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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Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
 

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