Celebrity Thoughts on Videogames
(Appeared in the various issues of "Video Gaming Illustrated"
Star of Stage and Screen
"I can't bear to think about entertainment becoming entirely
electronic. Maybe I'm just too old to take up things like that,
but I'm really depressed about computers in general. I think
it's terrible that hundreds of thousands of computers are being
used in our schools. In losing the 'little red school house,'
we're losing our humanity."
Star of Ben Hur
"I think without doubt that videogames are absolutely
horrendous. Mentally they're horrendous. I think it's better
that families play real games together. Checkers. Scrabble.
Monopoly. I think it's ridiculous to try and play those games
or others like them on a TV screen. If I were bringing up
children today I wouldn't allow it. I think it's terrible on
their eyes; I don't think the next generation of people are going
to have any vision! Half the time they're in there playing those
games they should be outside playing other things. Or reading
books. I've heard that people think they are therapy: come on.
Let's have aggression with one another and get it out of our
Star of The Day the Earth Stook Still and Ghost Story
"I think they're great! I mean, I love the older games
like Monopoly and Scrabble, and I'm very good at marbles and
But videogames are good for one. Some of them force you to
use your mind, and you get rid of your aggression through them.
Even detractors have to admit that it's better to play those
games than to beat each other up."
Star of Ben Hur
"It was about 1942, at the Airport in Madrid, that I first
played a Pong game. I had just finished making The Three
Musketeers and was waiting for a plane. As it happens,
I haven't played a videogame since. I find them quite
interesting, but they fail to captivate me totally. I don't,
however, subscribe to the fear many people have that videogames
will destroy our young. They said the same thing about rock
music and, God knows, if kids can survive that they can
DR. JOYCE BROTHERS
Author and Lecturer
"I don't think videogames are bad at all When they take
kids away from schoolwork or bring them to a place
where they can meet undesirable people, that's a debit.
But videogames per se are not negative at all. They
make youngsters conversant with the concept of computers,
show them that a computer is a friend rather than an enemy;
this is important, since we're living in a world where
we must be allies of computers. Videogames show them that
they can control computers, in addition to the training
in mathematical concepts and improved hand-eye coordination.
It doesn't trouble me at all that these games encourage
aggression without mercy because it's a way of getting some
of this aggression out. I'd rather see them aggressive
without mercy in a game rather than beating up on one
Star of TV's Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999
"My personal experience with videogames is somewhat
limited, but I DO think that we're developing a
group of young people whose coordination is amazing thanks
to these games. What fascinates me most are the computer
games, where ten or fifteen people in different parts of
the country can play games together. The only danger I
see is that kids who can push buttons don't bother to learn
other things, whether it's math or literature. As long
as videogames don't take the place of these pursuits, I
see nothing wrong with them."
Star of Superman
"Those Pong games [sic] are just awful. Why not read a book instead?
Maybe I'm a card-carrying snob, but reading lets you linger on ideas
that are worthwhile, think about what's between the lines. People
just die on the vine before TV's blinking light."
Actor and Comedian
"Our world is in such a culture lag at the moment due to the ever-present
electronic media, and I think it's terrible to see kids continually
playing those stupid Ataris. I think it's sad that they
don't go outside and do that same stuff with their bodies.
"But who knows? Perhaps their reflexes will be better, ultimately,
their minds sharper, eyes work better. And if that's the case, we
might as well put an Atari in the uterus and hope for the best."
Comedian, Director and Bon vivant
"Videogames are not for us. They're here to entertain the
Actor, Jimmy Olson in the Superman films
"I like videogames. Battlezone is great, that's my favorite. I'm
hooked on it; lotta quarters. How can you NOT like it -- unless your
five dollars is gone. I always end up wishing that there was a
button you could push just to get TWO of your quarters back. They
should have done that, if you've spent five dollars on one machine or
scored a lot of points.
What I'd really love to see is a black curtain behind the arcade
games, though, so you could really get into it.
I guess I should worry that it's taking money away from movies. They
ARE competing with each other. But I like the games too much to
Star of Superman and Deadly Blessing
"I've played Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, and they're a trip. But I'm
more of a pool player. For some reason, I tend to get a little too
brainwashed playing videogames. You just stare and shut out every-
thing else, go into a trance almost. And I don't like to do that. I
like to be able to converse with people.
That's not to be taken as a value judgement on the medium: I think
videogames are a very good thing. Certainly they're good for the
I don't worry about them eating into movie revenues. There have
always been pinball machines, and though those have never been as
popular as videogames, I don't think the competition is one-to-one.
In fact, if you look at how Tron the movie and Tron the videogame
helped each other, I think the media complement rather than compete.
If anything is going to hurt the movie industry it's a lack of
Actor and ex-football player
"I think videogames are a great challenge. It's embarrassing
sometimes when you walk up to a kid and watch him wipe out a game,
then you try it and are defeated two seconds into the game.
But I think they're great mental stimuli for the kids. I'm an
athlete but, no, it doesn't bother me that the machines don't move.
I know they could give ME plenty of exercise: when I'm finished,
and I've lost, I just want to pick the game up and throw it."
Typed by Keita Iida