I know we generally despise how outsiders view us and our hobby, but sometimes they actually produce something interesting.

Of course, I'm not talking about the media.

But I love "How Stuff Works," especially their "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast. It's always interesting to see the story behind the story, so to speak.

Today, they posted a "Top 5 Myths About Video Games" post that I found interesting. Not because it was new to me (though one of them was), but just because it was a non-gaming outfit that actually seemed to have a clue.

I'll list the myths they talk about, but you should check out their article to see what they said about them. The commentary will be mine.

5) Video Games Lead to Violence

I found this one shocking! (Sarcasm Alert)

We all know the continuing controversy about this, and it's nice to see a more mainstream outlet actually agree with us gamers. I hadn't heard of the Asheron's Call study before. That was an interesting one.

This debate will go on for eons, with study after study coming out in support of one side or the other, so I'm not going to delve any more deeply into it.

Other than to say that I found the brief article here very balanced.

Except that...it's not really a myth if the jury's still out, is it?


4) Girls Don't Play Video Games

Yet another one that most experienced gamers would say "Duh!" to, but it's still nice to see it addressed outside the gaming arena.

And really, given the way women are sometimes treated in online games, do we really have much to brag about, as a gaming society?

I like how they point out that the lack of sales for games that are specifically targeted at girls (and not women, I would assume, which would make them even worse) compared to other male-targeted games doesn't mean that girls don't play them. That just means the games suck. (ok, I added that last bit, but I think it can be inferred).

Again, it's just nice to see this out in the mainstream.


3) You Can Use Chips from a PlayStation 2 to Form a Guided Missile System

 Now *this* is one I hadn't heard. Probably because I wasn't gaming back in 2000. Supposedly, Saddam Hussein had tried to circumvent the Iraq embargo regarding weapons by importing a whole bunch of PS2 machines. The worry was that the chips from these machines could be strung together and used as part of a guided missile system.

Turns out this *could* have happened, except that it would have required software that would take years to develop and that they didn't have the technical know-how for anyway.

How about all of you? Had you heard this? Those of you who were gaming back then?


2) Pong was the first video game

This is one I knew, but it's not in the forefront of my mind. Though Pong is the game that started the video game revolution, it wasn't the first video game.

I think I read that on Wikipedia, so I knew it was true!

Turns out that it was right. Who would have thunk it?


1) There are Millions of Atari Cartridges Buried in the New Mexico Desert

We all know this one, of course. I even commented on somebody's post (Ack! Can't remember who!) saying that I had actually played E.T.

And, of course, not having anything different to choose from, I had also bought and played the Atari Pac-Man (though I was in heaven when Ms. Pac-Man came out and actually looked like the coin-op game!).

Ok, I lied. I was a kid, so *I* didn't buy Pac-Man. But I convinced my poor mother to.

Anyway, I hadn't heard that this myth was no longer true.

Had you?

Any other myths that are your favourite? And while I welcome any gamer-specific ones (like the ones mentioned on the first page of the article), I'm more interested in the general myths like these five.