Seasons, skins and sleepless nights

October 2nd, 2018

Season 6 of Fortnite released a little over a week ago. While everyone has their own opinions about the new skins, what became of Loot Lake, and the ever-curious llamas, the hold Fortnite has on pop culture right now is ferocious and undeniable. This videogame is barely more than one year old, but it has skyrocketed to the top of the interactive-gaming market for kids and adults. It is a first-person shooter game, but it has very little real-life circumstance and zero gore, so it is more about the action than the violence itself.

Blending of life and virtual life

When families struggle over topics like popular videogames, it is as much about the time spent playing the game as it is about the way the game takes over the mind and life of those who play it. Conversations become dominated by talk of the game. Changes in typical behavior occur when children, tweens, and teens choose not to play outside or create or read but instead choose to play the game over and over. When alarms are set in the middle of the night to play while parents are sleeping, there is critical damage to a teen’s body and spirit.

Breaks, habits, addictions

The critical fear about something as seemingly mundane as Fortnite is that it morphs from a quick break in a busy schedule into a daily habit — and from that it can quickly become an addiction. The designers of the game purposely create something that is challenging but somewhat winnable. It’s always just beyond a player’s reach. It resets quickly, and there is no grand prize to signal the end of a level or the game. There is always more to achieve. Like other addictions, such as gambling, pornography, drugs or alcohol, gaming creates positive feelings at first — but those feelings soon lead to a need to numb the world around you by adding more and more. As in all addictions, the item or activity or substance is not the problem until your ability to control its use becomes one.

Question of the day: What monopolizes your time?
Focal scriptures: 2 Samuel 7:4-16; Jonah 1:9–2:9; Matthew 17:14-20

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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