Gundam Creator Says Games Are Evil…Again

By Ishaan . October 25, 2009 . 12:50pm


Here we go again! I was beginning to miss my favourite "games are evil" tag a little, so I should thank Anime News Network for this interview with Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, where he reinforces his pessimistic outlook on videogames.


ANN: Here’s something a lot of people have mentioned to me. You recently gave a keynote at a video game conference, where I believe you said that video games are evil.


YT: Yes, they’re evil. Because they just steal people’s time.


ANN: Do you think the people who make video games could change them into something more meaningful or worthwhile?


YT: I don’t think they can. But in the twenty-year history of video games, one good thing is that the technology they’ve produced feeds back to the real world. Video game hardware is endurance-tested by hundreds of thousands of people, and that helps establish computer systems that can be used in the real world. So the fact that video game hardware still exists isn’t meaningless.


I don’t know much about technical things, but I think at the very least, it’s thanks to computer games that we were able to develop the programs and hardware to make mobile phones as small as they are now. The fact that the game industry has taken on so many technological challenges has been a big help to the computer industry. Although the games themselves are worthless, in that sense they’ve been a good thing.


I picked this portion of the interview to put on the site because it was a) the most relevant, b) funny, and c) a follow-up to a previous story but I would highly recommend checking the entire piece out. Tomino is incredibly forthcoming and frank, and he talks about the 30th anniversary of Gundam, using CG and his next potential project. Great interview for anyone that’s into the franchise.


Ishaan’s note: Aren’t those Gundam speakers awesome? I came across them while searching for an appropriate image for the post. You can read more about them here.

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  • MisterNiwa

    My brother prefers building Gundam Master Grades than playing Video Games… :[

  • kazalt

    Following his logic, any form of entertainment that “Steals your time” is evil. So, that would mean that reading a comic book is evil, watching a play or movie is evil, listening to music is evil, and (best part) WATCHING GUNDAM IS EVIL TOO. Maybe this guy shouldn’t be in the entertainment business.

    Any argument that can be made in favor of watching gundam can also be made for the things I’ve listed.

  • Trotmeister

    Gundam is even more evil than videogames since unlike some of those, it’s all really DUMB.

    Still, the fact that Tomino is against pointless time-consuming activities doesn’t means he should stop making Gundam. It’s obviously just business for the guy, probably a good one too, considering how ridiculously popular his creation is in Japan.

    • Dasuzero


    • Hraesvelgr

      Tomino doesn’t really have much involvement with making Gundam anymore, which explains why it’s all so freaking terrible these days. Then again, I can’t think of anything Tomino has done outside of Gundam that was particularly special, so who knows…

      • Aoshi00

        Frankly, I only see the original Gundam, Zeta, and Double Zeta (all w/ Yasuhiko Yoshikazu character design) as true Tomino creation, and they were brilliant, or some older OVAs. Now it’s like FF, out of Sakaguchi’s hands for years and the companies just do whatever they want w/ the established franchise (not to say I don’t like the new FFs).

        So it’s weird when people think about Gundam games being made by Tomino even though w/o his original series the games wouldn’t have existed. But I still worship him so much for the original 3 gundam series back in 79, 85, and 86. Like I’m a Toriyama fan for life for Dragonball. And you don’t need to create multiple hits in your entire career, just a popular long running series that’s world famous is alrdy no easy feat, how many manga/anime series are household names even your grandmother would know.

  • He’s right. Games do steal a lot of my time. Then again, so do many other things and people.

    I’ve been wondering what else could go under the “games are evil” tag. There was a game burning in Germany a week or so ago. It wasn’t a successful one in regards to having many games engulfed in flames, but one thing to note was the people who put the event together were parents of the victims who were shot in a school shooting. My thoughts and emotions were going all over the place, but I was glad to hear that there was some peaceful dialogue between the parents and game advocates afterward. There aren’t ever easy answers (if one even applies) for these types of things, but a little understanding from each other can go a long ways.

  • eliel

    no comment….

  • CrawdKenny

    What about those Super Robot Wars games that come out every week and get him money?

    • Slashlen

      That’s what I’m thinking. Does this guy even realize how many games got made and sold because of what he did?

  • Aoshi00

    Again I have to say Tomino does have a point, gaming is a hobby that one needs to devote lots of time and money into. Still this is a little extreme (you sure this quote is not taken out of context?), especially when he recognizes technology has its pro and con, just like everything else. Like the internet for example, it has advanced communication leaps and bounds in just a little over a decade (daily newspaper in print to 24/7 reporting), or cellphone, do you remember the days when people used pagers/beepers and use public phones? Now people are glued to their monitor all day long blogging trivial matters like they are gods and using blackberries 24/7 (only used for business a little while ago). So does that mean Internet is evil? In a way yes, if people are addicted to it. But it also changes the speed of communication and ease of finding information effortlessly (trips to library!?)

    From time to time, I do think some games are a waste of time (like I enjoyed Persona 3/4’s style, but it’s hard for me to play dungeon crawlers), that’s why I always say I hate “grinding” now. It might be harmless when I was a wee kid, but now I’ve got better things to do, or better/shorter games that are equally enjoyable. For the most part, I like games that let me pick up and play, like shmups or action games. RPGs need to have a really good story for me to complete it (don’t disappoint me FF13).

    • Jirin

      I think you’ve got it right that the key is addiction. Video games are not evil, but addiction to video games is evil. The internet is not evil, but addiction to the internet is evil. It’s evil when you start letting it get in the way of your social life and personal responsibilities.

  • Jirin

    Anything you do for leisure is evil, duh. Anyone who isn’t doing something constructive 24 hours a day is a disgrace to the great country of Japan! Go ahead, everybody clasp a grenade to your chest like those soldiers in Letters from Iwo Jima! You are disgraces!

    Oh wait. The way we value contribution to society is in the eye of the beholder. And cultural values aren’t the same as they were fifty years ago. Never mind.

  • Icon

    This is ANN reporting live from the nursing home of Yoshiyuki Tomino…

  • Soo…watching anime and become obbssed with it isn’t a waste of time…?

    • cowcow

      Any activity that doesn’t promote intellectual or financial growth taken way out of moderation can be a waste of time and ‘evil’. For example, playing 4 to 6 hours a day on an MMO and paying for it. Not really good imo. You’re not really harming anyone but potentially yourself since that might be taking away from other responsibilities or projects that could be improving yourself or society. Obviously if one were to sit and watch anime for 6 hours each day too, that would be the same effect as well. All in moderation as they say. I get what he’s saying but he isn’t explaining himself well.

  • If anything steals more of my time, it’s anime. So, anime is far more evil than video games (by his logic).

    Yoshiyuki Tomino is a terrorist!

  • DDanny

    I don’t see how spending your free time doing whatever you want is a waste of time. And please, let’s not use the word “evil” because we all know it doesn’t make any sense.
    Providing you are already done with your responsabilities for the day/week, you might as well spend the rest of your time sleeping or staring into a wall.

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