For the better part of nine months, Dan Gilbert lost his wife to an Internet game. Each day she retreated to her computer in the basement, surfacing only to sleep and grab a quick bite to eat. Her computer log showed she played an average of sixty-five hours a week. “It was like we were in different worlds,” Dan said. “She didn’t do much of anything except play that game.”
Lori was playing one of the new types of Internet games–computer-generated fantasy worlds where thousands of players can talk and adventure together. Unfortunately, the design of the games, which encourages players into spending dozens of hours a week immersed in a virtual world while the real world rushes past.
David Turner, a fireman in Texas, found the world of on-line games a relaxing and predictable change of pace from his hectic real life. “It was an escape,” he said. He made friends on-line and was admired for all his game playing skills. But after two years of playing, Turner, a father of three who was often on-line for up to eight hours a day, began to realize how little time he was spending with his family.
It’s not so hard to understand the desire to escape from reality and live in a fantasy world. But just because we hide from reality doesn’t mean it goes away. Not only is it out there waiting for us, but most times it has gotten worse because we have been hiding from it.
The average person spends three hours weekly on the Internet. Internet addicts average nearly twenty hours per week. In addition, the typical American spends almost as much time watching TV as working–well over thirty hours per week.
It’s not that we shouldn’t have some time to ourselves for the things we enjoy. But if we compare the time we spend entertaining ourselves to the time we spend with those we love, my guess is it will be clear that we need to change our priorities for the sake of our marriage and family.
From “4th And Goal: Coaching for life’s tough calls”, by: Bill McCartney.
Copyright (c) 2002 by Promise Keepers. All rights reserved.
Distributed by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Sad but true. According to this author being addicted to Internet games (which can fit in the genre of video games) is not only unhealthful for the addict but it is also unhealthful for family relationships. Satan hates the family unit and is doing all he can to destroy it. As one pastor puts it, “Satan has weapons of Mass Distraction.” His devices are truly destructive.