A nice, reasoned piece in The Times by Janice Turner:
I refuse to buy them portable gaming consoles, Xboxes, GameCubes, PS2s. These are Satan’s Sudoku, crack cocaine of the brain. Even the crappiest cartoon or lamest soap teaches a child about character, plot, drama, humour, life. Playing videogames, children are mentally imprisoned, wired into their evil creators’ brains.
Consoles are crack for kids? I suspect that increasingly, the crack for kids is, er, crack.
From The Independent:
Drug agencies in the city [Cambridge] report a marked increase in clients using crack cocaine in the past 18 months, mostly men in their 20s and 30s. Younger people are also getting hooked. Cambridgeshire Youth Offending Service is treating a girl aged 13 who is taking crack more than once a week.
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This post on Fark by BadVermin is worth repeating:
Unfortunately there have always been busybodies who think the youth of world are spinning out of control because of “lurid” entertainment.
“The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge. Parents take care to feed their children with wholesome diet; and yet how unconcerned about the provision for the mind, whether they are furnished with salutary food, or with trash, chaff, or poison?”
– Reverend Enos Hitchcock, Memoirs of the Bloomsgrove Family, 1790
“The indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced … at the English Court on Friday last … It is quite sufficient to cast one’s eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs, and close compressure of the bodies … to see that it is far indeed removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is … forced on the respectable classes of society by the evil example of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.”
– The Times of London, 1816
“This new form of entertainment has gone far to blast maidenhood … Depraved adults with candies and pennies beguile children with the inevitable result. The Society has prosecuted many for leading girls astray through these picture shows, but GOD alone knows how many are leading dissolute lives begun at the ‘moving pictures.’”
– The Annual Report of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1909
“Does the telephone make men more active or more lazy? Does [it] break up home life and the old practice of visiting friends?”
– Survey conducted by the Knights of Columbus Adult Education Committee, San Francisco Bay Area, 1926
“Many adults think that the crimes described in comic books are so far removed from the child’s life that for children they are merely something imaginative or fantastic. But we have found this to be a great error. Comic books and life are connected. A bank robbery is easily translated into the rifling of a candy store. Delinquencies formerly restricted to adults are increasingly committed by young people and children … All child drug addicts, and all children drawn into the narcotics traffic as messengers, with whom we have had contact, were inveterate comic-book readers This kind of thing is not good mental nourishment for children!”
– Fredric Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent, 1954
Rock and Roll
“The effect of rock and roll on young people, is to turn them into devil worshippers; to stimulate self-expression through sex; to provoke lawlessness; impair nervous stability and destroy the sanctity of marriage. It is an evil influence on the youth of our country.”
– Minister Albert Carter, 1956
Penny Arcade nails it. (via Fark, again)
Well, that Albert Carter was right, at least.
> Even the crappiest cartoon or lamest soap teaches a child about character, plot, drama, humour, life. Playing videogames, children are mentally imprisoned, wired into their evil creatorsâ€™ brains.
I remember seeing some industry expert a few years ago talking about the then-hyped new idea of interactive movies, explaining (correctly, as it’s turned out) why it was never going to catch on. He was saying that a vital part of the experience of watching a film is immersion, and that having to interact pulls you out of that immersion. In other words, he was making precisely the opposite point of what this woman is claiming: you have to be more alert and more awake and more self-aware to play a game than to watch a film. And he was right.
I think it’s terrible that people are doing crack. If they can’t afford cocaine the economy’s more fucked than I thought.