Massachusetts pulls violent games from rest stops

Newtown shooting prompts state to remove some arcade machines; town of Melrose starting violent game collection drive

The backlash against violent games continues a month after a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut left dozens dead. As reported by The Boston Globe, officials in neighboring Massachusetts have pulled violent arcade games from state-owned rest stops, and one town is planning a violent game collection drive.

Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said that violent arcade games were removed from the rest stops after a resident complained. Time Crisis and Beach Head 2000 were given as examples of games taken away, while Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, and Cruis'n Exotica were allowed to remain.

"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 paper. "A video game in a public space could be used by anybody of any age."

Concern about violent games isn't limited to the state's highways. The town of Melrose, roughly three hours' drive from Newtown, is holding a "New Year, New Direction" violent game collection drive. Much like the drive planned (but abandoned) by the town of Southington, Connecticut earlier this month, Melrose is promising to give coupons for local businesses to families who turn in their violent games, movies, and toys for disposal at the city's junk yard. The city expects to begin the program February 1.

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Latest comments (7)

Christopher McCraken CEO/Production Director, Double Cluepon Software5 years ago
Will someone again tell me, please...where the "fair and balanced" is in this discussion? Joe Biden says our industry is not being singled out. seems to me we're being singled out. So, where in all this are the people who are standing up and saying: "personal responsibility, societal responsibility have to be on the table here to have this discussion"?

We have the ECA and the IGDA. Oh wait. They took the bait. They're not representing, they're trying to do damage control on the spin machine.

Get ready folks. Because we all know where this is headed. We can re-assure ourselves that the worst won't happen all we want, but we know where this is headed. Why, it's a tale older than electricity.
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[Taken from a open letter reply to Globe article]

>“In Answer to the Massachusetts Orders that Light Gun Video Games Pulled From State-Operated Rest Stops”

- The details of the situation raised in the The Boston Globe, has still to be clarified, but based on the current available information the situation seems that the amusement trade and its products have been unfairly maligned in order to deflect criticism of other entertainment media such as console games, but also to deflect the discussion regarding gun ownership and the NRA.

That the American amusement trade has evaluated the issue of parental control over the quality of the games that are played by children – and their level of violent depiction – seems to have been ignored from the research in the media. For the record :
“The American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) together with its sister association (AMOA) have developed a coin-operated Video Game Parental Advisory System [PAS] for coin-operated video games. The system was developed to educate consumers about the content of various video games, using an easy to follow color-coded system.”
[Taken from the AAMA website -]
The PAS color coded markers would have been on the cabinets in the reported truck stop and the parents that complained would have had to have seen them to point out the machines they were “concerned” about. This scheme is far superior to a number of the violent content certification in the entertainment industry – though has not received the adequate promotion from trade or operators.

Likewise, the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) was not present when representatives from the “games” industry met with Vice President Joe Biden today (11/1/13). Sadly it would seem that amusement has become an all-round whipping boy when issues of video game violence are raised – and the trade that represents its members has decided invisibility is the best policy!

What a shame!
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Phil Morris Audio Producer 5 years ago
Sure, get rid of violent videogames, and the US culture of creepy disturbed people owning pistols and assault rifles will evaporate overnight...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Phil Morris on 14th January 2013 5:33pm

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Show all comments (7)
Dan Lowe 3D Animator, Ubisoft Montreal5 years ago
I thought games were now protected under the constitution?
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
The American are historically good at this stuff.

Look at the events in Salem in 1692, or the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s and 1950s to see precedents.
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Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios5 years ago
@Dan: There was a supreme court ruling saying video games are protected under freedom of speech in the US constitution.

As an American, I think the most solid thing I can see coming out of legislation in relation to video games is an actual law on game ratings and selling to those underage. The rating systems in the US are an industry regulated institution enforced by retailers and sometimes publishers. Making it a 'law' will only put a formal face on an already accepted standard. But there's no law keeping parents from buying Grand Theft Auto for their 12 year old kid...

As for the
US culture of creepy disturbed people owning pistols and assault rifles
I sincerely hope you are not generalizing with this comment. The majority of lawful owners of firearms are not insane.
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Anthony Wade ICT Technician 5 years ago
All i can say is only in america blah blah blah. It amazes me how dumber and dumber they become.
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