Massachusetts Department of Transportation Pulls 'Violent' Arcade Games From Turnpike Service Areas

January 11, 2013 -

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has removed several arcade games from a state Rest Stop after citizens complained about it because it is fairly close to Newtown, Connecticut. According to a Boston Globe report, Andrew Hyams, his wife Tracey, and their son Josh, said that hearing people playing arcade games at a rest stop in Charlton on the Massachusetts Turnpike on Christmas Eve reminded them of the of the Newtown massacre. The Hyams family are residents of the Connecticut town. They said that seeing another boy absorbed in an arcade game at the entrance of the rest stop that day bothered them so much that

"People have the freedom to have whatever video games in their own homes that they want," Andrew Hyams told the Boston Globe. "We were struck by walking into a [state-owned] rest stop within an hour’s drive of Newtown and seeing and hearing a life-sized, mounted machine gun on a video game."

The couple was so bothered by what they saw and heard that they wrote a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Ultimately the state agreed with them and subsequently removed nine games from service plazas in Charlton, Ludlow, Lee, and Beverly. While the state did not remove all arcade games, they did remove games that they have unilaterally deemed "violent." Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said that removing the games made sense in light of the Newtown tragedy.

"Bottom line is I think there isn’t a person who doesn’t ­believe that there isn’t too much violence in our society, and games can glorify that," Davey told the Boston Globe. "A video game in a public space could be used by anybody of any age. At the end of the day, those games are there to entertain kids, probably for a few minutes, while their parents are resting from a long trip. I just think it makes all the sense in the world to have it be a more 'passive' game."

Davey admitted that he never saw the games that were removed because it was handled by "subordinates."

"It didn’t get to my desk," he said. "My guys well below me were making the right call on this one. I’m just happy that folks in this organization are thinking and making swift changes when appropriate."

Games removed from the rest stops included Time Crisis, Beach Head 2000, and an unnamed shooting game.

Source: The Boston Globe

 


Comments

Re: Massachusetts Department of Transportation Pulls ...

Massachusetts need to thank the Hyams family - gun violence solved!

Re: Massachusetts Department of Transportation Pulls ...

Actually, I can kinda see this one.  Depending on the game they can be pretty intrusive to people not engaged with them, and I could picture the sounds of kids and fantasy shooting could be a little unnearving to people shaken by the various shootings.

There will always be a certain balance in public space between what people want to do it in and what people are bothered by the activity since public space is intended to be open to all, and making it hostile (one way or the other) reduces that access.  

Re: Massachusetts Department of Transportation Pulls ...

I'd say they could have at least moved the machines out of views so patrons who wish to use them can. I imagine the arcade machines are a good revenue source.

Re: Massachusetts Department of Transportation Pulls ...

That is what would make sense to me too, but without knowing the physical layout and how viable that is, it is hard to say if it was really an option.

 
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