I read this short story as a kid. Not sure how I came across it, but details from this story are burned pretty deep in my head.

Jon’s orientation came from the screens. As he grew older, he became aware of the world beyond—the real world outside the Learning Maze. The world which had once existed without mazes of any sort and in which human beings had lived all their lives with only the crudest kind of servo-mechanisms to help them. History—or theirstory, as it was now correctly called—dealt with the quaint quality of this primitive culture in which the biological parents undertook the education of their offspring, assisted by crude instructional institutions.

The combined effects of emotional conflict and ignorance had their inevitable effect: the world had been plunged into endless warfare in which both the inhabitants and their natural environment were almost totally destroyed.

Then, and only then, the Learning Maze concept came to the rescue. Once a mere toy for the study of animal behavior in old-fashioned “laboratories,” then a simple experimental device developed for the psychological conditioning of children in a few “universities,” the Learning Maze principle had been expanded to bring true sanity and civilization to mankind. —THE LEARNING MAZE by Robert Bloch.

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