Video Games in Real Life

video-gamesI’ve had this email sitting in my Inbox for almost two weeks now. It’s a story that perhaps you have already seen, but for some reason I was shocked/amazed by it. Basically it’s the story of a college student who wanted to live out the video game Grand Theft Auto. The student stole a vehicle, kidnapped a young lady and then drove the stolen truck like a person would while playing the game.

This post isn’t railing against the video game GTA or against video games in general. It’s more of a fascination with someone who actually takes the step to bring the made up world of a video game into the real world. There have been other events in the news that have connections with video games.

It’s a pretty strong reminder that we become like the people/activities with whom we spend most of our time. 1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds us, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”” This is an example that this student spent too much time with bad company.

Here’s the article that appeared on Tim Elmore’s Growing Leaders Blog. You can read Tim’s thoughts on his post about the student’s actions.

You may not believe this, unless you heard it on the news last Wednesday.

A 20-year old college student and lacrosse player at Auburn University was arrested in Baton Rouge, LA on several counts of reckless driving and hit and run accidents—after he ran into a wall with a stolen car and was arrested by police. Zachary Burgess now faces charges of auto theft, simple kidnapping and nine counts of hit and run.

His reason for doing this?

During questioning, Burgess allegedly told an officer that he “wanted to see what it was really like to play the video game Grand Theft Auto.”

National Honor Society

IMG_1972[1]I had the privilege today to attend the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony at Clinton-Massie High School. My daughter, along with 26 other students, were accepted into NHS and the ceremony not only honored them, but also underscored the values of NHS.

There were a couple of things that stood out about the morning. The first was the emphasis of the four standards of NHS: Character, Scholarship, Leadership & Service. Normally when I think of NHS, I think of good grades. The brief program this morning brought to light the importance of the other characteristics. Current members read a brief explanation of each standard. One of the statements that stood out to me went something like this:  “The development of character happens by choice, not by chance.”  Thought that was a powerful statement.

The other thing that stood out to me is that each inductee had an influential adult escort him/her during the ceremony.  It was cool to see parents, teachers, coaches, and family friends who were selected to accompany the students.  It gave the students a moment to honor adults who have impacted them and it communicated that we are who we are because of the people in our lives.

It was an honor for the families and the students who are now members of NHS.

Average Joe review

A description of Average Joe tells the purpose of the writing of the book:  “In Average Joe, Troy Meeder sets out to dispel the notion that apart from media attention, athletic greatness, scholastic achievement, or corporate power, a man is nothing. As young boys, we dreamed of being pilots, firefighters, doctors and cowboys. What happened? Now, as years have passed, we have kids, a wife, a mortgage, a seemingly dead-end job and a minivan. All of the dreams that once inspired us have evaporated into traffic jams, computer screens, bills and deadlines. Is it enough to be a good husband, an honorable father or a faithful friend?”

Meeder stays true to his purpose by weaving together stories from scripture as well as his own personal experiences to encourage men to not settle for being “average,” but to rise up to the challenge of being the men God is calling them to be.  As I read Average Joe, I could hear echoes of John Eldredge’s Wild At Heart as Meeder encouraged men to seek out deeper friendships with other men, to be husbands who love their wives and men who seek adventure in enjoying God’s creation, whether it be on the river, on horseback or just eating a good meal.

One of the strengths of this book is the stories the author tells.  He shares his own experiences from college, while fishing and boating, scuba diving and horse back riding.  His retelling of these events brings the reader into the experience and you can clearly picture the scene that he describes.  Using these stories as a springboard, he makes connections to scriptures that call men to do more than just settle for average.

Another unique characteristic of this writing is the voice of the author.  As you read it, you can picture a man who has accumulated a wealth of life experiences, has had ups and downs and has learned from both his success and failures.  He comes across as a seasoned veteran of life and refers to some of the changes he has seen from his generation to today.

Average Joe would be a good read for any man and could also be useful for a small group.  The end of the book provides discussion questions to help men make application.