by Chris MaGee
"I think that video games are evil! It 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!"
Now, who would you say would go on a diatribe like that? A stodgy old politician? Child psychologist? Possibly a religious figure or social philosopher? Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong! The above quote comes from one of Japan's biggest anime artists and directors ever, namely Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of "Mobile Suit Gundam". The 67-year-old anime icon was addressing a gathering of video game designers at this year's CESA Development Conference (CEDEC) held in Tokyo when he let that little bombshell drop, but his follow up back-pedaled a bit on all that rancor, "Has there been anything better than Tetris since it first came out? How many years has it been? This is what I want to tell you: I want you to create a game that does not negatively affect our daily lives and is something that is considered more productive." I guess none of the dozens of Gundam-based games that have been developed over the years top Tetris either.
Well fair enough, I suppose, but why does this whole thing smack to me of that old Saturday Night Live skit featuring William Shatner at a sci-fi convention? "Having received all your letters over the years, and I've spoken to many of you, and some of you have traveled... y'know... hundreds of miles to be here, I'd just like to say... GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a TV show!" Remember that one?
For more on what Tomino had to say check out Gamasutra.com.