More False Equivalencies?

Published June 2, 2012 by Elspeth

Let’s not equate porn and gaming, by David French.

In response to an article on CNN saying that pornography and video games are “ruining a generation” of men, French makes an excellent observation and one that I think bears repeating:

 Look, I know that many, many men and boys spend too much time gaming.  There are also many, many men and boys who spend too much time watching television, playing golf,  or obsessing over sports (and sometimes all of the above) — you name the diversion, and you’ll find people who indulge in excess.  But it’s a category error to equate games and porn.  To do so exaggerates the danger of games and minimizes the evil of porn.  So if I stay up too late Saturday night playing Diablo 3 (and I probably will!), is that remotely comparable to downloading porn?  Simply put, overuse of video games is destructive.  Any use of porn is sinful. (emphasis added)

Once again, I find myself defending video game usage, even though it’s a subject I’m not very passionate about. I simply don’t like false equivalencies.

French also asks a question which I think is apropos:

What’s next?  An article proclaiming that women are ruined by adultery and Pinterest?

I think we know that the answer to the question is no. Pinterest, Facebook, and blogging aren’t addictive, or subversive at all. Nope.

Hat tip: Christian Men’s Defense Network.

Picture credits here and here.

 

 

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19 comments on “More False Equivalencies?

  • LOL, I dig it. I do think video games can be distracting (just like Pinterest, FB, and endless shows on Netflix) but porn is another matter altogether. Although I did request that my husband keep his game limited to ones without a whole lot of nekkidness. But he likes shoot-em-up games and football games the best.

  • Video games are addictive, but they’re nothing compared to porn. I don’t think you can equate video games to watching tv either. When my man is playing video games, he is completely unavailable…you don’t interrupt the video game! However, with tv, we can cuddle or the kids can climb all over him. I would much prefer him to watch football over playing video games.

    He plays them often, but he still has his priorities right. He still makes time for the kids and for me, he also sets goals around the house and gets stuff done. I think he needs a way to de-stress somehow and if it’s a video game, I could care less. I care more that me and the kids are a higher priority than the video games.

  • My only problem with your comment SIs, is that it implies that your husband can never be involved in something just for himself, without you being able to cuddle and without the kids being able to climb all over him. Surely there are times when you are involved in something (whether serious or frivolous) and you just want to be left to it.

    Balance is key. I agree that care and discernment are warranted, but there needs to be a balance where men are afforded decompression time without pressure.

    So long as your husband prioritizes you and the kids, an occasional video game shouldn’t be a big deal.

  • Oh, you misunderstood me. He plays video games quite often and I’m fine with it, I’m usually on the internet right next to him doing my own thing while he plays. But sometimes he’ll take Friday nights off and watch a movie with me instead, or he’ll wait until the kids go to bed before he gets on the computer. I’m kind of glad he has a hobby that he likes to do that is so harmless.

  • Read an interesting article

    http://square1ministries.com/addicted-to-arousal

    about how our need for instant entertainment/novelty/pleasure is rotting our brains and making us want to work less and demand more excitement.

    Again it is about balance, we need to spend time developing our minds, setting our priorities, and establishing a good work ethic; I can see how video games could interfere with that.

  • it’s a category error to equate games and porn. To do so exaggerates the danger of games and minimizes the evil of porn.

    It is necessary for believers in particular to be able to learn to distinguish between activity which is inherently sinful and options which rest on “neutral” ground (things which may be used for good or evil)…

    On the other hand, it is also wise to recognize the huge potential for danger in the neutral zone. Even good things (family time, church service, humanitarian aid, etc) can interfere with the pursuit of intimately knowing God if they are wrongly elevated to idol status; and it can be harder to put away those things which we do not see to be evil, yet to which we’ve made improper attachment.

    On a side note: It is interesting how pride will often urge me to fret and “worry” about whether someone else is wrecking their life while simultaneously ignoring the need to address a lack of self control in my own activities.
    While I’m not a bit fond of video games or the way they tend to affect people, I have to admit Scripture says a whole lot more about contentious women than it does about video-game playing men…

  • I agree with both your follow up comment Sis, and Heather’s comment. I am not arguing in favor of video games. Not at all. Rather, I am arguing precisely what Heather put so well in her comment. I’ll bullet point it:

    1)It is necessary for believers in particular to be able to learn to distinguish between activity which is inherently sinful and options which rest on “neutral” ground (things which may be used for good or evil)…

    2)On a side note: It is interesting how pride will often urge me to fret and “worry” about whether someone else is wrecking their life while simultaneously ignoring the need to address a lack of self control in my own activities.

    3)I have to admit Scripture says a whole lot more about contentious women than it does about video-game playing men…

    Further, I think I could take the video game hysteria a little better if someone was also questioning the feminine obsession with Twilight or our tendency to nag or why despite why “coming a long way baby”, we have the most heavily medicated women (on anti-depressants in history.

    These all go largely unexplored compared to the proliferation of :”man up” articles.

    Again, no balance.

  • Would you guys believe that I have never been on Pinterest. I’m not even real clear on what it is exactly.

    I’m so out of the loop!

  • Further, I think I could take the video game hysteria a little better if someone was also questioning the feminine obsession with Twilight or our tendency to nag or why despite why “coming a long way baby”, we have the most heavily medicated women (on anti-depressants) in history.

    These all go largely unexplored compared to the proliferation of :”man up” articles.

    So much to talk about from this snippet, but the main thing I want to say has to do with “the feminine obsession with Twilight”. There’s been plenty said about it. The problem is that’s it has all been good! Women write among themselves about Twilight obsession with longing and gusto. Double XX, CafeMom, etc. have plenty of articles on Twi-Moms, the allure of Edward, 50 Shades of Grey (a Twilight fan fiction turned into a novel), etc.

    Men don’t talk about it because: 1) Most don’t understand it, and so chalk it up to women being silly. 2) Of those men who do see the sinister workings of the female mind, most don’t want to contemplate the ramifications.

    One of the most worthwhile–long-term–fights I ever picked with my wife was banning bad TV from our house a decade ago; ridiculing and analyzing every little bit that smacked of emotional porn.

    Her: What’s wrong with Oprah? She encourages people!
    Me: She encourages idiots to be slaves to celebrity.

    Her: Can I just watch this one show without a comment from you?
    Me: Do you mind if I wonder exactly how skanky you are?

    Her: You don’t like anything I watch!
    Me: Stop watching crap.

  • Yeah, my husband was the same way about a few years ago when the television show Grey’s Anatomy first aired. I watched maybe 3 or 4 episodes before he started in on the content of it.It wasn’t long before what is considered acceptable entertainment around here narrowed considerably.

    I even posted about it, LOL. Maybe I’ll find the link later.

  • Yup, my husband is like that, too. I limit my television watching to things like The First 48, How It’s Made and the like because he starts in on anything else. I don’t like much TV in the first place, so it doesn’t really bother me. Once he worked an overnight shift for a couple weeks and I used that time to watch Downton Abbey because I knew he’d beat the crap out of it verbally if I watched it with him in the house. LOL.

    I’m going to confess: I don’t know what Twilight is. A book? A movie? A TV show? All three? And I gather it’s about vampires. That’s the extent of what I know about it, and yes, I’m proud of that. So, maybe I’m actually boasting and not confessing.

  • I know about Twilight only because it was all the rage as my kids were entering high school. The oldest started reading the first book and out in down in disappointment. It is not the kind of thing my girls are into.

    50 Shades of Gray is not based on Twilight. Twilight was written for teen girls and the author is at least committed to abstinence before marriage, a theme she highlights in her books. 50 shades (from the synopsis I read here) is erotic fiction, full of deviant sexual references. Written for adult women, and they are lapping it up. The same women who would be aghast at their own husband watching porn.

  • 50 Shades of Gray is not based on Twilight.

    From Wikipedia:
    “The Fifty Shades trilogy was developed from a Twilight fan fiction originally titled Master of the Universe and published episodically on fan-fiction websites under the pen name “Snowqueens Icedragon.” The piece featured characters named after Stephenie Meyer’s characters in Twilight, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. After comments concerning the sexual nature of the material, James removed the story from the fan-fiction websites and published it on her own website, FiftyShades.com. Later she rewrote Master of the Universe as an original piece, with the principal characters renamed Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele and removed it from her website prior to publication.”

    @Joanna, Re: Downton Abbey

    This one fooled me. I’m a fan of British period pieces, when they are well made. I like most Jane Austen adaptations, and the like. In the case of Downton Abbey, I watched a couple episodes on Netflix before Mrs. Caldo did. It was promising, but ultimately bored me; I just didn’t care about any of the characters. Still, I put in on the Queue for Mrs. Caldo to find.

    One day, I asked what was going on and she told me that some handsome cad had died in the eldest daughter’s bedroom, and the father was kept in the dark.

    Some weeks later, I heard my eldest daughter cheer from the living room. She was excited that the eldest daughter has got together with the beau of the story. I asked, “Did anyone ever tell the father about his daughter’s harlotry? Does the beau know? You people are sick.”

    That was the last mention of Downton Abbey in the house.

  • I wasn’t aware of the connection to Twilight, of which I am no fan.

    I had read an interview with the author of Twilight (I believe she’s Mormon) and I knew she was very deliberate in NOT having the hero(?) and heroine(?) of her stories engage in sexual activity before they were married.

    Given the nature of 50 Shades of Grey it never occurred to me that the two sets of novels were related.

    But thanks for the corrected information, Cane.

  • Elspeth, I completely agree with your point in this post. You can’t compare them.

    But to follow up on the 50 Shades of Grey, I’ve been absolutely amazed at how many Christian women are reading it, saying that because it’s not porn it’s okay. There are no pictures involved, and no one’s being objectified, and I’m not fantasizing about anybody.

    Women and men approach sex differently, and women are more drawn to erotica than porn. And both have the same effects on the brain and both are destructive. I wish that Christian women would at least draw THAT equivalence!

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