Monday, October 8, 2007

Thou Shall Kill in Church


Maybe not literally, but gun-shooting videos like "Hallo 3" are packing in the congregation at churches across the country. Ministers show children as young as 12 video games heaped with violence. If you have seen the Hallo series, you know killing with guns is glorified.

"Hallo 3" with an M-rating, for mature audiences only, is now shown at churches behind parents' backs. Pastors and minister alike rationalize that once the youth show up for the violent games, they’ll stick around for the sermon.

If the young people cannot legally buy the videos on their own, what are church leaders doing making them available? "Hallo 3" is already on track to become the Number 1 selling video game of all times, according to Microsoft, its producers. Already hundreds of churches across the country have joined the bandwagon, luring youth.

The popularity of Hallo nights has led ministers and pastor to rent extra video players. Will R-rated movies at the Sunday service be the next bait? Given the mounting pressure to attract the young to the congregation, are violent videos like "Hallo 3" the answer?

8 comments:

Sara D. said...

This is interesting to me because at my church back home in our youth room,, for high school and some middle school, we have Halo set up. I'm not sure that it is particulary used for the get young people to go to the church and then stay as the article states. At my church I think the idea is that, especially for the boys, the video games acts as a common activity through which friendships are created. The students are encouraged to interact in Christian fellowship just by simply hanging out playing pool, videogames, watching movies and other similar activities. The majority of the student who play Halo at my church are in 8th grade or older and have already been exposed to the game. At least at my church, Halo is used as a way to break the ice for shy young boys and a common interst through which friendship are made.

Kathy said...

I grew up playing and watching my brothers play all sorts of video games including violent ones like Halo and even gorier ones and I don't feel that in most cases violent games are so damaging to most children. But I still don't think that luring children to go to church by allowing them to play Halo is effective in getting them to keep returning to church. It may form friendships, as Sara said, amongst those who play but that doesn't guarantee that they will continue to go to church after they've gotten older. Plus I don't think churches should be allowing them to play violent games where they also teach that killing and violence is bad. To me they're sending mixed messages just to get children to show up.

Kelly K said...

I'm not one who will blame school shootiings and other acts of violence by teenagers on the violent movies and video games, but I have to wonder how much the parents know about the video games their children are being allowed to play. If I were a parent, I would be really upset if my church let my child do something I wouldn't - this game is rated R! Second of all, I agree with Kathy. Even if I was okay with my children playing the game, I think the church is sending mixed messages to the children by preaching peace and love for others and then giving them a game in which the main objective is to kill things! The first thing they thin of when they go to church should not be a video game.

Caitlin Brault said...

Umm...this is a little wierd. Isn't that illegal in the first place because the game is rated "M"? And yeah, maybe the game does lure in the kids, but won't the game contradict what the church believes and what the church is teaching? And how much are the kids really listening to the sermon, maybe they are just there for the games. I think that is the most absurd idea.

Sarah W said...

All I can say is WHAT????? This is one of the oddest things I have heard in along time. I have nothing against video games and don't believe that they inspire violence, but using a violent video game to lure children into attending church, an institution that preaches peace and non violence is alittle absurd.

Lisa T. said...

I found this article alarming. There is recent scientific research that shows a neurological link between playing a violent video game as the first person shooter and brain activity pattern that is characteristic for aggressive cognitions and affects. This is not to say that kids who play these types of games are going to, all of a sudden, become acting out aggressive individuals,but it does raise concerns about the kids who are susceptible. At the very least, these games are exposing and teaching the kids aggressive behaviors. Violent video games are often a tool the army uses in order to prepare soldiers for combat. What are we preparing our kids for?

Sherree said...

This article is very alarming to me. It caught my eye because I went to a Bible college to earn my BA. I was trained to enter the ministry, and because of the church the school is affiliated with, we couldn't do things like stay out past curfew, watch R-rated movies, and a host of other things that seem simple now.

I would be very interested to know what church denominations are promoting the Halo game. Also, I would like to see the source that claims that the game is being used to solely "lure" teens. Is the church just relaxed when it comes to such things or is it not a "traditional Christian" church? The term can be used in a number of ways, so if it's not a Christian church, the shock factor of the article isn't as severe.

As far as my personal opinion, the game has no place in the church because it does not promote the virtues of the Bible. There are many other ways to attract teens to the church. I, myself, did not join the church until I was 17 years old because I was invited by a friend. Once there I found spiritual fulfillment.

Caitlin said...

I think that this is a horrible idea! It is one thing to want to reach out to young people and have stuff that they are into available to them to increase thier interest in church actitivies, but Halo is a little extreme! It promotes violence in a way that not many things can. I think that this idea can do more harm than good when it comes to getting teens interested in church...it is glorifying the very thing that most churchs that I am familiar with are aganist. Their intentions are good, but I think they should reevaluate their choice in game...perhaps now, two years after this story came out, a better choice might be Guitar Hero or Rock Band.

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