Have you heard about that thing "from the devil, which corrupted youths"? This creeping evil worried parents and "concerned citizens" demanded that the scourge be banned from public places, and it was. The name of this unholy device: pinball. Yes, pinball was thought to be so evil that newspapers and the talking heads of the time pushed to ban the game across the country. The bans lasted for decades. In New York City it was banned from the 1940s through the mid 70s.

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If it wasn't for investigative reports into the dangers of this or that what would news people talk about? The latest craze is the evils of the video game. You would think that these machines are like quarter eating robots that are rampaging through our suburban utopias by the tone of the reporting.

They act like they are tearing the covers off this long unknown entity. Did you know that some children are playing VIDEO GAMES? A video game is like a wholesome board game perverted by nerds and forced to mate with a television. The sacred TV, sullied by the 'blips' and 'beep' of packing men and and konging donkeys.

This is nothing new. Here is an early 1980s report on the dangers of video games.

The same people saying the same things. Here is a typical fear hypeing peice from the start of the Nintendo years.

And the Super Nintendo was the root of this 1991 panic.

Video games have been a part of our lives going on four decades. Video games are not new, odd, fads. Nearly every American born since 1965 has played video games and the yet we don't live in a wind swept dystopia. The worrywarts in 1940 were wrong about pinball and the neo-luddites were wrong about video games in the 80s, 90s, and this century. Wrong like the loudmouths that try to get people riled up over music, movies or Garbage Pail Kids.

Crazy snaps, the abused pass their abuse on to others. There is no single trigger for anything. The world can be a harsh place, hiding from it is probably worse than facing it. Sometimes there is clear motive for events and sometimes Andy Dufresne said it best in The Shawshank Redemption:

"Bad luck, I guess. It floats around. It's got to land on somebody. It was my turn, that's all. I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn't expect the storm would last as long as it has."