Sims creator Will Wright offers a short, yet poignant argument against the idea that games are a novel scourge.

Whether you believe in a videogame’s ability to induce physical addiction in unwary children, or think that the idea itself is laughable, I want you all to spend the next minute and a half watching the video embedded at right.

In it, gaming demigod Will Wright (he of SimCity, The Sims and most crucially SimAnt) dissects the idea that media itself — no matter what form it may take — is inherently designed to “displace” a person. His description of a 16th-century monk reading alone initially sounds like a horror story of a wildly addicted gamer, but being the canny speaker that he is, Wright turns it around to show that the idea of people becoming intractably drawn into fictional worlds has nothing to do with games themselves, and everything to do with man’s desire for escapism.

Much as the blame for juvenile delinquency has shifted from comic books to rock music to games over the past century, Wright seems to argue that this ongoing controversy over addictive games is merely the latest iteration of elder generations desperately scrambling to explain away anything they can’t easily understand (read: their children) by blaming whatever seems most popular at the time.

I should also point out that this video was posted courtesy of the new BAFTA Guru program, an online initiative that “brings together some of the most exciting voices in Film, TV and Games in one handy hub” with the goal of inspiring future artists and creators. It’s quality stuff, and I highly recommend spending time on the website, watching the clips and smartening yourself right up.

“Smartening?” Is that the right word? Wait, I meant to say “macroknowledging your thinkgoo.” Yes, that’s much better.

Source: BAFTA Guru

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