Massachusetts Town Will Vote to Undo 29 Year Old Ban of Public Video Games

April 25, 2011 -

In 1982 the south coastal Massachusetts town of Marshfield banned arcade games in public businesses. The town wanted to maintain the town's image as an authentic "Massachusetts seaside" destination. Though the fight went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the town prevailed and the ban has remained for 29 years. Now a new effort hopes to let the residents of the town overturn that decision and allow games in businesses that want them. At the time the ban was passed, parents were worried about the effects of coin-operated Donkey Kong and Pac-Man on their children.

"People wanna come in, it's another form of entertainment," Stephen Drosopoulos, owner of the Venus II Restaurant. "(They) wanna come in, have a couple drinks, play some video games in the bar."

But some residents are holding on to the ban, saying that it will change the image of the town:

"It would definitely change the type of entertainment we offer," said resident Faith Jean. "We’re a coastal town. Now are we an amusement coastal town or are we fishing and swimming and sailing?"

Oddly enough, the ban does not stop Marshfield from allowing electronic gambling games such as Keno in bars, restaurants and some stores.

Soon the town will vote on repealing the ban. We hope they stop being silly and simply lift it, allowing businesses to offer whatever kind of entertainment they want to.

Source: CBS Boston


Comments

Re: Massachusetts Town Will Vote to Undo 29 Year Old Ban of ...

Someone ought to tell them not to worry.  I doubt a couple of pinball machines and old arcade games are going to muck up their town.  No one goes to arcades anymore. 

Re: Massachusetts Town Will Vote to Undo 29 Year Old Ban of ...

Arcades no, but coin op games are still a  multi-billion dollar business in places like bars, restaurants, waiting rooms, etc.

Re: Massachusetts Town Will Vote to Undo 29 Year Old Ban of ...

I was in Massachussetts in 2009 (Eastham visiting relatives and an online friend) and had heard of all this "keeping it looking traditional".  One of the big flaws beyond "Lack of public video games" is that they can't really do much to any of the stores unless it makes it look like its from that coastal town.  It was extremely annoying since everything blends in with each other.  Half the time I wasn't sure if I was looking at someone's house or a McDonald's.

Point is, this is an extremely small thing.  It's indoors, so the obvious "Coastal Town" look isn't going anywhere.  If this arcade machine was outdoors, fine, but its not (as far as I know) and it should be allowed.

Re: Massachusetts Will Vote to Undo 29 Year Old Ban of ...

"We’re a coastal town. Now are we an amusement coastal town or are we fishing and swimming and sailing?"
 

Can't it be both? It'd be a pretty crappy image if, during a slew of storms, nobody had anything to do in "fishing and swimming and sailing" coastal town. Imagine that people get there, are met with bad weather, and then realize that the town has nothing else to offer. I'd probably pick a better location with a more diverse selection of things to do.

Re: Massachusetts Will Vote to Undo 29 Year Old Ban of ...

That, and, aren't fishing, sailing, and swimming all forms of amusement?

 
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MattsworknameWow goth, write a novel why dont cha. Seriously I know you have a passion for this stuff, but wow, thats kinda overkill.06/30/2015 - 8:46am
james_fudgeI hereby dub this space the Mainifesto Box (tm)06/30/2015 - 8:34am
Infophile13 shouts in total by Goth in a row. I think I'm to blame here. If I'd read the Breitbart link when he'd posted it, maybe he wouldn't have felt the need to say everything here.06/30/2015 - 8:27am
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Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
Goth_Skunknor suggest that the games industry and culture is rife with toxicity because of it and needs to change for the good of the medium. There is room in the market for progressive games to co-exist with games like Hatred, not replace them outright.06/30/2015 - 3:04am
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Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
Goth_Skunkfirst two games, a move which was ultimately corrected in the 3rd game. By extension, Dragon Age has always had the option, and good on it!06/30/2015 - 2:45am
Goth_SkunkBut it certainly is good to see developers entertain the allowance of allowing the player to develop their protagonist to be homosexual if they want. The Mass Effect series was criticized rightly for not allowing a male homosexual romance plot in the06/30/2015 - 2:44am
Goth_Skunkand only just by the slimmest of margins. Homosexuality is sadly still a hot button controversy in the USA, which makes developing a noteworthy game with a hardcoded homosexual lead or theme a dangerous risk to take.06/30/2015 - 2:37am
Goth_SkunkThe United States is the largest single customer base for video games in the world, and it only just mandated by rule of its Supreme Court that marriage ought to be just as much an inalienable right for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals,06/30/2015 - 2:35am
Goth_SkunkFor example, it would be difficult for a developer to produce a AAA quality game where the protagonist is hardcoded to be MtF transgender, and convince enough people to buy it in order to make it worth its production costs.06/30/2015 - 2:31am
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Goth_Skunkthat would've made Benedict Arnold raise a glass in toast.06/30/2015 - 2:25am
MechaCrashGamers are more than straight white men, but woe unto those who actually ask for representation!06/30/2015 - 2:24am
 

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