May

25

2012

Justin Taylor|1:39 pm CT

Why Are So Many Guys Addicted to Internet Porn and Video Games?

The new ebook The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It is a secular argument by psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan that “an addiction to video games and online porn have created a generation of shy, socially awkward, emotionally removed, and risk-adverse young men who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school, and employment.”

At the DG blog, Russell Moore explores this from a Christian perspective.

But porn and video games both are built on novelty, on the quest for newer and different experiences. That’s why you rarely find a man addicted to a single pornographic image. He’s entrapped in an ever-expanding kaleidoscope.

There’s a key difference between porn and gaming.

Pornography can’t be consumed in moderation because it is, by definition, immoral.

A video game can be a harmless diversion along the lines of a low-stakes athletic competition.

But the compulsive form of gaming shares a key element with porn: both are meant to simulate something, something for which men long.

Pornography promises orgasm without intimacy.

Video warfare promises adrenaline without danger.

The arousal that makes these so attractive is ultimately spiritual to the core.

He goes on to look at Satan’s strategy as upending God’s original intention:

Satan isn’t a creator but a plagiarist. His power is parasitic, latching on to good impulses and directing them toward his own purpose.

God intends a man to feel the wildness of sexuality, in the self-giving union with his wife.

And a man is meant to, when necessary, fight for his family, his people, for the weak and vulnerable who are being oppressed.

The drive to the ecstasy of just love and to the valor of just war are gospel matters.

The sexual union pictures the cosmic mystery of the union of Christ and his church.

The call to fight is grounded in a God who protects his people, a Shepherd Christ who grabs his sheep from the jaws of the wolves.

He also looks at the ways in which these addictions “foster the seemingly opposite vices of passivity and hyper-aggression.”

The porn addict becomes a lecherous loser, with one-flesh union supplanted by masturbatory isolation.

The video game addict becomes a pugilistic coward, with other-protecting courage supplanted by aggression with no chance of losing one’s life.

In both cases, one seeks the sensation of being a real lover or a real fighter, but venting one’s reproductive or adrenal glands over pixilated images, not flesh and blood for which one is responsible.

You can read the whole thing here.

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