In 2020 there are estimates that people world-wide spent $152 billion on computer games. Most of these computer games promote violence. Some of these top games include Hitman 3, Resident Evil Village and Deathloop 2021. These games simulate killing where users glorify murder.
Yet, for the three main Abrahamic traditions, Islam, Judaism and Christianity, we have a story right at the start which demonstrates that God does not like violence. Especially killing and murder. In Genesis Chapter 22 the story of the Sacrifice of Isaac. For Muslims this story focuses on Ishmael. But the moral and the meaning of the story is the same. In verse 12 “Do not lay your hand on the boy”. Later, in the Christian Bible we see God’s own son murdered. Yet, God resurrects Jesus. God does not allow murder and sin to have the final say. For the Jewish people the concept of Pikuach Nefesh or “Save a life” is the highest ethic. Human beings are called to protect life and to see that it is sacred more than anything.
Yet we are left with a culture that glorifies violence. We like to watch people being murdered. What does that say? What does that do to our psyche and interior life? For children, it can warp their sense of reality. What we manifest internally sometimes is expressed externally. Through how we relate to other people. Sadly, in Australia 1 in 3 women have received some form of domestic violence. Such as physical, verbal or sexual violence.
How do we stop the violence? This is a hard question as it calls us to swim upstream against dominant culture.
Rather than playing computer games that are violent or watching movies which are violent, why don’t we make other choices as a family or community. Plan together. Set a time and date to do other things like going on a picnic, Playing Ball, reading a book or maybe even pray together.
The normalisation of violence is so intrenched in our lifestyles that we must become more mindful of what we are doing. Because what we are doing reflects who we are…