The Scars Of Youth And Fortnite

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

They say that our scars are our stories. If this is true, then Jude, my 12-year-old son, now has this story to tell: “I was playing Fortnite, and I tried this new exploit I saw in a YouTube video, and it worked! I was so excited, I jumped off my bed and busted my lip on the corner of a shelf and had to go to the emergency room and get stitches.” That’s right, we had a video game injury in my house today.

Something about my son getting hurt playing video games made me stop and think. It wasn’t just what he was doing when he got hurt, but I was bothered by what he wasn’t doing. He didn’t get hurt jumping his bike off a homemade ramp or falling out of a treehouse he was building, or even the ridiculous rock fights that characterized my youth. He got hurt in his bedroom all by himself, playing Fortnite...

Boyhood has changed. 

It’s the confluence of two things I’ve observed increasingly in the past few years. First, there seems to be real societal pressure to tame boys- to keep them from playing rough, to reign in their impulse to explore, their need to test themselves against the heights of a tall tree, or even to rise to the challenge of a mouthy friend. We don’t let them wrestle or climb or ride off on their bikes. We neuter any hint of wildness. We tell them to get down, to settle down, sit down and sit still. 

Secondly, because of technology like video games, tablets, and smartphones, our kids are perfectly fine with sitting down and sitting still inside where it is safe and secure. Boys fire up a game console, put on their headset, turn on their flatscreen and tune out the whole wild world. They don’t even know what they’re missing. 

Now the only world that boys explore is digital. Imagination is no longer required- just good wifi. The challenges of boyhood today mainly involve leveling up. Boys engage their rivals in hand to controller combat. And because the risks aren’t real, neither are the rewards. There may be fewer trips to the emergency room but there are less adventures and far fewer stories to tell. 

Scars represent life lived. My son will have a Fortnite scar going forward. I suppose there are worse ways to get a scar, but there are also so many better ways. 

John Daum
Relationship Educator, First Things First


Elect Leaders To Preserve Signal Mountain's Small Town Character

Dear Signal Mountain Residents,  Do you care deeply about preserving Signal Mountain's natural beauty and small town character? We do. Over the past year, the town has faced requests to rezone residential properties for commercial use.   These requests might have been approved by the majority of our council, if not for the multitude of residents speaking out against ... (click for more)

East Brainerd For Joda Thongnopnua

Joda Thongnopnua has my vote for District 30 State House of Representatives. I have supported both Republicans and Democrats in the past and I’m very happy that someone of Joda’s caliber is running for this open seat. I have worked alongside Joda professionally and I’ve seen firsthand his work ethic and his great ability to work with others to come up with the best solution.  ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy High ROTC Instructor Denies He Had Gun In Road Rage Incident, But Judge Sends Case To Grand Jury

A Soddy Daisy ROTC instructor has denied having a gun in a road rage incident with a 17-year-old girl at Northgate Mall, but General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes bound the case to the Grand Jury. The judge said,"It's a very close issue. It's he said, she said. I don't think it's going to get out of the Grand Jury, but I am going to find there is probable cause." The girl ... (click for more)

Federal Judge In Nashville Tells State To Halt Suspension Of Drivers Licenses Of Those Who Cannot Pay

 A Nashville federal judge has directed that the state halt suspension of the drivers licenses of people who cannot afford to pay fines and court costs. The ruling was from District Judge Aleta Trauger. Officials of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security said, "The department has received the order.  It will stop suspensions of licenses, as the Court requires, ... (click for more)

Knox Catholic Ends East Hamilton's Bid For Class 2A State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – East Hamilton’s bid to reach the TSSAA Class 2A state tournament title game was dashed Wednesday night when the Lady Hurricanes fell to Knoxville Catholic, 3-0, for the second time in as many days. Scores were 25-23, 25-22 and 25-17. “It’s hard to come back after playing a really good match like we did against Camden,” East Hamilton coach Bojana Hyatt ... (click for more)

Sale Creek Whips Watertown, 3-0, For Shot At First Class 1A State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Sale Creek wasn’t ready to head home short of its ultimate goal. And the roadblock Hickman County put up was nothing but a diminutive speed bump. Sale Creek (38-7) used its fast-paced attack to overwhelm the Lady Bulldogs, 3-0, Wednesday afternoon and remained alive in the loser’s bracket of the TSSAA Class 1A state volleyball tournament at Middle Tennessee ... (click for more)