The tension was palpable. But after months of anticipation the much awaited arrival of the ultimate video game has been officially given unto us.
“Call of Duty: Black Ops” is this generations “new Nintendo.”
Call of Duty: Black Ops is a first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch, published by Activision and released worldwide on November 9, 2010 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Nintendo DS consoles.
Black Ops gives every boy and man-child an opportunity to team up with fellow gamers to fight Cuban armies, communist gulags, and…..Nazi zombies?!
In past generations, young American men spared life and limb to fight actual enemies for their God, family and country. Now young American men spare a meaningful life and relationships to fight virtual enemies in the comfort of their bean bag chair. The disparity is slightly sickening.
Young men are looking for something to fight for. What they have chosen is Bill Gates dream, not God’s. One of the high-school seniors in my class waited outside of a store for hours with many other Call of Duty-ers to be the first to purchase “Black Ops” when the clock hit 12:00 AM on Tuesday. He immediately went home and started playing it until he had to go to school that same morning. He went to school and when he got out he went directly back to playing the game until 12:00 the following morning. On Wednesday morning, he looked like a “Nazi zombie” (minus the ‘Nazi’ I guess) in my math class.
Gaming addictions are some of the worst kind.
Middle and high schoolers are not the only victims of this gaming disease. Unfortunately, a large segment of twenty something college and career aged men have contracted it. They should be finding a career, getting married, rearing children, and at the very least moving out of their parent’s house. Instead they are settling for notoriety of their “thumb skills” and ”E-hard” status.
A whole generation of young women are still waiting for their respective “Peter Pans” to awaken from their self induced Never-land’s.
I am certainly not innocent. Though I haven’t been legitimately addicted to a game since PlayStation’s (the first one) NCAA Football 2000, the fleeting attraction of technology still has its grip on me. I spend too much time watching ESPN and perusing meaningless Websites, instead of actually pursuing the knowledge of God, leading my family, and loving people.
Young men need something to fight for. Young men are even created for something to fight for. And though there is not the same type of “World War global crisis” the men of old were beckoned for, there is a very real war and real global crisis contemporary men have been called to.
There is a spiritual war calling for the enlistment of real men.
In Isaiah 32:2 we see a captivating picture of biblical manhood. It states that the good man will be “like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.” The verse shows the man as protector and guardian, as life-giver and as the firm rock for others. Married and single men are made to defend and protect their family, friends, church, community and country from spiritual attacks of all sorts.
Real men don’t fight fake zombies, they cast down real strongholds that stand between them and the knowledge of Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
This is done with the deadly gospel weapons of Scripture and prayer (Eph 6). This is done by cultivating real fellowship that edifies, challenges, and encourages fellow warriors in the battle of life. What is at stake is not a high score or temporary bragging rights, but the fame of God’s holy name and an eternity in heaven and hell (Malachi 1:11).
I am not calling for a moratorium on fun, or a misguided form of fundamentalist separatism. Maybe just an honest evaluation of our values will do. Maybe we all need to take a heart inventory of what (or who) we truly love, and what we truly desire to pour our time and resources into.
Maybe what is gripping us is also what is killing us.
Maybe there really is something to fight for. Maybe it isn’t a “Call of Duty” but a call for the restoration of Biblical Manhood.