Computer games are, as a relatively new genre of games, highly contested and they have instigated heated debates and polarised opinions. This paper analyses the ongoing debate about their cultural meaning, a debate in which historical comparison figures prominently, often to underline that these new games have negative social implications. The starting point is Robert Edward Davis's careful rhetorical study of the various arguments that have accompanied the introduction of new media in the past. The article aims to put the introduction of computer games in a historical perspective, and to underline the fact that the players themselves - despite the widely made claim that computer games have a negative influence on them - who often play an active role in the development and shaping of computer games.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Lauwaert, Maaike, Wachelder, Joseph, & van de Walle, Johan. (2016). Computerspellen en de Geschiedenis van angst: Het gebruik en misbruik van historische vergelijkingen. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 7(2), 31–52. doi:10.18146/tmg.198