That’s the question President Trump has stirred up today with his meeting on video games and whether or not they play a part in mass shootings, like the one in Parkland, Florida. Apparently, among all of the other troubles shooter Nikolas Cruz had such as family problems, mental problems, and psychotropic prescription meds, he also spent countless hours each day playing violent video games.
The multi-billion dollar video game industry came out swinging against such a notion today in their meeting with the President. They were sure to point to studies, such as this one, that deny any link between video games and violent behavior. Does what we look at habitually affect our habitual behavior? That’s the million-dollar question.
The Bible seems to think so and human behavior in our society seems to back it up. In Psalm 101:3, David expressed this determination, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” He knew that if he viewed sinful things, he could end up doing sinful things. We know from his biography that this is exactly what he did by staring at a naked Bathsheba. Both Jesus and the apostle John also verified that using our eyes for evil purposes lead us into sinful actions (Matthew 5:28, 1 John 2:16).
In our society studies have shown that viewing pornography has a definitive link with women being seen in a negative light by men, all but insuring that pornography can lead to violence against women. It has also been definitively linked to divorce, awakening in married people the desire to fornicate with people outside of marriage. If what we view doesn’t affect our behavior, would organizations really spend so much money on ads we see on the Internet, TV, billboards, and buses? I think not. It should also be noted that the popularity of girl fight, boy fight, and school fight videos online have increased exponentially over the past decade as we see a rise in school violence.
So here’s how I would sum it up using a meme: