In response to the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. last month, people seem to be weary of anything that promotes violence and is accessible to children. The latest target is a number of arcade machines which were removed from a Massachusetts rest stop due to complaints. Apparently, it was their accessibility that really caused concern among parents.
“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,” Andrew Hyams told The Boston Globe. He and his wife, Tracy Hyams, were at this particular rest stop in Charlton, Mass. when they heard gunfire coming off an unnamed game that included a machine gun controller. The parents wrote to the state DOT commissioner and he had the games removed.
Richard Davey, the state secretary of transportation agreed with the decision and thinks that there’s already enough violence around us. He talks about the danger of kids of any age playing these arcade games and thinks that less violent titles are more appropriate.
“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. 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.”
In total, nine arcade cabinets were removed from the rest stop and they’re all presumed to be light-gun games. The only titles that were actually named were Time Crisis and Beach Head 2000, the rest remain unknown. The games have since been replaced with Galaga, Cruis’n Exotica, and Ms. Pac-Man. For now this remains an isolated incident, but further complaints might lead to other locations following suit.