Games Will Rot Your Brain

From the July 2009 issue of Scientific American:

“A pernicious excitement to learn and play [this game] has spread all over the country, and numerous clubs for practicing this game have been formed in cities and villages. Why should we regret this? It may be asked. We answer, [this game] is a mere amusement of a very inferior character, which robs the mind of valuable time that might be devoted to nobler acquirements, while it affords no benefit whatever to the body. [This game] has acquired a high reputation as being a means to discipline the mind, but persons engaged in sedentary occupations should never practice this cheerless game; they require out-door exercises—not this sort of mental gladiatorship.”

Another screed against video games? Hardly. SciAm is reprinting a paragraph from their July 2, 1859 issue, and the game in question is: Chess!

(The full article is available in an almost-legibile online edition from Making of America.)