Wow. . . . worth pondering. . . .

My friend Troy sent me a link to a news story from the UK this morning. The story is about The Immersion Project and a thought-provoking little video from Robbie Cooper that looks at the role digital media is playing in the lives of our kids. More specifically, the film (below), gives us a straight-on view of the faces of kids as they lock-in with full attention to the TV screen as they play violent video games.

If youth culture is like a snowball tumbling on its own down the face of a steep mountain, rapidly picking up mass, volume, and speed, then our fast-evolving digital media culture makes up a good amount of the white stuff that the culture’s picking up as it tumbles down the hill. In recent youth culture seminars I’ve found myself reminding people that seven years ago we wouldn’t be talking about things like Facebook, social networking, Twitter, micro-blogging, etc. Indeed, the world is changing and changing fast. Now, all this stuff is pervasive. We have to figure out where it’s come from, what needs it’s feeding, and what it’s doing to us and how we are choosing to live in the world. It’s effect is not nuetral, and our faith must inform both our response to its existence and the manner in which we choose to employ it in our everyday lives. These are serious matters that are just starting to be discussed with any sort of seriousness.

I don’t know about you, but looking into the faces of these kids and hearing their comments. . . . well. . . . it’s somewhat sobering. This isn’t research. It’s real life. Take a look and tell me what you see.

7 thoughts on “Wow. . . . worth pondering. . . .

  1. Wow, that is a really sobering video. I guess we never really see it from the side of the TV as we game and such especially with our friends. This calls for more action in helping the youth to dialogue and engage with what they are viewing, playing and listening to.

  2. Ok, I am just going to say it – this is why I hate video games. Sometime I wish video games would dissapear than have to think about how to respond to these things! Did you hear the one video game that had a lady talking about kissing and other sexual things? That made me mad and sad at the same time. The saddest part of this video is that there is no fear, no emotion, nothing in these children that demonstrates the reality of what this video game portrays.

  3. Maybe I’m missing it, but what I saw was intensity and immersion. The same you get with movies, music, or anything else kids will do that draws them in. Video games aren’t evil as a medium. Grand Theft Auto is not the same as Bejeweled.

    The problem is that our kids need something to do. If we don’t give them things to train them with discipline, or we don’t give them things to serve the Church and world with, then they’ll get caught up in this culture of entertainment. If we feed them with entertainment, the world has the market cornered with the enticements of sin.

    It’s time to stop entertaining kids with so much that they get “bored.” It’s time to train them, discipline them, and mold them as missionaries for the church. What session or youth group will do that though?

  4. Hmmm…I see intensity. I see escape. I see disconnect (with the actions being performed on-screen). I see the challenge of a completing or achieving a task. I see waste (of time and giftings). I would guess that needs present are: 1) For stimulation 2) for accomplishment 3) for escape from their life reality 4) for response (from something/ anything)

    definitely gets me thinking.

  5. What strikes me is the emptiness of the expressions—-the lack of true engagement and joy. Apparently, playing the games deaden the soul. Very sobering video.

  6. wow… This is crazy. Not the video but the comments! You have got to be kidding me about these expressions being bad. For one this project probably picked the most intense expressions to get a reaction from people.

    Also i would like to have a camera in cars to see the expressions of people driving cars… I bet there will be some upset people some people disengaged, some people who are extremely aggressive. does this mean Driving cars is bad? i can’t wait until the world wakes up and realizes that the people you all work for are these kids who played video games!

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