When Pokemon GO first released, I heard some say it is better than the other video games because at least people are walking around. Is that really the problem some parents and adults have with video games; a lack of exercise?

If that is really the case, why is book reading viewed in such a positive light? When you read, you just sit there. The pages get flipped every few minutes. Yet, no exercise.

Either people are really saying, “It is just as bad as the others, but at least there is exercise…” Or, “I know I shouldn’t be playing this, but let me prove to you that it is not all bad…”

It’s Fine

ExcerciseListen, playing Pokemon GO is fine. If you want to play, play! When I play a video game, I want to sit in front of the TV and play a game. I don’t enjoy having to walk around to catch a Pokemon (I’d rather be playing Pokemon Red).

Please do not excuse playing a video game with the excuse of exercise.

I was an avid Halo gamer. Nearly every night, I would play for 3-4 hours. There is a learned skill from playing. Yes, even thinking is involved in knowing when weapons will appear, etc. Before I bore some of my readers, the point is this, if someone is playing Pokemon GO for 4 hours, is it okay since they are exercising by walking, stopping, catching a Pokemon and repeating the process?

The Issue

Book ReadingThe heart. I don’t care if you are reading a book, playing Pokemon GO, or fishing (how can people enjoy this for hours?!?). The heart is the issue.  Is it an idol? Yes, even reading can become an idol. Yes, Pokemon GO can control you. Yes, the need to catch a fish can control you.

 

 

Bringing This Home

The issue is not about exercise and it never has been. The issue should be about Christ. Is Christ being magnified in how I play? Can I enjoy God through playing. Another way of saying this is, Can I give thanks to Jesus for this? 

Please do not misunderstand, I am all for games. I love games. I enjoy reading, playing board games, and playing competitive video games; such as Halo.

My concern is the inconsistency I see. No matter what we choose to spend our time on, is Jesus glorified through our actions and choices (1 Corinthians 10:31)? As mentioned earlier, this can be accomplished through giving thanks to Him.

My hope is not to make anyone feel down or feel guilty for playing a game. The point is this; Enjoy playing your game to the glory of God, but exercise is not the chief end of something godly.

 

Justin is a husband, father, and a writer. He is passionate about equipping parents, glorifying Jesus, and helping the local church. Justin currently resides in Michigan with his wife and two daughters.

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