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The Burning




Massachusetts Removes Arcade Machines

Anti-Censorship Organization is Against it

When a family visited a rest stop that was less than an hour away from Newtown, Connecticut, there last year's  Sandy Hook rampage took place, they were shocked when they witnessed an adolescent guest spending time at an arcade gaming machine. He played a shooter and the family found that to be unsuitable. They didn't want to accept that someone played such a game so shortly after a rampage that took place in such a short distance (although it was a different state). They therefore filed a complaint at the government of Massachusetts which also runs the rest stop.

The government reacted promptly and removed all unsuitable games from their rest stops.

Transportation Secretary Richard Davey: "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]".

This decision prompted the NCAC (National Coalition Against Censorship) to comment on that action, calling it an overexaggeration to react so fast and drastically just because a family complained. Where should that end? Will a future complaint be sufficient to ban DVDs, magazines or books?

NCAC: "It is no more acceptable for the [Department of Transportation] to remove certain kinds of videogames than it would be to selectively remove other materials in rest stops and concessions because some motorists find something in them objectionable."

Except of this complaint and the media coverage, the NCAC doesn't have plans to further pursue this issue even though it is clearly categorizable as censorship and even doubtful in a legal sense.

NCAC: "Videogames are protected speech under the First Amendment and, as such, cannot be regulated or restricted by state officials in response to concerns about their message or content"

This behavior isn't new and reminds us of similar incidents in other countries such as Germany. In 2009, shortly after the rampage at a school in Winnenden, two retail chains decided to ban games for adults from their shelves, just to put them back there later on.

It's surely just a question of time until Massachusetts will have action games in their rest stops. Until then, guests have to accept that Time Crisis and Beachhead 2000 are not available.

Release: Feb 06, 2013 - Author: Bob - Translator: Mike Lowrey - Source: the escapist

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