A history of anti-game moral panics and crusades


Is anyone even remotely surprised that none of these “crusades” address any of the real problems with gamers and the gaming industry?
I guess it wouldn’t be a moral panic if it was at all reasonable.

There’s a long history of any kind of amusement being considered a danger to civilization. When crossword puzzles first became popular there was a huge outcry that they were a"disease" “enslaving America”.

Apparently the idea of leisure short circuits some people’s brains.

Heeey - when I was a kid in the mid-80s I remember the local skating rink had a Death Race arcade.

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Oddly, I was reading this yesterday.


I think reasonable people could find cause to be disgusted by “Custer’s Revenge” (goal: rape the American Indian captive!), just not to blame it for acts of actual rape.

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

– H. L. Mencken

Surely we can’t forget the BIGGEST game phobia/hysteria ever: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_%26_Dragons_controversies

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The sad thing is that that there are genuine problems with sexism in the gaming industry (not to mention among gamers at large), but stirring up sensationalist controversy over a few terrible outliers (e.g. Custer’s Revenge or RapeLay) doesn’t even begin to solve them.

Literature has the Gor series and cinema has I Spit on Your Grave. Video games are just the latest medium to get saddled with the moral responsibility for all the terrible crap human beings have been doing to each other since the beginning of time.

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