Coin Game Blame Common in History


A recent article in The Conversation discusses that games have always been blamed for moral decline and addiction. In other words, blaming violent video games on real-life violence is part of a larger thread that extends millennia.

A vintage pinball game.

“Blaming video games for social or moral decline might feel like something new,” the author noted. “But fears about the effects of recreational games on society as a whole are centuries old.”

One of the earliest known written descriptions of games dates from the fifth century B.C., the article says. “The Dialogues of the Buddha, purport to record the actual words of the Buddha himself. In them, he is reported to say that ‘some recluses…while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to games and recreations; that is to say…games on boards with eight or with 10, rows of squares.’”

It goes on to detail the illegality of pinball machines in New York City from 1942-76, and cited other examples as well. The short of it – we’re probably going to blame video games for societal problems long into the future!


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