chapter  9
13 Pages

Invaders of the Eighties: Recent Threats

BySteven Starker

In 1981 alone, the market for video games tripled, and magazines such as Forbes and Macleans began using the word "addiction" in describing the popularity of such games as Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Pac-Man. Not all of the invaders of the 1980s were electronic in nature. Critics in search of another media dragon to slay found one in the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. A group of players take an imaginary journey into a realm filled with sorcerers, dragons, demons, treasures, and sundry dangers. Criticism of Dungeons and Dragons peaked in 1985, when the national coalition on television violence attempted to link the game to teenage suicides and murders. Using a very broad definition of violence, they reported a considerable rate of violent acts or threats in music videos. America's love affair with the tube, then, has coexisted for decades with a steady stream of harsh criticism from intellectual leaders and their worried followers.