally to defend their games. Usually this includes talk of “all things in moderation,” which is actually not a true statement. Lots of things – like love, compassion, and virtue – are not done in moderation. Moderation, then, needs moderation. And the inability for modern man to distinguish between leisure and amusement makes that a difficult conversation to have anyway.

Perhaps in some other post this fellow elaborates on what he means by the difference between leisure and amusement and what that has to do with anything. Who knows. On topic he then dismisses the possibility that games might have some good effect on coordination or problem solving because “the ends don’t justify the means.” The ends don’t justify the means IF the ends are evil. Are games intrinsically wrong?

I had games (Scorpion’s fatality is done by holding block and pressing up up), but when Mortal Kombat came out the game industry was just starting to capitalize on male boredom as a 13 billion dollar industry, and I was blessed with opportunities for real experiences too, but by college the growing addiction was clear among us. Addiction to games is similar to addiction to pornography, and both are growing the masculinity crisis. Today the industry is over 30 billion, and if pushers of drugs and porn are any indication, the focus on getting and keeping males addicted will continue.

I’m so impressed that he played Mortal Kombat. That sure makes him an expert. Or maybe it just means he’s old and out of touch. The idea that game addiction is the similar as pornography addiction is absurd. Is my addiction to caffeine the same as a heroin addiction? Excuse me a moment, I need to step out and go see the coffee bean dealer behind the dumpster in the McDonald’s parking lot. I gotta get my fix.

The things that typically draw in young men, even when unhealthy or imperfect, share a sense of loyalty and solidarity, with the nobility of self-sacrifice being praised and selfishness being punished. The military, gangs, and sports – things dominated by males – all share a belonging, a hierarchy of codes and authority, and the call to do daring and dangerous feats. They are ways of living and belonging, and the dangers is are not just for the cheapness of “thrill” but in the willingness to sacrifice for a cause – to be for others and for a mission. What, beyond economic security, are we for today? If you have ever felt repulsed at the disrespect of a young man absorbed in video games, you can usually count on him being absorbed in a game that attempts, however feebly and pitifully, to reproduce the things forgotten by a society gone bored. That’s the problem behind the problem.

The problem is that society has crushed everything that is noble, interesting, and fun out of men’s lives. Woman have invaded almost every male only space, and SWJs poison is creeping into even things like sports. And now this fellow appears to be saying we can’t have video games.

First, video games are not evil. They are not porn or drugs. Second, you can consume them in moderation. Third, men need an outlet which allows them to do these things. They need an outlet in a man dominated space. (This is not to say that there are no female gamers.  It is to say that there’s nothing wrong with more guys playing games than girls do.) This is good for men. While the author of this dismisses the possibility that video games can have good effects, don’t you think that something that encourages men to behave in heroic and loyal ways might be helpful in inculcating these good traits which aren’t being encouraged anywhere else?

Certainly you could be addicted to video games, and when life sucks, it’s pretty easy to sink deep into a hobby which is fun and escapist. But if guys have the right incentive they’ll come out again. In GamerGate you’d see people talking about how with their games they’d trained for years for this moment, the moment where they get to fight a boss in real life, and they trained to win. If you think guys are spending too much time withdrawn, playing games, then be constructive not destructive. The trick should be giving men a real world outlet for things that men naturally want to do rather than telling them that what outlets they have are no good.


More Racial Insanity

Apparently, we should believe that black college students in California are terribly oppressed. Black students at UC Santa Cruz took over an Administrative building and planned to stay put, no matter what, until their demands were met.  What were those demands, you ask?  Oh, only that a particular dorm on campus (that is already named for Rosa Parks and “African-American themed”) be set aside for black students.  It’s like they’re demanding segregation all over again.  There were a couple other things too, making 4 demands total.  Here they are courtesy of a local station:

1) “Similar to EOP students and International students’ housing guarantees, we demand that ALL African Black Caribbean identified students have a 4 year housing guarantee to live in the Rosa Parks African American Themed House. Guaranteeing this would provide a viable living option to all (Afrikan/Black/Caribbean) identified students regardless of housing status and college affiliation. We demand a written agreement by the opening of housing applications in April 2017.”

2) “We demand the university remove the beds and release the Rosa Parks African Themed House lounge so it can serve its original purpose. We demand the lounge be returned by Fall 2017.”

3) “We demand that the university fund the ENTIRE exterior of the Rosa Parks African American Themed House being painted Pan-Afrikan colors (Red, green, and black) by the start of Spring quarter 2017. These Pan Afrikan colors represent Black liberation, and represent our diaspora, and the goals of our people.”

4) “We demand that all new incoming students from 2017-2018 school year forward (first years and transfers) go through a mandatory in-person diversity competency training in the event that the online module is not implemented by JUNE 2017. We demand that the training be reviewed and approved by A/BSA board every two years. We demand that every incoming student complete this training by their first day of class.”

As Tucker Carlson predicted when he interviewed one of the protest leaders, the University caved to all of the demands.  Ah, the things kids learn in college these days. Throw a fit and you get what you want (as long as you’re not white).

A Few Spots of Hope

The GOP might be mostly worthless (and possibly traitorous), but we have had a few hopeful developments this week.

Trump Reins in Federal Role in Education, Common Core

President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order doing something unprecedented: establishing as the official policy of the federal government to “protect and preserve State and local control over” our nation’s education system.

You can watch the press conference and official signing of the document online.

President Trump’s executive order also directs U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to review every single regulation, guidance document, or other publication from the U.S. Department of Education to see whether any of them violate laws limiting the federal role in education. The order specifically directs the secretary of education to “rescind or revise” any such regulations or guidance documents “no later than 300 days’ from yesterday…

In recognizing the primacy of these laws [No Child Left Behind & Every Student Succeeds Act], President Trump’s executive order is unique. Past presidents—from both political parties—have often used such directives to increase federal control over various aspects of society, including education. Whenever the federal government increases its role in education, children suffer, as bureaucrats far removed from parents, teachers, and locally elected school boards exert their will over how our students are educated.

The order also singles out the “Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative” as one specific area where state and local control over education has been attacked.

Executive Order Recognizes Religious Freedom

After an eight-year war on faith, President Trump finally called a ceasefire on the conflict started by Barack Obama with an executive order on religious freedom. The measure, which was celebrated in a signing ceremony at the White House, was the fulfillment of one of the most significant promises made by the longshot candidate: “to preserve and protect our religious liberty.” …

Among other things, the directive checks another big box on the White House’s to-do list — lifting the gag order on churches and other nonprofits under the Johnson Amendment. Since the first days of his candidacy, Donald Trump has railed against the 60-year-old piece of tax code that liberals have turned into a club to punish pastors with. For too long, the Left has used the IRS to threaten the charitable status of churches who dared to speak out on the moral issues of the day…

Medical professionals, charities, businesses, and even nuns who’ve suffered under the outrageous mandate of Obamacare will finally have the relief they need to say no to insurance coverage that violates their conscience. After years of court battles, they’ll be free from regulatory harassment of including contraception and abortifacients in their health care plans. But that’s not all the order does. It sets in place a multi-step process that will provide some long-overdue protections by directing the Attorney General Jeff Sessions to develop guidelines for every federal agency to ensure they protect and promote religious freedom. This includes members of our military, who, under the Obama administration, have been systematically silenced and even purged. Men and women like Chaplain Wes Modder (U.S. Navy-Ret.) and Monifa Sterling, who stared down the ends of their careers for their deeply-held beliefs, can finally come out of hiding and live out their faith openly.

Finally, for our friends like Barronelle Stutzman and Don Vander Boon, who’ve suffered for their biblical views on marriage, there’s hope. As President Trump said, “No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith,” President Trump told those of us gathered in the Rose Garden for today’s ceremony. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore,” the president said. “We will never ever stand for religious discrimination.”

And finally one that might not pan out, but here’s hoping…

Republicans Back Pact to Gut Obamacare

By a 217-213 vote, the House advanced the mission the Americans elected them for — defunding the nation’s biggest abortion group and gutting an unsustainable and unconscionable law. Despite almost three months of drama, the GOP managed to pull together a coalition that put the American Health Care Act (AHCA) over the top, fulfilling a major pledge the president’s party has campaigned on since 2010… House leaders have struck a compromise that lowers premiums, boosts freedom, and protects taxpayers and the unborn.

Today’s win was a long time coming for pro-lifers, who watched with revulsion every David Daleiden video detailing the horrors of Cecile Richards’s group. For once, the moral injustice done to taxpayers has a voice: Congress’s. There was the usual phony panic from Planned Parenthood, which insisted that if Congress didn’t send them their usual half-billion taxpayer dollars, women’s health care would cease to exist. (What they didn’t mention is that the money would be redirected to thousands of local health clinics — which, incidentally, haven’t been referred for criminal prosecution.) Not surprisingly, they’ve called the effort to defund their organization a “national scandal.” But honestly, the only real scandal is that America has been funding the group as long as it has!

Let’s hope the Senate follows quickly in the House’s footsteps and sends the AHCA to the desk of the pro-life president we’ve been waiting for. It’s time for Donald Trump to make history and bring our nation closer to the day when all human life is protected under law.


Is Yoga Evil?

I’ve run across the idea that yoga having come from eastern spiritual tradition was somehow bad, but it always seemed sort of fringe, a little like the fundamentalist freak out over fantasy stories – a bit silly.  But then I ran across this: Yoga: a cautionary tale

This blogger has seemed very reasonable about things in the past, and she’s certainly not being hysterical about it.  I don’t doubt her personal experience, but…?  The one thing that doesn’t seem well-defined is this: is there a way to separate the physical movements just for exercise and lose the Hindu spiritual meaning?  This seems to be implying no, but how is it that the Church is able to transform other pagan practices but apparently not this one?

Paris: May Day

Perhaps the French should be sending out distress signals, though I don’t know who/what can help them.  Will May 7 determine their fate and whether they have some small hope for their future, or none at all?

We know that France is a mess right now.  According to Lauren Southern, France’s May Day riots were worse than Berkeley.  She was there reporting with Luke of We Are Change.  They’re staying in France to cover the Le Pen vs. Macron election. Their prediction?  This is just the beginning; expect much worse rioting following the election, no matter who wins.


Is old film the answer to forming our children’s imaginations?

Anthony Esolen thinks so.  Our children need not just our example or direct teaching to form their imagination and moral sense, but good art, including film.  If it isn’t explicitly religious or moralizing, all the better.

Why the Miley Cyrus generation needs the old movies…urgently:

For I find this black mark impinge the man,
That he believes in just the vile of life.
Low instinct, base pretension, are these truth?
– Robert Browning, from The Ring and the Book

…we should welcome our allies wherever we may find them, particularly among the creators of films that celebrate marriage and innocent life, piety and faithfulness, before such things became controversial. The unconscious witness of people who are not party to our current confusion can be most powerful indeed. A film like Penny Serenade, about a marriage that hangs by a thread, between a good man who is a failure at work and a good woman who cannot bear children, has more to say to us about not tearing asunder what God has joined together, than any number of lectures in theology…

Here someone will object that the people who made those films were often not at all pious. Some of them did things that, if you knew about them, would make it almost impossible for you ever again to take any pleasure in their work. What then separates them from the people who make films now? Aren’t they all sinners like the rest of us? And cannot bad people make great art?

Yes and no. There are sinners who feel the pain of their sin because they acknowledge how far they fall short of the glory of God. That might have described the hard-drinking, fist-throwing Catholic director, John Ford; and the womanizing Gary Cooper, who became a Catholic shortly before he died, partly because of the example of Ford. But then there are sinners who are numb to their sin, because they no longer acknowledge the glory of God. They are like the wicked man whom Robert Browning’s pope describes in the quote above. They believe “in just the vile of life.” For them, all piety is sanctimony, all patriotism is bigotry, all chastity is prudishness, all innocence is naïveté, all tradition is hide-bound, all judgment is arbitrary, and all love is but selfishness with sugar.

Such people cannot make great art. They can be a part of great works of art only to the extent that they are borne up by the faith of better people around them. They cannot otherwise raise themselves out of the mud…

We wish not only to tell our children what the truth is, but to show it to them. This we can do by the example of our lives, but because children so often feel the need to place some distance between themselves and their parents, if only to win their separate identities, we must turn to others to confirm that truth. We can do much on our own to form their memories. We can do little on our own to form their imaginations. That is what good art and great art are for.

We cannot hand over their imaginative catechesis to people who, en masse, reject or despise our trust in God and in the coherence and beauty of the nature which God has created and sustains. That is not because they are bad people. As people they may be much better than their principles. It is because their principles are bad; the well is bad from the source…

And since, for most people, imagination leads and reason follows, we are fooling ourselves if we think we can ignore it. The forming of the imagination is not a part of a Christian education. It is a Christian education.

That does not mean that we turn to specifically religious art. Again, a religious vision of the world often strikes home more powerfully when it is like the fresh air, or like health…

But I hear an objection: “Our children cannot watch the old movies!” Their attention wanders if they are not regularly needled and sparked by noise, a visual and aural and neural overload, an induced Saint Vitus’ dance. If that is true, their imaginations need more than formation. They need healing.

GOP Delenda Est

We handed them everything they could have wanted on a silver platter.  And they all cucked.  Rush hits the nail on the head:

So Obamacare gets funded. Sanctuary cities get funded. The EPA gets funded through September. Planned Parenthood gets funded. The wall does not. So if you’re asking yourself, “Why am I voting Republican?” you have a good question. Why is anybody voting Republican, if this is what happens when we win?

It’s not a surprise that they stabbed us in the back.  It’s been clear that the GOP had no interest in winning since they picked McCain as a presidential candidate.  They are indeed merely part of a “bi-factional ruling party.”  And it’s time to get rid of them.