What Christian Parents Need to Know About Video Game Diablo 4
By Movieguide® Contributor
As school lets out and summer vacation begins, many students are going to find themselves with a lot of time on their hands. For some middle and high schoolers, that means a lot of video games.
While it’s impossible to regulate every second of media that your child consumes, it is important to know what content your children are consuming on a daily basis.
Diablo 4, a video game set to release at the beginning of June, is expected to draw in a large audience. But should children and teens be playing it?
The fourth game in the Diablo series follows the storyline of the previous games, where players fight to keep the evil forces of demons at bay. They do this by fighting hordes of demons and upgrading their gear so they can take on meaner and more difficult monsters. The game allows players to choose one of five different fighting styles as they embark on their battle.
Seeing as the player is fighting against demons, the storyline and objectives of the game have some moral themes, but the gameplay is immoral. Players experience extreme violence as they hack down hundreds of thousands of demons in the battle between good and evil.
Studies have found time and time again that violence in video games leads to higher levels of overall aggression, both in the short term and increasingly in the long term as well.
Researchers found that people who played violent video games for three straight days showed increased aggressive behavior. Their expectations that others would behave aggressively also increased.
However, people playing nonviolent games showed no meaningful changes in their aggression or their expectations of hostility.
“People who have a steady diet of playing these violent video games may come to see the world as a hostile and violent place,” Bushman said. “These results suggest there could be a cumulative effect.”
Movieguide®’s founder, Dr. Ted Baehr, has also long talked about the dangerous effects that violent media can have on people’s view of the world. He’s fought for the reduction of violent media for decades, especially after tragedies that are undeniably linked to violent media. Dr. Baehr previously wrote:
Joining the voices of the other top experts in media literacy, I’ve been warning politicians, the entertainment industry, and journalists for decades about the effects of media violence on disturbed young minds like the Navy Yard murderer. The link between media violence and real violence is so strong that one professional investigator said, “The evidence has gotten to the point where it’s overwhelming.”
Then, there’s the testimony of Lt. Col. David Grossman, an expert who has trained soldiers in the U.S. military and taught psychology at West Point. Lt. Col. Grossman has called violent first-person shooter video games “murder simulators” that train children and young adults how to kill many people in a short amount of time…
We must wean our young people away from these violent video games, and into more profitable pursuits. We must stop blaming guns for our problems, and start dealing with the troubled and evil people using the guns and the politically correct authorities who fail to enforce the laws already on the books. Also, we must end the arbitrary judicial bans on religious and moral teaching in our schools that deprive America’s children of the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses and the Hebrew people on Mount Sinai and the teachings that Jesus Christ gave his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount in Chapters Five through Seven of the Gospel of Matthew and in Chapters 13 through 17 of the Gospel of John.
Because of the extreme violence found in Diablo 4, Movieguide® encourages parents to have conversations with their children about the nature of the game, as well as explain to them the impact that violent media can have. It is impossible to completely regulate and control the media that your children consume, therefore, the best approach is to teach your kids to think about the media they are consuming and if it is wise to consume it or not.
With the flood of mass media of entertainment, parents need help educating the hearts and minds of their children to be media-wise.
According to Cornell University, 9 out of 10 children abandon the values of their parents. According to USA Today, 83% of the youth leave the church, and 80% of the parents are very worried about their children and the mass media of entertainment’s influence on them.
Recently, USA Today noted that 70% of Americans were unable to name the Ten Commandments. In a culture where physical health is a higher priority than spiritual vitality, another recent survey found that more Americans are familiar with the specific ingredients in a McDonald’s hamburger than know the individual commands that comprise the Ten Commandments.
Many Christian parents are concerned about the influence of media violence on their children, but many of those who are concerned don’t know what to do about the problem. The good news is that there are effective ways to teach your children to be media-wise.
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