In 1943, my mother grabbed a Chinese checkers board with both hands, threw the marbles all over the kitchen and crashed it over my father's head, claiming, "I will not play with thieves!"
Interesting and funny commentary from an engineer at Atari on the claim that videogames cause violence.
IF IT'S FUN, THEN IT'S BAD FOR YOU I wondered when someone would get around to blaming video games for inciting violence in children. So far the electronic screen has been blamed for loss of appetite, tennis wrist, sexual transference and the seduction of a minor. Adults are like that. Everytime a kid is having a good time, eating something that tastes good, or wearing something comfortable, there has to be something wrong with it. Frankly, I don't see video games as being any more mind-controlling than their fathers sitting spellbound before 86 football games a week or their mothers mesmerized by four hours of soaps a day. You wanta talk violence? I can tell stories about games past that will make your hair stand on end. In 1943, my mother grabbed a Chinese checkers board with both hands, threw the marbles all over the kitchen and crashed it over my father's head, claiming, "I will not play with thieves!" In 1954, my husband and I were playing Monopoly with a few friends. Knowing full well that I was down to my last $50, he demanded $3,060 when I landed on one of his utilities. When I tried to reason with him he just snickered and said, "You're out! Why don't you just go out and get the chip dip and snacks?" Had we not the children to consider, I don't like to think what would have happened. There are so many things in our lives that have an effect on children, I wouldn't know what to take away. If you don't want them to see violence, you better hide Hansel and Gretel. If you don't want them to see sex, don't let them see a pregnant woman. If you don't want them to know terror, protect them from Halloween; or hypocrisy, tell them Santa Claus doesn't exist. If you don't want them to be frightened by monsters and things that go bump in the night, cut down the large tree in front of the house that makes weird shadows on their walls when the lights are out and brushes against the spouting. If you don't want them to see war and suffering, throw your body in front of the TV set for the six o'clock news. The other day I saw two brothers fighting for control. One boy yelled, "It's my turn!" The other one said, "Would you flake off?" THe first one said "I'm telling Mom!" and gave him an elbow in the ribs. The second one said, "Get out of my face," and ground his foot into his. A video game? Nope. A fight over a hymnal in church! - Erma Bombeck
Mar 09, 1984