Is This What We Want Boys to Do?

Former angry teen and current high school teacher Peter Brown Hoffmeister writes on the hidden link in America’s school shootings: angry young men who love violent video games:

I asked one of [the violent video game-playing students] later, and he said that he played Call of Duty “an average of 40 hours per week, at least.”

Is this what we want angry, adolescent boys to do? Do we want to give them this practice? Do we want them to glorify violent actions, to brag about violence in the school’s hallways? Or even worse, given the perfect equation of frustration + opportunity + practice, do we want them to do as Weise, Roberts, and Lanza did, and act out these fantasies in real life? Do we want them to yell, “I am the shooter” as they enter a crowded mall – as Roberts did? Or dress like video-game shooters – as Lanza and Roberts were – before heading into a murder spree?

Especially with teenage boys, we have to decide what we want them to do, what we want them to love, what we want them to emulate. Even if they don’t end up shooting people in a school, if they’re practicing car-jackings, knifings, and putting on body-armor as first-person shooters, what are they preparing to do with the rest of their lives? Will these video-game practice sessions make them better husbands or fathers? Will these boys become patient and understanding friends? Better co-workers?

In other words, do these video “games” contribute anything positive to any real relationship a young man has?


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

3 Responses to Is This What We Want Boys to Do?

  1. What we want them to do is get a job, get married; and raised Godly children.

  2. B Treece says:

    Yes, and I know you agree that the church has to promote a vision of God-centered manhood that casts so-called psychological needs like adventure, meaningful work, pursuit of (one) woman, and camaraderie in biblical terms. I mean, I don’t want any more sermon series titled after video games (“Angry Birds” anyone?), but how about a “Call of Duty” discussion that links felt needs with deeper truths?

    Young men look elsewhere because the church doesn’t present a vision of God that is far-reaching, all-powerful, and heavy with glory in all places of life.


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