During his keynote address at the Harvard video games symposium in 1983, a psychologist told this anecdote to introduce the theme of the generation gap separating young video game players from their worried parents:
Pat Moynihan was teaching a class at Harvard in the 1960s in which a young woman who wore short skirts used to sit in the front row. One day after class, Moynihan asked her if she thought her mode of dress appropriate. The student replied in a voice loud enough for all to hear: “You’re just a dirty old man and all you think about is making out!” Later over lunch, the professor shared this embarrassing episode with Walter Lippmann, who seemed amused and laughed along with his friend, but then asked, “What’s ‘making out?’” Then Moynihan went home and told his story over dinner. His daughter responded, “Who’s Walter Lippmann?”
The conclusion drawn by the keynote speaker was that “adolescents have less stake than have adults in current cultural arrangements.” Another adult at the conference, which was largely composed of social scientists discussing benefits of video games to young people, commented later: “I think Harvard has gathered all the wisest people in the kingdom to admire the emperor’s new clothes.”
Charles Leerhsen, Marsha Zabarsky, and Dianne H. McDonald, “Video Games Zap Harvard,” Newsweek, June 6, 1983, 92.
Video Games and Human Development: A Research Agenda for the ‘80s, Papers and Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, May 22-24, 1983.