Blaming video games for social or moral decline might feel like something new. But fears about the effects of recreational games on society as a whole are centuries old. History shows a cycle of apprehension and acceptance about games that is very like events of modern times.
One of the earliest known written descriptions of games dates from the fifth century B.C. The Dialogues of the Buddha purport to record the actual words of the Buddha himself. In them, he is reported to say that "some recluses ... while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to games and recreations; that is to say ... games on boards with eight or with 10, rows of squares."