Predecessors of anti-game hysteria: anti-novel, anti-waltz, anti-phone!

See current rants on television, videogames, and the like.

Predecessors of anti-game hysteria: anti-novel, anti-waltz, anti-phone!: “Cory Doctorow:
Attacking games as corrupters of youth is nothing new — historically, self-declared protectors of innocence have damned novels, the waltz, movies, telephones, comics, and rock and roll as one-way tickets to delinquency. Tom Standage catalogs the hystericaal media responses to historical new art-forms from the novel onwards:


‘The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge. Parents take care to feed their children with wholesome diet; and yet how unconcerned about the provision for the mind, whether they are furnished with salutary food, or with trash, chaff, or poison?’

– Reverend Enos Hitchcock, Memoirs of the Bloomsgrove Family, 1790

The Waltz

‘The indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced … at the English Court on Friday last … It is quite sufficient to cast one’s eyes on the voluptuous inter¬twining of the limbs, and close com¬pressure of the bodies … to see that it is far indeed removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was con¬fined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is … forced on the respectable classes of society by the evil example of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.’

– The Times of London, 1816


(Via Boing Boing.)

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