Here we go again. Games are evil, tools of the devil, blah blah blah. They make you unproductive and they’re killing the planet and melting the polar ice-caps. A little kitten dies everytime you blast a zombie in Resident Evil. You know the routine.
But wait! What’s this? A…twist? Holy Gunnery United Nuclear Duetrion Advanced Maneuver System, Batman! The GUNDAM creator doesn’t like videogames! OK, maybe it’s not quite as drastic.
Then again, you wouldn’t blame anyone for feeling that way after GUNDAM creator Yoshiyuki Tomino profoundly proclaimed “Games are evil,” followed by this little speech at Japan’s CEDEC game conference:
“[Gaming] is not a type of activity that provides any support to our daily lives, and all these consoles are just consuming electricity! Let’s say we have about three billion people on this planet wasting their time, bringing no productivity at all. Add 10 billion more people, and what would happen to our planet? Video games are assisting the death of our planet!”
Dramatics aside, Tomino-san went on to make a controversial (or perfectly legitimate, depending on how you look at it) point that game developers today need to think about how to design games that don’t make consumers feel they are simply a pastime, but rather tools for productivity that don’t negatively impact our daily lives.
Perhaps Tomino-san was referring to games like Wii Fit or the recently released You’ll Incur Losses if You Stay Ignorant: How Money and Things Work DS. Nevertheless, it seems he forgot somewhere along the way that, despite whatever else they might be, games are first and foremost a medium of entertainment. Sure, you can use them to educate and you can use them to spread a good message…but even an educational game is still a vessel for making learning fun and entertaining. And it goes without saying that games only negatively impact our daily lives if we allow them to.
Still, hopefully the point he was trying to make wasn’t lost amidst the dramaticism. Developers do need to think about how to make games more than a simple hobby, and anything that can help facilitate the spread of education is a good thing.
It’s just ironic that the creator of what is practically the symbol for otakuism said “Games are evil.” Heh.