It’s not just athletes and actors who can rake in the big bucks these days, now being a professional video game player can bring in millions of dollars.
The world of ESports continues to boom, with competitive videogaming becoming a nearly $1.5 billion industry; and it seems even parents are buying into it — literally.
The Wallstreet Journal reports parents are now paying up to $50 per hour for tutors for a popular new game called “Fortnite.”
Each online “Fortnite” game pits up to 100 players against each other, either alone or in small teams, in a real-time battle, and whoever survives until the end wins the match.
The game is available on iPhone, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and has over 125 million registered players online.
Some parents told the Journal that their kids are feeling pressure to be good, competing with friends, and even hoping for careers as a “professional gamer.”
In fact, much like other sports, if their kids get good enough, they could even win college scholarships or millions of dollars in prize money from Fortnite developer Epic Games.
But the idea of video game tutors has many wondering, is letting children pursue video games to this degree healthy?
There have been many studies on the negative affects of video games. According to Tech Spirited, video games can hamper someones physical health by leading to back pains, insomnia and obesity which comes with a slew of other health implications.
Research conducted by Dr. C. Shawn Green of the University of Wisconsin concluded, “video games can change your brain.”
In June, the World Health Organization said compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition.
Dr. Linda Mintle, a licensed marriage and family therapist and best-selling author, told CBN News that there are certain signs to look for if someone has a gaming problem. Mintle says when video games begin to take precedence over everything else, result in negative consequences and cause personal distress – then there’s a problem.
Mintle suggests that, just like other digital media, parents really need to pay attention to the number of hours their children are playing.
“We have a childhood obesity problem,” Mintle explained. “We need to get kids up and moving and off of digital screens. If you see that it’s beginning to interfere in any way with your child’s life, just limit the amount of time.”
Christian Pyschologist Dr. Daniel J. van Ingen, author of You Are Your Child’s Best Psychologist, says parents need to be careful of falling into a trap. He says it’s important for parents to ask themselves what they’re teaching their children by allowing them to find their worth in video games.
“We need to recognize that who our child is becoming in their faith, in their intellectual development, in their physical development, in their emotional development as they turn into a teenager has nothing to do with their status or position,” van Ingen says in a Facebook LIVE.
He continued, “One of the things that’s behind this underlying motive of parents is that they’re falling into the trap in believing that one’s social standing is dependent on their ability to relate to other kids and that the only way to relate is based on this video game status.”
Dr. van Ingen says there are other and more important ways to teach your children to connect with their peers and community.
“We need to be aware and not get stuck into these video games. Tutors for video games, you’re wasting your money, it’s built on a lie,” he said.
He continued, “We need to help our kids be leaders. We need to get at bigger issues, being kind and just, the martyrs in the middle east, we need to stand up for the little guy. We need to teach our kids to have a bigger worldview.”
Other Christian leaders are also calling attention to the problem, some even saying the spirit of lust, pornography, and suicide are directly connected to video games.
Pastor Jeremiah Johnson from Heart of the Father Ministry in Lakeland, Florida posted on his Facebook denouncing the idea of Fortnite tutors.
He wrote, “I believe God wants to sound the alarm to parents who are allowing their kids to spend hours and hours playing video games: they are opening themselves up to the spirit of perversion and suicide like never before. I saw depression trying to overtake this generation and it’s directly connected to engaging in entertainment.”
However, Tech Spirited reports there are some positive impacts of video games including “development of qualities such as multi-tasking, quicker decision-making, teamwork and better response to challenges and risks.”
In the Bible, God repeatedly states the importance of how we spend our time.
Ephesians 5:16 says, “Make the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Romans 13:11-14 takes it a step further, pointing out that we shouldn’t listen to our sinful nature, not being jealous or angry with others – which can sometimes be a problem for gamers – but we should spend our time doing the things God wants us to do instead.
“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”