Welcome to the first episode of the What the Tech?! miniseries with Micah and Nathan!
This series is focused on empowering parents to talk about healthy gaming with their children.
Today’s episode is dedicated to the topic of Gamer Rage. Today we’ll talk a bit about what it is, how to know when it’s a problem, and what you can do about it.
About Your Hosts:
Micah is an avid gamer fresh into the adult world of work and independent living.
Nathan is a recovering gamer with a family and a passion for seeing people love God and use tech.
Purposely. Your life. God’s purpose. Listen at onpurposely.com.
Nathan Sutherland: Hello everyone and welcome to the Gospel Tech podcast. My name is Nathan Sutherland and this podcast is dedicated to helping families love God and use tech. Today we are joined by Micah Roberts. Welcome Micah.
Micah Roberts: Hello. Thank you for having me.
Nathan Sutherland: Yeah, and we’re doing a little bit of a What the Tech miniseries you are listening to the first of this drop.
But the idea is we have some. Content in some conversations we wanna have that don’t necessarily fit into the regular GospelTech I guess release of content and information. But they’re still important for parents and they might be so niche that not every parent wants to hear them. So today we’re talking Micah about what?
Micah Roberts: Gamer rage.
Nathan Sutherland: Gamer Rage this kind, this idea that like you may have witnessed it if you have a gamer in your household, there’s a time where a controller may have been thrown or a keyboard broken.
Micah Roberts: Or like a knee slapped or, yeah or like a [00:01:00] desk slammed or just
Nathan Sutherland: a wall punched something in where there has been a release of what was the word we were using earlier?
Micah Roberts: Vitriol.
Nathan Sutherland: There it is. So I think that’s our conversation for today. What do we need to know about this as parents? How can we address this intentionally and how do we know if it’s a problem, what might cause the problem, and what we could even do about it? So with no further ado, Let’s get this conversation started.
Welcome to the Gospel Tech Podcast, a resource for parents who feel overwhelmed and outpaced as they raise healthy youth in a tech world. As an educator, parent and tech user, I want to equip parents with the tools, resources, and confidence they need to raise kids who love God and use tech.
Thank you to everyone who’s helped make this podcast possible. Thank you for liking and subscribing. Thank you to those who are [00:02:00] donating. If you want to join us financially on this ministry, you can go to gospeltech.net. Click the donate button and join us there. Today we are talking about gamer rage.
So Micah, why don’t, we talked a little bit in the intro, but why don’t you tell us what are we talking about when we mean gamer rage? What in the world is that?
Micah Roberts: It’s just when you’re playing a game and you get mad at it. Very plain and simple.
Nathan Sutherland: Does it have to be a violent game? Are we just this is a first person shooter thing.
Micah Roberts: No, it doesn’t have to be.
Nathan Sutherland: What’s a game that’s made you rage?
Micah Roberts: Ooh. Anything that’s like competitive, like a, like an Overwatch where it’s six people trying to do an objective. And team’s not doing great. Because I used to actually play it competitively for like in-game rank and like in-game rewards. So I was actually trying to do good, not just trying to have fun.[00:03:00]
Nathan Sutherland: Which is, I think a critical first point. So when we’re talking about this, parents and gamers who might be listening to this old and young, this is the shift in gaming. There was a time where video games were just video games.
Because Mario Brothers. All of us growing up probably remember let’s talk Duck Hunt. , there was a little dog at the bottom of the screen and he would make fun of you when you missed the duck. Yeah. And it, it was cute the first three times and then at some point it started to get personal and some of us not naming any names, may still hold a grudge against this darn little dog who mocked our failings.
That would be an example of the beginning of this rage. But games went from just we’re having fun. We’re trying something difficult. We’re playing together too. , this is competitive. Like I have stuff on the line and other people are messing up my attempts. Yeah. So then you get mad. Yes. What is the range?
Because rage is a really strong word and it’s a, it’s almost a me-me term, like it’s not always rage. What can this look like when we have this game induced frustration? [00:04:00] What might it come out like? What should parents be looking.
Micah Roberts: First off, yelling. Yeah. It’s the first one cuz you’re communicating with your teammates and when you get mad, you communicate a little bit louder.
Nathan Sutherland: more forcefully.
Micah Roberts: Uhhuh. . Yeah. It, it takes a while to get to a point where you throw something and start causing damage. Especially if you’re conscious of what you’re holding. Cause that’s like a $70 controller.
Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. It’s real. And sometimes at a multiple hundred dollars screen. They often interconnect.
Micah Roberts: But it can even be like, like I have friends who like, when they’re mad, they’ll just stop talking. In a game where communication is key, they’ll just try and do the best they can, but not talk to anybody.
Nathan Sutherland: Mute, not speaking to anyone. But there might be wisdom in that. All right, so we have this kind of range, and so parents, as we’re thinking through this, it, I don’t know if it feels weird, depending on where you’re at in your [00:05:00] comfort with video games and like being around them, your child might have these very visceral reactions to video games.
It might be because of people in the game. It might be because, and we’ll talk about this later, the game’s designed to be insanely frustrating. , Both why they play it, but also why they hate it. And we do need to be aware that there’s a funny side of this Micah? And then there’s the not so healthy, funny side. How do we differentiate between those two? What do we mean by the funny side, by the way?
Micah Roberts: Sometimes it’s funny to watch your friends get mad at a game. If they’re just do, they’re just bad that day. Like they can’t hit shots or they can’t do whatever. It’s funny, watching them get a little bit frustrated.
But when it gets to like a bad point where it’s no longer funny and it’s like a problem, I think is when you stop doing the thing and you’re still mad. So like you’re playing the game and then the game’s over and like now you’re just mad at the [00:06:00] people that we’re in the game. Now you’re just in a very bad mood.
Like you, you finish the match and like you’re done playing for the day. You get off like the Xbox or the PlayStation and you’re still mad. When you just go about the rest of your day or like next few hours, just still mad.
Nathan Sutherland: And it now it’s impacting how you treat your parents, how you treat your real life friends that were on that game that was supposed to be for fun and it’s not fun.
And now you’re just in a dark place. And I think as we think through this, we can tie this to real world sports. Let’s, cause I think that’s a, an analogy a lot of parents can connect to is this idea of like parents, we’ve. all been in a sport and then had that really frustrating thing, right? Someone missed the block, they missed the shot, they didn’t try their hardest, they were distracted.
Like whatever happened, the coach made a terrible call. . And we have that endgame frustration, and we as Christians need to recognize that’s not bad. Like being competitive is wonderful, in fact. There’s a lot we can learn from adversity. There’s a lot of our own personal character that gets exposed.
And the [00:07:00] buyers of adversity. And struggle. And yet, it can shift. And parents is what, when we talk to our kids about sportsmanship it’s not that we are saying don’t go out there and try to win or do your best, but it’s the, you stop yourself and it’s even okay to be frustrated in a game and to turn and to channel that.
I know as a football coach and a wrestling coach, having a young person recognize, man, I’m mad. And then be able to focus that anger like that can be an amazing athletic improvement for that individual. Just the adrenaline and the hormones that are going on there can really help a kid.
Micah Roberts: It’s just a burst of motivation for them to improve at what they are mad at, what they’re doing.
Nathan Sutherland: I’m gonna go, I’m gonna show up every day now and I’m gonna shoot these shots and I’m gonna practice these drills and I’m gonna show up on Saturday practice. I’m gonna use that frustration from that loss or that situation.
When it switches in sports, for example, would be when they start blaming others. , when it carries over to real life or when they start cheating effectively. [00:08:00] When they start cutting corners and they take cheap shots and they start throwing bows and they and they, and now physical safety is no longer in front of mind and they start thinking more selfishly.
And I think that same rule applies in video games. When we start we skip from, this is a game and I’m playing maybe competitively, but still a game at the end of the day. We’re gonna play for fun still too. No, these people are now obstacles to my real goal. And I you flip the point of the game and the game becomes the most important thing.
Everyone else is now just a problem. . And that would be an example of, all right, the rage is now consuming too much. It’s no longer funny. And if you don’t have any, I don’t actually want to, I don’t. Should I name people? Let’s name names. Okay. Okay. So if we say first of all, where can someone go to watch if they don’t have any concept of gamer rage?
Micah Roberts: You literally can just go to YouTube. Type in like just gamer rage [00:09:00] compilation. You’ll find probably millions of videos of Twitch streamers who live stream video games or you YouTube,
And Twitch is?
Micah Roberts: A live streaming platform. So where you can watch people play games and do other things lot.
Nathan Sutherland: It’s a noun, not a verb. So it’s not the thing twitch, it’s place twitch. . So you can go there, but parents, just be forewarned, there will be swearing. We’re talking about raging videos.
Micah Roberts: When you are angry
Nathan Sutherland: you’re not in control of yourself. Yes.
Micah Roberts: Words fail you, so you go to the words that hurt more .
Nathan Sutherland: Yes. Which is, I think then our next point we’re talking about, so there are individuals who are doing it to be funny. So you will watch Twitch streamers or famous individuals who rage because it’s humorous. And they have a persona and the rage is part of that.
The example that I would think of is if you’re into Dude Perfect, like my family is Tyler Tony, also known as TT in Dude Perfect World. [00:10:00] He has a character in their sketches called the Rage Monster, and they do this whole sketch and it’s all about, stereotypes of people on airplanes or stereotypes of people camping.
And then at some point Tyler will have something bad happen to him and he will rage, and that means something’s gonna get lit on fire. Something’s gonna get broken. A tractor’s gonna get driven through or over something. Like it’s just very over the top. But it’s silly and we get it and my kids understand this isn’t acceptable behavior, but it’s still humorous to watch.
Some people in the gaming world do that and they’ll lose a game and then they’ll just lose their mind and yell about things that are very silly and blame it on stuff that isn’t reasonable. . But we understand that’s part of the persona. And then you get the side where it’s actually just toxic and this individual says things about people specifically, or general categories of humans.
And it’s hateful and it’s hurtful and it does not help the world become a better place. And it doesn’t reflect who God calls us to be. And I think we need to recognize that. Are our [00:11:00] children, with their anger and with their competitive nature, which will show up if we’re letting our kids play video games, especially games that have any form of competition and especially games that are competitive online.
So we’re talking like if your kid plays Fortnite or Call of Duty or Apex Legend or Overwatch, like , any of those games, if they play League of Legend or Dota. Like these are highly competitive games. They’re going to get competitive. They’re going to get focused. The question is, what are they doing with their anger when they have it?
Are they being Tyler Tony? And this is just we’re having fun, we’re being friends, and I’m just making a scene to make a scene. Or are we stepping over the line?
Micah Roberts: Is it actually affecting my mental?
Nathan Sutherland: Yeah, exactly. And your heart space, I guess is the real thing. So one, I wanna bring up. Parents here, and this might be too gamerish. So parents, bear with me. Tyler1. Excuse me? Yes. So who is Tyler1?
Micah Roberts: Tyler1 is an [00:12:00] OG Twitch streamer who is most known for screaming League of Legends.
Nathan Sutherland: If you don’t know League of Legends, you’re gonna have to look it up. Cause we can’t explain it.
Micah Roberts: That’s a whole nother podcast episode in its own.
Nathan Sutherland: Yeah it’s its own, but it’s a long-running, it’s competitive professional game.
Micah Roberts: It’s very competitive. Games are usually run very long, about 45 minutes. And it’s like you alone cannot win a game against a team. It’s very team focused. The entire game is, everyone has their own things to do and if they don’t do it, then they lose.
Nathan Sutherland: That’s a great way to explain it. And so then Tyler1 has had this journey. So about four years ago, why don’t you take us through a little bit of his history?
Micah Roberts: He’s a colorful fella. He is known both today in a good way and back then in a bad way for being very loud and screaming very loud. And it’s on [00:13:00] one hand quite funny. Because sometimes he screams so loud that the mic just cuts out because the mic can’t pick up. Sounds that loud. But back in the day he used to get banned because of how mad he used to get at League of Legends, meaning that t he could not on the account he had made to play League of Legends.
He could not play the game anymore. And he could skirt around it by making a new account.
Nathan Sutherland: But he wouldn’t be ranked like he loses all of his stuff.
Micah Roberts: You lose every character you unlocked. You lose any alternate outfits for those characters you’ve unlocked. You unlock any ranking, any. , any points you’ve gotten in the game are now gone when you’re banned.
Nathan Sutherland: It’s legitimate; if you go read any articles on him, folks, like he was out of control. And he was saying things that were horrible and he was effectively building an environment around him because people thought [00:14:00] he was funny. So then they’d follow him and then they’d think what he said was funny and it was, not safe and not good. But flash forward four years. He’s now announcing and like running media front for the game.
Micah Roberts: He’s still a big personality in the competitive, like we’ll talk about it later, but eSports of the legends, he’s a huge personality in there and he still yells very loud and is quote unquote mad a lot in his streams, but it’s more like, like a WWE persona now. It’s no longer him being quite literally mad, even though he might be at like a loss, but it’s no longer his actual reaction is played up for entertainment now.
Nathan Sutherland: Yes. It’s much more Hulk Hogan. He is he’s fired up, but it’s not the out of control like that lashing out at individuals. The same things that aren’t helpful or true, like it’s just a, a guy getting mad at his, poor player at his team. Yeah. And so [00:15:00] when we talk about someone like that, the, what I want to bring up specifically when it comes to rage in a sense, so we see the connection to sports and we recognize, all right, like there is this competitive frustration that can come up.
We recognize that some games are designed to be this way and some it’s because of just. Our internal aspects of ourselves of man, I get mad when which by the way is a great talking point with our kiddos. What makes you frustrated in your games? We’ll talk about our talking points at the end. But also that if you have a kid who deals with frustration games, can be beneficial in that.
They can be toxic, is what we call it. Toxic is when the anger and the negativity gets to such a level that it’s just self-feeding. That everyone who comes here gets so much just negativity thrown at them, that there’s really no way to have a positive outcome. You’re just going to expect, and toxic players would be some, Tyler1 was one of the best of just making everyone there have a bad day.
Because he showed up. And I think what we see now is, all [00:16:00] right, he’s found a way in maturing and in growing too. Hone some of that. And I’m not gonna say actually parents that he’s in a good spot personally. I don’t know Tyler1 personally. I will say that his presence on the internet is no longer what it was, where he was a face of just hate and negativity and some really intentional ways where that was his goal.
And he celebrated that like a biblical fool. And now, owned that and been like, no. That’s, I would say he’s Robin Williams in later years. , if any of you’ve listened to Robin Williams early stuff, here’s a random throw out. You wouldn’t want your children to listen to that.
And Robin Williams late in life right, was the voice of the genie in Aladdin and was very approachable and humorous. Still talented, but knew how to hone his craft and his humor to be more generous and gracious around people. So I would say that’s Tyler1. The reason I bring up all of that is to say you might have a kid who rages.
There is absolutely a spot to give them some distance, some [00:17:00] space to mature. There’s also an expectation of how they need to act around others, about what they’re representing in themselves and in others. And there are opportunities grow. If Tyler won can reign in his rage. Your child can too.
And so it’s not just it’s a video game and it makes me mad. I can’t do anything about it. , that’s not true. It’s not true biblically and it’s not true in experience. We’re, this is rage, some of the Radius games. Just to throw it out for, if your kid plays this game, they might rage. I already mentioned some. So I mentioned Overwatch, Apex, Call of Duty, Fortnite.
Micah Roberts: The thing that those all have in common is they are multiplayer games. Meaning you are playing either with and or against other actual people playing the game. So sometimes like getting mad is you’re just not as good as the other people sometimes. It’s never, not frustrating to like [00:18:00] absolutely get stomped on by some people who are better than you.
Nathan Sutherland: And, but you also run into the people that aren’t as good as you. Who do things like camp in a corner with a machine gun.. So you can be the best player in the world and you’re still gonna get smoked by this, like 10 year old behind a barrel.
Micah Roberts: So in like stuff like that, like the rage comes from, , like in a sport being frustrated because you’re not where you want to be skill-wise. So it’s just a frustration, which is just a natural thing of improving at anything. And you, and like in competitive games, you wanna improve cuz you want a better number cuz better number, better person.
Nathan Sutherland: Which is I think that you just nailed it, right? We get our identity so often from our success. Once I’m a gold level or once I’m platinum, then I’ll get respect from my peers, then I’ll have an accurate reflection of like my value and my investment in this thing. And I think that’s something we need to talk about with our children, parents is, Hey, son or daughter of mine I [00:19:00] see you getting mad at this.
Is it because you’re in an unhealthy group of players? Is it because you’re putting an unhealthy amount of value in the outcome you’re expecting of yourself here? Or is it some other thing that like this is supposed to be fun for you? Sometimes there are Tyler1’s in the game who are just ruining the ability for this to be a fun game.
I know, Micah, you and I have talked about this before, like there are groups of friends that can be playing a game. You like these people in real life, you like this game, but the two of those together, this group of friends and this game don’t work. And I think I’ve, I will say a teacher and as an Ialosa leader we had a group of guys they just really shouldn’t play League together. Like that specific game brought out the worst group.
Micah Roberts: In all of them.
Nathan Sutherland: And so parents keep that in mind as we’re meeting our kids with that, if you hear yelling, it’s not just par for the course. If you wouldn’t let it happen on a soccer pitch, if you wouldn’t let it happen on a [00:20:00] baseball diamond, if you wouldn’t let it happen in the wrestling ring, like it shouldn’t be happening behind a screen, through a headphone.
Like we still have those expectations for our kids hearts and minds, because we don’t want this just to be quote unquote normal. It’s not normal. And it’s not okay, but there it is going to happen. Like just know. , there’s nothing more frustrating than a game glitching or crashing or some little kid.
The second group, then I threw was League of Legend, Dota Two CS GO. And the reason I picked those three is those are older games parents who are still played professionally. And when we say professional, this is where we’re headed in this conversation. But eSports is a thing, parents. So I won’t steal our thunder, but just eSports literally just means electronic sports.
And all the games that we just mentioned can be played for real world money. Like significant money.
Micah Roberts: Like Dota and League like finals that teams like train for and compete for the [00:21:00] final. The World Cup of League is the prize pools are often in like several million dollar ranges.
Nathan Sutherland: And that the lead team then usually made of five to 10 players. Will get millions and then the remaining money will be split through the next top game, or excuse me, top teams in that tournament. And we’ll return to that, as I mentioned.
But other games to keep in mind, any game you’re gonna put real world money into, so something like Clash of Clans where you have invested actual cash in addition to your time and now you’re getting destroyed for one reason or another. That can lead to really high levels of frustration. So as you’re talking to your kiddo, asking them, or learning about the game and asking ’em to show you what’s happening, why is this frustrating?
Is an awesome point. Acknowledging that they’re mad and then asking them what’s going on. We’re not telling you that it’s. Reasonable that they’re mad. So we’re just saying it happens. You should expect it to happen. And our goal isn’t simply [00:22:00] for your kid to never get mad in a game. In fact, that falls into the same lie that like if our kid just stays away from enough bad stuff, they’ll somehow be good.
That’s not actually the way it works. We start in a place of deprivation. That’s why we need Jesus’ work through the Holy Spirit to change our hearts and make us new creations. What we’re saying is when we get mad, what are we doing with our anger? Are we turning it towards others? Are we turning it to reflect on our identity?
What value and worth or are we shutting out the world and like running away and causing other problems. So I just, if it costs real world money, talk to ’em about it. What’s going on? Last point is some games are just meant to be rage inducing.
Micah Roberts: Yeah. There are some games that are single player. I meaning you just play by yourself. Like Mario is a single player. Get from point A to point B or complete and objective. The most notorious series of games that is rage inducing and very hard is [00:23:00] called Dark Souls . It’s like a medieval fantasy game that’s all about its combat. So fighting like really tough enemies and they hurt a lot when they hit you and you don’t have a lot of help.
Nathan Sutherland: And there’s no like easy mode.
Micah Roberts: Yeah. It’s one. It’s one mode. So every single person who plays the game plays the exact same game. You can’t make it easier. You can’t make it harder. You can literally just get good at the game. So the frustration comes from the game just being hard. And the only thing you can do about it is improve. And when you don’t improve, it’s frustrating.
Nathan Sutherland: And how do you improve?
Micah Roberts: Just get better. You can get like stronger weapons and upgrade like skills and stuff, but it comes down to just precisely learning how to dodge this attack when it looks like he’s gonna do this attack. Cuz they, they all have a set of moves that they do.
Nathan Sutherland: Yeah, [00:24:00] like the characters in the game. That you’re like fighting. Yeah. Parents. I think that our generation’s version of this would be something like Punch Out if you remember that. Where it’s just boss after boss, where you have these fights and they all have like special moves and special things, and if you play them the right way, you, they could become more vulnerable and you can take ’em down easier, but you have to learn though the patterns. We’re talking modern games 20 some odd years later. So the patterns are much more complex.
Micah Roberts: Yes. It’s faster. It’s, there’s a lot more variety of the attacks.
Nathan Sutherland: Oh, Dark Souls. So much raging for kids. And I think on the more fun side, so Dark Souls is one the most recent version being Eldon Rings.
Micah Roberts: Yeah it’s made by the same company that makes dark souls, but it’s like 15 years later, they’ve improved a lot. The game series is more popular. More people than ever are playing this game. This may sound like torture, but [00:25:00] that’s because we’ve only explained like the negatives , like the fun of the game comes from a, just the game is fun to play, like controlling your character and swinging your sword.
It’s weird to explain if you haven’t played a video game, but it feels good to control your character. It feels good. And like anyone who’s played Dark Souls will tell you being stuck on one Boss level enemy for a whole day of playing and then coming back the next day and like two, trying it.
There’s no feeling better in a video game. It’s like this. It’s just like winning a really tough soccer match. It’s all about the triumph cuz the game isn’t about the difficulty and getting frustrated. It’s about the triumph after you’ve learned and improve. Which video games, so parents, I would actually say for those who are wondering like why in the world would anyone ever do this?
Video games do, they’re intentionally designed this way and
Nathan Sutherland: [00:26:00] they, when we talk about behavioral design and why it matters, if behavioral psychologists are involved in video game design, It’s because they get in just the heart of what we are looking for in life, right? We want to know that we matter. We want to know that we’re part of something bigger.
We want to see improvement. We want constant feedback to know if we’re improving or degrading. And video games can do that very well. So this is also part of where unhealthy rage can get tied in with our identity and where real life can start to slip on its ability to engage our minds and our hearts.
There are these things that are just so much more accessible and they make us feel like we’re making progress. So keep your eye, when you’re talking with your kiddo, when you’re watching this, when you go and play the game with them, or you sit next to them and observe what’s being played, look for those why’s.
Is it being played? Just cuz this is a fun thing and it’s fun to do hard things, right? It’s all of us have been, oh, I’m trying to think of okay. So my brothers-in-law when we hang out, we will do just [00:27:00] stupid competitions like who can hit that tree with a rock first? Great. Now who can lift this thing the highest or throw this thing the farthest.
Like we just do silly games of competition. , not because they matter, but because. , they’re hard. And we want to see be competitive in dumb ways. And I, video games can slip into that. So just know that’s the first part. The second part is when games are made to be frustrating, they do get the social cachet of I did something hard.
Did you do something hard? We have similar levels of value, therefore, now this suddenly matters because people care about it.
Micah Roberts: And suddenly there’s a huge community around it as well. Of you can like, like Eldon Ring, when it came out, it was huge. Like probably gonna be the biggest game this year, in 2022. And like online it was cool cuz you could watch where the general like population playing the game was by what boss was trending on Twitter that day. Of people like, dude, this guy is hard. And everyone in [00:28:00] the replies like I know.
Nathan Sutherland: And you get that shared experience. What Fall Guys would then be another example of a game designed to be difficult If you guys have never played fall guys, you’re basically people made out of pudding. You’re just like floppy little minions. You’re effectively indestructible. And it started off as like a, we’re gonna combat each other, but now there’s like race relay versions of it.
Micah Roberts: Yeah. . It’s a platformer. So it’s less about fighting the other person and more about getting from the beginning of the course to the end of the course. It’s like an obstacle course that you can like jump and dive through.
Nathan Sutherland: And you get just continually hosed by platforms that move and things that swing and other players like punching you as you’re about to cross the finish line. And just, if you’ve ever played Mario Kart, you’ll get a similar vibe from that.
Micah Roberts: And Fall Guys, like Fortnite is a, what they call a battle royal. The match starts with a hundred players and each round, like the [00:29:00] bottom, like 20 ish or so, get knocked out and they have to join a new lobby.
Nathan Sutherland: For Fall guys?
Micah Roberts: For Fall Guys. But the people, if when you keep winning, the better you do, the closer you get to first place, the more guaranteed you are to get to the end, and then it goes down to the last five people and the first one that reached the end wins the whole thing. Out of a hundred players.
Nathan Sutherland: So you can imagine the amount of rage that happens and you’ll hear your kids reference getting dubs in a game. And that’s what they mean. They want to get a win in whatever their battle royale thing is, and most of these games have that general concept of a bunch of players going for a single win. And that getting second doesn’t count. Like even though you’re gonna get points and you’re gonna get ranks and you’re gonna do these other gamified kind of bonuses throughout, getting to the end, getting number one is what matters most.
So let’s take a quick aside here. Oh, man. All right. I’m trying to, I was just trying to think if I wanna. Stop here and [00:30:00] give parents a mental break and then we jump into eSports. Yeah. And the next, let’s do that. Okay. All right. So parents, in, in conclusion then, on this section of rage, we had more to say on rage than I thought we would.
Shouldn’t surprise me. We do wanna remember in all of this that we’re not just trying to fix our kids. If you have a kid who gets really frustrated at games, this is an amazing opportunity to talk this out with our kiddo, because the first thing we want to get into is why. What’s happening in your mind and heart?
And just let ’em say whatever their thing is. Don’t go all psychoanalysis on ’em. Just let ’em say no this person’s cheating. Or, I keep dying, or I’m not doing as well. And get them to talk. Maybe even let, watch them as they do this and see what this thing is that’s frustrating. And then keep in your mind like we do have a standard for the fruit of our lives, right?
When we look at Galatians 5 22 and we know that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness. It’s faithfulness and self-control. Like we want to remember that those aren’t suggestions. Those are things that actually come out of [00:31:00] us when Jesus is running our heart, which means when we get anger, that’s fine.
Okay? We can deal with our anger in the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, cuz anger is fine, especially when we feel like it’s injustice, when we feel like we’re not adding up.
But living in a place of anger, letting that then affect how we treat others. Or how we think about others letting it affect how we act to the point where we start cheating or putting people down.
Right now we’re gossiping, we’re slandering, which is the Galatians 5 19 through 21. If you just go right before that, before the fruit of the spirit is the fruit of the flesh. . And when we start seeing that stuff percolate to the surface, sometimes it’s the game causing that. But oftentimes it’s the game exposing that, right?
It’s not football that makes me angry. It’s football that exposes my anger. CS Lewis has a great quote about how when I’m tired, it’s not an excuse for my poor attitude or actions. It’s actually just showing my poor attitudes and actions and when I’m well rested, I do better at covering it up.[00:32:00]
And I think video games are similar parents, so we have a standard for love. Which would be 1 Corinthians 13, right? That we now have what love should look like, that it’s patient and its kind. It, this is, it’s not self-serving and we have a standard for the fruit that we have in our actions.
So I think taking those two, my challenge to you this in this conversation talking about rage, would be talk to your kid about what makes him frustrated if they play video games. What do you find most frustrating about video games? They’re gonna have an answer. It’d be interesting to hear what it is.
Ask them to let you watch, play with them. And if you’re up for it, I’m not gonna tell you have to, but if your kid is already playing dames, jump in, play a game with them, ask them to show you how, and you will feel very quickly the frustration that comes with your brain tells the game to do one thing. And your big old clumpy hands don’t do it right.
Or you hit the wrong button. Or you didn’t know that one. And like just the learning curve and the competitive nature and your desire can bring you back. It’s why Dark Souls is a thing, because just the fact [00:33:00] that it’s hard means it’s something you want to do. . And I think getting that, that’ll build empathy.
You don’t have to love video games. You don’t have to even want to play. But recognizing they have value cuz your kid has value is gonna be important. So to put a bow on this Micah, what do parents need to know about gamer rage?
Micah Roberts: It’s not immediately a bad thing. Like you said, it’s could be a symptom of something else, but normally at first it’s just a symptom of immediate micro frustration at getting killed when you were so close to killing the other guy. Or just barely missing the finish line before the time ends.
Nathan Sutherland: And then those are awesome cuz then that’s just like sports for us. Like parents we make this correlation to sports, which again, we’ll tackle in the next episode cuz we got all excited about this one. . But sports, there is a similar corollary relationship here.
. And then the third reminder folks is just that we do have a biblical standard for [00:34:00] this. That we can lovingly bring that in for our kiddo. We’re not looking to win any fights. We’re not looking to drop any kind of I told you so hammers. But instead we are, we’re lovingly come alongside our kids who like games and we will have that conversation.
Maybe this game is too much for right now, maybe this environment is unhealthy for our kid. Maybe our kid is the unhealthy one. Like Tyler1 is somebody’s kid. And couple years ago someone needed to lovingly come alongside him and be like, dude, you gotta calm down. Go for a walk.
Go get outside and you can come back to this when you’re healthier. Which fortunately for everyone he is now and that’s what we want to see for our kiddos too.
Micah Roberts: So I think what would be helpful, because one thing I don’t see a lot of fellow gamers doing is just stop playing the game if it makes you like really mad. Like it’s honestly, it might be a little healthy to like, scream or yell just to get out that frustration to get back to [00:35:00] being calm and focused on what you’re doing. But the bad and unhealthy comes, like we said, when it starts affecting you outside of the game, like when you decide to stop playing and you’re still mad about what happened.
Just try to teach ’em that it’s okay to stop playing if you get mad. Like you can play another game or do something else. If it’s making you this mad you should just take a break.
Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. So great book on that., Jean Twenge, iGen is a book that she wrote recently, I wanna say the last three years.
Jean Twenge is a professor out of California wanna say San Diego State. But she, her book is awesome. And basically she says you need 30 days, like by the time it’s that embedded that you’re getting these snap rage moments. You need 30 days to let your brain calm and reflect and reset Its chemical levels, like there are actual [00:36:00] imbalances that are measurable in your body that are causing these swings in emotions that may not be reflective of reality. So sometimes your kid just needs 30 days away and there’s more on that. We can talk about resets and such, but we’ll end on that folks.
Micah Roberts: Yeah. There, there are games that exist that don’t induce rage. There, there are games that are literally the exact opposite point, like Stardew Valley where you’re literally just a famer. Like you just, you take care of a farm and then wait seven days for crops to grow and then you harvest them and that’s how you play the game. There’s more to it than that, but that’s like the core gameplay loop as you call it. The thing you do over and over.
Like there like sure your kid might not be interested in something like that, but there are games like even like shooter games that are a lot less rage, inducing than War Zone or [00:37:00] Fortnite. There, there are alternatives.
Nathan Sutherland: Portal would be a shooter game.
Micah Roberts: Like a story driven game. Like Halflife? Yep. It’s completely story based. There’s a multiplayer, no one plays it so they can’t get to that. Yeah. But like maybe more like story focused games. Where like it’s more about experiencing a story than overcoming a really tough challenge. Cause like in Dark Souls, there is a story.
You’re not gonna figure it out, . It’s too convoluted. They don’t tell it to you directly. It’s all about the gameplay in that. And that’s something like a Halo, like it’s all about the story. And the multiplayer is fun, but it comes second. Sure. It’s more focused on the story and the gameplay is not uber challenging by design.
Nathan Sutherland: So in review, the rage is normal. Join your kid in the conversation knowing that their health is the focus and that there is hope and the [00:38:00] gospel for what their heart is supposed to be doing. So we’re not just trying to fix your kiddo. They’re not a problem to fix. They’re a person to love.
And we do that in the gospel, in the love that Christ gives us. And there may be a time to step away. If you have any questions on this, you can reach out to me directly, [email protected]. You can find us on social media at Love God use tech on both Instagram and Facebook, and you can join us next week as we continue this conversation about how we can love God and use tech.