Lies Adults Told Me About Games

Lies Adults Told Me About Games

Not long ago videogames were, by and large, the realm of children. And like anything kids absorb into their unique culture, they spawned more than one playground rumor.

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GAH, don't scare me with a picture like that!

this is great

Well that was weird. I grew up with games my whole life and never once had a sit down to talk about the dangers of video games outside of "Homework first then games!". Though, I had a older brother that had his own income and brought the sort of games into the house that I wanted to play. Fallout, Shadowrun, Shadow Warrior, Duke Nukem and Final Fantasy Tactics. And my dad was himself a obsessed Doom fan and my mom loved the NES Zelda since before I was born. I guess my parents just had a better idea than most parents what a "Modern" video game was back then. I mean I assume most parents had played arcade machines from the 70's and history states that every young person back in the 70s was legally required to play PacMan.

GAH, don't scare me with a picture like that!

Tsk. Tsk. You mean don't square me with that.

I don't recall my parents ever telling me any 'weird' things about video games but, of course, I heard plenty of tales in the playground. Hidden pokemon, the Lavender Town theme thing and BS stories about owning a Sega Venus/Pluto/Mars/Uranus.

At least people aren't spreading the rumor that playing video games will turn you into a murderous rampaging monster.

The ones I heard were that it would ruin your eyes. I looked into that eventually. Eye strain isn't the healthiest thing but you'll be fine in general as long as you take regular breaks.

I don't know how old this square eye because of video gaming is, but when I was a kid, they said the very same thing about TV.
Guess just watching TV wasn't causing the squareness, the fact that you had to be holding a controller made the final push to total skull reconstruction.

What about the "melting your brain" myth? That one is interesting, as while media obviously don't do that, they do have some effect on one's brain that causes one to desire working less. That underlying problem is then exaggerated into such motivation being destroyed along with several other brain functions.

The only one I've ever heard was the one about bursting bladders from kids too stubborn to go to the bathroom. I wonder how many other gaming related urban legends are out there?

Wow, I remember all of those games... seems like a lifetime ago. "Shadow Dancer" was so awesome, wasn't it? At least until THAT cave level. (There was always THAT one level in those old games.)

Still, fighting ninjas while going up the side of the Statue of Liberty = win. Plus the soundtrack was flippin' awesome.

Don't think I ever worried that anybody would take "Moonwalker" away from me. Although my eyes did go square for a while.

My cousin did once poop his pants from refusing to get up to relieve himself during a goldeneye session. SO I was spared that myth in favour of a more vicious reality.

I can still smell it...

Great article as always. Nice to see a break from the super researched topics and see something a little lighter.

Those white lies never worked on me once we got internet access in our school. I was always very interested in computers, but internet basically made me jizz my pants. Literally, once I discovered free porn, but that's beside the point. Everything that sounded doubtful, I researched. Eventually, my parents just stopped lying to me because I kept calling them out on everything, including things they believed to be true that turned out not to be. Though my mom still refuses to accept that tomatoes are fruit.

What about the "melting your brain" myth?

I was told, starting at age 4, that my brains would literally start leaking out of my ears if I played video games for too long. It did not much as scare me as make me resigned to the fact that I might die or worse if I continued my hobby/habit; games were just too much fun to let go. I still get here the odd crack from my parents every few months or so. I am now 27. Worst that has come of my ears is earwax. =P

At least people aren't spreading the rumor that playing video games will turn you into a murderous rampaging monster.

Oh wait...

My parents were actually quite sensible. They knew that they knew fuckall about modern games and thus didn't tell us any bullshit. The most my mother did was to come around and make sure the games we had weren't about decapitating puppies. They were still plenty violent, but nothing I'd hadn't seen on TV by then.

I don't believe the 3rd story.

A parent who would know that the console is called 'Sege Genesis' and wouldn't call it 'Nintendo'? No way.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. Though I heard the 'eyes-turning-square' thing in relation to watching too much TV :)

I actually only heard the eyes turning square thing because back when I was in Year 4, I used to catch a bus. And because even then I didn't like Primary School children, I read a lot. One kid told me my eyes would go square by the time I was 30, if I kept reading so much. That.... set me back a little.

I was fortunate enough to have parents that didn't pull this kind of crap on me, and I probably wouldn't have fallen for it if they had anyway and they knew that. I was playing games along the lines of Doom and Duke Nukem sorts since I was 5 or so, with the filters off of course, and the only thing that my parents ever did was explain the difference between video games and real life, that's it.

Wow, I had no idea that these even existed (although I can imagine doctors trying to argue the ruptured bladder myth today). I'm odd in the fact that my mother was the one who introduced me to videogames, despite hating them herself. Apparently I was reading too much and needed to branch out into something more social so I didn't spend all day in my room with a book. So she bought me a bunch of single player games. Logic!

The nice thing was, any time she would start up with these kinds of myths (if you don't put down the controller, your hands will stick that way) I could respond with "you're the one who told me I had to start playing videogames" and that usually got her off my case.

I most definitely was told by my mother that my eyes would turn square from extended computer or TV use (western Canadian for those with geographical curiosity). Then again I was also told that if I pouted a bird would poop on my lip. I'm fairly certain my parents just wanted me to be more active.

I thought eyes turning square was a TV thing...or rather a thing that was about TV. Everyone had heard it, but not as thing that could happen, as a silly thing someone made up as a joke.

Not heard the others.

The ones I heard were that it would ruin your eyes. I looked into that eventually. Eye strain isn't the healthiest thing but you'll be fine in general as long as you take regular breaks.

Likewise, and in the 80s (when I was first gaming) the same was said of TV in general. And there was SOME level of debate on the subject at the time, though I didn't exactly have much access to peer-reviewed medical journals at 6.

I've never heard of these before.

Oh good times. I heard similar things growing up, but my absolute favorite child traumatizing rumor was told to me by my dear sweet aunt. After several long bouts of SNES at my cousin's house and refusing to do anything else, my aunt told me that too much videogaming can cause cancer.

Being around the age of 10, I just knew that cancer generally equals death and I'm pretty sure I cried and cowered in fear at the sight of that tantalizing grey console for a while.

I now love giving my aunt shit about that at family gatherings as she turns red and shakes her head at one of her not so proudest parenting moments. Of course I don't hold any resentment, I just find it hilarious and enjoy embarrassing her with this and and other fond childhood moments.

On a random note, maybe the bladder bursting was specifically a Sega Genesis side effect due to all that "blast processing".

My parents probably still think electronics give brain cancer or the flu or something


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