Attitudes to games
Computer games are often perceived by schools and the wider community as unworthy, of being time wasting. This perception often applies to both the making and the playing of games despite indications of educational value for both.
Chess is held in high esteem by the community but chess can be considered the fore-runner of the computer strategy game.
Computer games are treated in the
same way as all new forms of expression have been as they have arisen as a
result of technological change.
Written language is a technology which has shaped civilisation but it is not immune to criticism. "Plato's familiar critique of written language in the Phaedrus as a technology that will weaken our memories makes clear the dark side even of writing as a technology." Beyond Amplification:Using the Computer to Reorganize Mental Functioning, Roy D. Pea, Center for Children and Technology Bank Street College of Education, http://www.stanford.edu/~roypea/RoyPDF%20folder/A26_Pea_85a.pdf
Movable type printing was invented by Gutenberg in 1436. This new technology lead to the Renaissance in English literature. The educated middle classes could afford books and a great range of works was published. The English language underwent rapid change as a large number of new words entered the language. The works of Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) appeared in this period and were a result of print technology.
In the 1700’s a new literary form, the novel, came into existence. When women started reading and writing novels, new literary forms arose which explored the realms of emotion. These novels were greeted with similar fears as are now held for computer games but the “victims” were feared to be women rather than children.
"There was a real fear that reading novels would disrupt the woman’s
duties by giving them false ideas of life and particularly made women unsuited
for and unhappy with the domestic roles for which society destined them. A
woman's mind was considered weaker than the male's and therefore some people
felt that these novels would also affect their morality. Novels, it was
thought, made immoral actions seem more interesting than virtuous ones"
History of the Novel, Kristan Whipple, Studies in the Novel, 1740-1900, Department of English, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Later, a new literary/artistic genre, the comic, emerged and was the subject of similar criticism.
"crime comic books (mysteries, thrillers, horror, and police stories) were a harmful influence on young minds. Fifty years on, the targets of Wertham’s criticism seem relatively benign. For example, Wertham called Superman and Mighty Mouse “crime books” and labelled Batman & Robin homosexuals."
Literature Arts and Medicine Database, Literature Annotations Wertham, Fredric Seduction of the Innocent http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/webdocs/webdescrips/wertham1526-des-.html
Seducers of the Innocent, The bloody legacy of pre-code crime, Nicky Wright. Originally published in Comic Book Marketplace #65 (December, 1998) http://www.crimeboss.com/history02-1.html
Then, film, radio and TV came under similar criticism.
"movies were the cause of crime, delinquency and sexual misconduct among teens; radio was charged with contributing to juvenile delinquency, providing youngsters with both method and inspiration for criminal acts and there were accusations that television was a prime mover in juvenile misconduct and delinquency . "
Children and Computers:New Technology—Old Concerns,Ellen A.Wartella Nancy Jennings The Future of Children CHILDREN AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY Vol. 10 • No. 2 – Fall/Winter 2000 http://www.futureofchildren.org/usr_doc/vol10no2Art2.pdf
Negative attitudes to games will obviously affect the benefits from game programming. Enthusiastic programmers can spend many hours programming for each contact hour. The attitudes of teachers, other students and parents affect the time that the student wants to spend or is allowed to spend programming, whether students are encouraged or allowed to program at the school during lunchtime, after school or at home