You have probably heard your son play video games with his friends. They are able to talk about game tactics, have developed their own mystical lingo that is akin to an unknown tongue and gets so worked up over coloured pixels on a screen that you are left wondering- what has happened?
I Used to Be Like Your Son
I used to be a Fortnite kid- well, back in my day, Fortnite was not the game of games. It was World of Warcraft. Take it from a dude who grew up playing 16 or so hours a day (and was seriously considering a professional path in e-sports) that I understand why your son freaks out when you ask him to step away from his games.
3 Reasons Why Games are So Popular
1. Lust of the Flesh – Games satisfy the flesh and they create powerful feelings of reward for little or no effort compared to the real world of work with hardship, sweat and toil.
2. Lust of the Eyes – Ever hear a kid say, “Wow, look at those graphics!”? Games look good and stimulate the senses. They immerse people in fantasy worlds and help them forget about their problems.
3. Pride of Life – If you get good enough at games, you essentially become a god in your own virtual world who can determine who lives and who dies.
As of writing this, games are the most funded type of project on Kickstarter, collecting over $1.15 billion with a success rate of 40.67%
Our culture is game-obsessed.
12 Powerful Questions to Ask Your Game Addicted Son
Can I encourage you to sit down with your son and ask him these questions? Take real interest because the answers could be more revealing than you think. By showing real interest you will also be able to connect with him in a deeper way.
1. What is Fortnite?
2. In Fortnite how does one win?
3. What is your best tactic to win?
4. What was your greatest achievement in the game so far?
5. What do you like about the game?
6. What don’t you like about the game?
Notice how his friends and peers are related to his answers. You see, gaming has always been about community and those who market games know this. See how Blizzard Entertainment (one of the world’s largest video game developers) advertised their annual conference a few years back.
Now ask your son these follow up questions:
7. What is the Bible?
8. What is salvation?
9. How does one obtain salvation?
10. Are you born again?
11. What do you like about the Bible?
12. What don’t you like about the Bible?
Is he able to describe the Bible with the same zeal, depth and passion as his favourite video game? If the answer to this question is yes, I’d imagine you would have stopped reading this article. The answer is obviously no and things need to change.
This Is What You Must Do
The Bible commands parents to teach their children the scriptures. Ephesians 6:4 says:
“Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Despite this command, most parents have no structured or intentional way of doing this.
The Bible also says that Timothy knew the scriptures from a young age and was wise (2 Timothy 3:15).
This means children can know the Bible and be wise!
The problem is not that the Bible is too complicated for your children. Look at how much your son knows about Fortnite! The problem is in how you are teaching it.
Your son has learned all the information about Fortnite through repetition and interaction that brings reward and that has involved his friends. Fortnite is no longer about playing the game, but about being in control, being better than his friends, or feeling successful, etc.
The sense of purpose he is getting from games is the sense of purpose he should be getting from Christ and in His Word.
It’s Time to Play More Games, Not Less!
God has designed boys to subdue problems and take dominion (Genesis 1:28). These desires need to be properly focused or else they will run wild.
Consider using games to teach spiritual truths. Your son will want to learn the Bible because his knowledge of the scriptures will have consequences in a game that he is playing with you and his friends. He will walk away having learned how to apply the Bible in the real world and feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Games such as The Armoury Bible Game are designed to teach the Bible in the same way that Fortnite has taught your son to win in that game.
Your Son Needs To Know Fortnite Will Die
Fortnite is a fad. It is here today and will be gone tomorrow. In my day World of Warcraft was hitting gamers by storm, then it was League of Legends, and now Fortnite. Encourage your son to develop skills in something that is far more rewarding, something that never changes and something that no one can take away from him: the ability to rightly divide the Word of Truth and understand the Word of God.