Animated Christian Program Helps 11-Year-Old Boy Resist Suicide
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
“I cried. I want to commit suicide,” 11-year-old Minh Viet stated. Like many of his friends, the Vietnamese boy was addicted to video games, some of which have characters jumping off the roof to their death. This made Minh want to do the same.
Too often, when we discuss the impact that media has on young minds, the discussion gets lost in the numbers instead of the stories of people whose lives are dramatically impacted by the mass media. Movieguide® reports these numbers every single year to Hollywood at the Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry. The 2019 report found that “children who spend the most time on electronic devices or watching TV had around a 5% lower cognitive function than other 8 to 11-year-olds.”
Additionally, psychology professor Craig A. Anderson asserts that video games are no longer a uniquely American phenomenon. He states, “we now have conclusive evidence that playing violent video games has harmful effects on children and adolescents.”
These aren’t merely statistics. These are young boys and girls. These reports and numbers reflect the 11-year-old Minh Viet.
Miraculously, Minh Viet didn’t become another victim of media influenced suicide. What helped him get out of this negative mindset? An animated Christian television program he viewed at a church. The TV program is called SUPERBOOK.
PRODUCED by CBN, SUPERBOOK aims to “have the kind of legacy where we can look back 20 years from now and find people, whether they are in Russia, China, Japan, Africa, Central or South America, that say, ‘My introduction to Christianity happened because of a cartoon.’”
CBN news states that over 7,00 Vietnamese children have learned about the word of God through SUPERBOOK, which is shown in local churches across the country, including one at Minh’s. Prior to SUPERBOOK, Minh’s video game addiction was so bad that his mother remembers his eye twitching for hours at a time. According to Fox News, “His mother, Ngocanh Le, was disturbed, and she didn’t know what else to do but pray and seek God. Her answer came in the form of a children’s TV show that caught his attention.”
Now, things are very different for Minh. “He loves SUPERBOOK very much… He has shifted from video games to SUPERBOOK,” said his mother. She continued, “he understands more about the Bible. And sometimes, he says to me he feels he’s very sinful, but God has saved him. He was touched by God.”
Encouraging testimonies like this speak volumes of the power of media, something Movieguide® is passionate about educating parents about. For more resources on cultivating the next generation of media-wise individuals, read Movieguide® founder Dr. Ted Baehr’s book, The Culture-Wise Family.