Connecticut State Senator Proposes Arcade Game Ban

Connecticut State Senator Proposes Arcade Game Ban

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Lawmaker seeks to stop minors from playing arcade shooters

In the wake of last years horrific shooting in Newton, Connecticut the predominant question on the minds of many was "why?" As often happens in the wake of such tragedies, more than a few immediately pointed at videogames. The NRA highlighted violent media as a root cause of shootings. The United States government included games in a wide review of the causes of violence in America, and several groups even attempted game buyback events with the intention of collecting and destroying violent videogames.

Joining this latest round of videogame detractors is Connecticut Senator Toni Harp who has put forward a motion that would ban minors from playing arcade games that use anything resembling a firearm. The motion, submitted to the January session of the state's legislature, follows a separate attempt by another Connecticut state representative to instate a special tax on violent videogames. Harp's law would make it illegal for the "owner or operator of any public establishment or amusement arcade [to] allow any individual under eighteen years of age to operate a violent point-and-shoot videogame on the premises of such establishment or arcade."

Disregarding the fact that the link between videogames and real world violence has been several times disproven, you have to wonder what Senator Harp hopes to achieve with this law. Arcade games have not been a big thing since the 90s when home console games started getting good enough to make driving to the mall and spending all your quarters pointless. The vast majority of gaming done today, especially of the violent headshot variety, takes place at home and well away from the Chuck E. Cheese's of the world.

Ironically, this bill follows the recent opening of the Sandy Hook Arcade Center in Newton, Connecticut. The non-profit arcade was named after Sandy Hook Elementary, the site of December's shooting and was built to promote family fun in the community.

Sources: GamePolitics, Polygon

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Real guns good, fake guns bad. 'MURICA!

And seriously? Arcades? Good lord, we've stepped back in time a good couple decades, haven't we?

Please can't these people shut up? Or at least, can they keep their unproven, unbased accusations out of, y'know, the fucking law?

Things such as point blank could be banned for this.

Things such as time crisis could be banned for this.

TIME CRISIS. Sweet jesus, that brings back such memories. All of which are innocent.

There are at least five thousand state senators in this country. If you start counting mayors, DAs, ADAs, and running candidates, there are an infinite number of people saying dumb stuff.

It doesn't matter; it's the equivalent of OPRAH BREAKS GAYLE'S HEART: SHOCKER on tabloid stands. Even if it's true, it doesn't matter.

Doclector:

Things such as time crisis could be banned for this.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Seeing as I don't leave my dorm long enough to go to the arcade, which now that I think of it is right across the street, this isn't especially relevant to me. Time Crisis however is the first of these plastic gun games that I actually finished, I never had many quarters, and will always hold a special place in my heart.

the same thing happens every single generation when people jump to simplistic explainations to try and explain moral decay of some sort. just these days the moral decay involves teenagers and 20 somethings armed with assault rifles mowing people down

i have noticed people seem to have less empathy for others and are more focused on themselves these days but to outright sit there and blame video games for it is naive to say the least

Wow, we got German-polititian-levels of stupidity there. (arcades are effectively banned here, with too high taxes, so you actually can't reasonably make an arcade work)

How is this even news anymore? It's old man x trying to get publicity by ragging on games.

This will never get traction for the same reason that no-one recognizes Wetsboro Baptist Church as a representative of Christianity.

Oh, and let's not forget;

Mr. Omega:
Real guns good, fake guns bad. 'MURICA!

Somehow I knew it'd happen. I thought it'd be nerf, but still. We've gotten to the point where people are looking to put more restrictions on FAKE FUCKIN' GUNS, than on real, functional killing machines.

I'm out.

I mean, when you've come to putting restrictions on arcade guns, before the real ones that actually kill people, I can't do much but laugh.

I can't say I'm surprised actually, I think you guys are underestimating the whole "Arcade" culture as it stands now. Granted tweens and teens aren't heading to the malls to blow tons of quarters anymore, and it's not a social hub like it used to be, but Arcades DO exist in places like oh say... Casinos (like where I worked, which happen to be in Connecticut) where irresponsible parents like to dump their kids for hours upon hours at a time while they go and gamble (despite posted and live warnings to not leave kids unattended). A lot of what I say about child molestation and such comes specifically from having worked around places where kids are left unattended for long periods of time.

At any rate, most "violent" games wound up being voluntarily weeded out for security concerns, due to not having them giving creepy dudes less of an excuse for hanging out in locations largely inhabited by unattended children. Some 40 year old dood can't claim "Well, I'm here to play that game" and pop in the occasional quarter while waiting for oppertunities.

That said kids do want their action games, and things like "House Of The Dead", "Time Crisis", "Operation Terror" (which involved shooting digitized actors with a light gun... I think I have the name right), and others do periodically return, after all they are among the types of games that will get kids to beg for more money (and it is a business) and these kinds of games not only look fancy, but are one of the few types of games that arcades can still do better than home consoles.

Add to this that your dealing with a fairly major tourist area in SE Connecticut (Mystic Village/Seaport, Sailfest in the summer, etc...) in addition to the casinos, your dealing with a bunch of hotels and motels that all have their own arcades and game rooms where kids wind up being dumped for prolonged periods.

Now this guy is wrong about tying the games to violence, my simple point is that he's not quite as out of touch as those dissing him might want to think. There are far, far, more of these machines out there than people are considering, and they are also in places where kids tend to be left unattended... even if by definition kids should not be being dumped in arcades while the parents go off and do other things (it happens, constantly).

wonder if the NRA will jump in to say its wrong.

Once again we've got the American government trying to do the parenting for American parents everywhere and I assume many American parents are perfectly ok with this.
You know, just once I'd like to see one of those shootings carried out by someone whose never played a video game in their life beyond say Angry Birds or Bejeweled. Like to see them try and blame it on video games then.

I wonder if they will ban Action Man and GI Joe toys, or those plastic guns that pretty much every little boy will have at some point in their childhood. But they aren't videogames so they aren't bad. Thinking back to all those hours I spent playing Duck Hunt with a light gun I now know I must go sleep-hunting because I've never once shot a duck, but politicians clearly have access to some secret knowledge that the rest of the world doesn't because they KNOW video games make you do stuff.

Remember how that guy who was really good at Guitar Hero became the greatest guitarist in the world? Or when the world champion at Cooking Mama opened that critically acclaimed 3 Michelin Star restaurant? I think that if I play Skyrim for about 1000 hours I will get a magic dragon voice. Because games can do that right?

Therumancer:
Snip

That sounds like a pretty good reason to me, I just wish politicians could be honest about it and say that instead of pushing baseless accusations :/

Though that is not entirely their fault, If they did I bet quite a few people would just say they are banning them because they think its makes them funny. Which is slightly ironic.

For fuck sake! If you're so terrified of people shooting each other, do something about actual guns. No guns = no shooting. It's not rocket science.

Could we ban the fighters instead? Those are the ones that cause actual problems in arcades.

Though I've never really played an arcade game so this really dosent affect me.

Mr. Omega:
Real guns good, fake guns bad. 'MURICA!

And seriously? Arcades? Good lord, we've stepped back in time a good couple decades, haven't we?

Well most of the people who are blaming video games still think we're living in the 1980s, if not the 1950s, so I can't say I'm surprised.

Therumancer:
I can't say I'm surprised actually, I think you guys are underestimating the whole "Arcade" culture as it stands now. Granted tweens and teens aren't heading to the malls to blow tons of quarters anymore, and it's not a social hub like it used to be, but Arcades DO exist in places like oh say... Casinos (like where I worked, which happen to be in Connecticut) where irresponsible parents like to dump their kids for hours upon hours at a time while they go and gamble (despite posted and live warnings to not leave kids unattended). A lot of what I say about child molestation and such comes specifically from having worked around places where kids are left unattended for long periods of time.

At any rate, most "violent" games wound up being voluntarily weeded out for security concerns, due to not having them giving creepy dudes less of an excuse for hanging out in locations largely inhabited by unattended children. Some 40 year old dood can't claim "Well, I'm here to play that game" and pop in the occasional quarter while waiting for oppertunities.

That said kids do want their action games, and things like "House Of The Dead", "Time Crisis", "Operation Terror" (which involved shooting digitized actors with a light gun... I think I have the name right), and others do periodically return, after all they are among the types of games that will get kids to beg for more money (and it is a business) and these kinds of games not only look fancy, but are one of the few types of games that arcades can still do better than home consoles.

Add to this that your dealing with a fairly major tourist area in SE Connecticut (Mystic Village/Seaport, Sailfest in the summer, etc...) in addition to the casinos, your dealing with a bunch of hotels and motels that all have their own arcades and game rooms where kids wind up being dumped for prolonged periods.

Now this guy is wrong about tying the games to violence, my simple point is that he's not quite as out of touch as those dissing him might want to think. There are far, far, more of these machines out there than people are considering, and they are also in places where kids tend to be left unattended... even if by definition kids should not be being dumped in arcades while the parents go off and do other things (it happens, constantly).

So your counterpoint to people claiming he's stupid is "This needs to be done because parents are irresponsible." Seems to me that we should be arresting and throwing fines at parents rather than blaming the device they use as a surrogate and depriving people of appropriate age and responsibility from having access to something.

Sylveria:

Therumancer:
I can't say I'm surprised actually, I think you guys are underestimating the whole "Arcade" culture as it stands now. Granted tweens and teens aren't heading to the malls to blow tons of quarters anymore, and it's not a social hub like it used to be, but Arcades DO exist in places like oh say... Casinos (like where I worked, which happen to be in Connecticut) where irresponsible parents like to dump their kids for hours upon hours at a time while they go and gamble (despite posted and live warnings to not leave kids unattended). A lot of what I say about child molestation and such comes specifically from having worked around places where kids are left unattended for long periods of time.

At any rate, most "violent" games wound up being voluntarily weeded out for security concerns, due to not having them giving creepy dudes less of an excuse for hanging out in locations largely inhabited by unattended children. Some 40 year old dood can't claim "Well, I'm here to play that game" and pop in the occasional quarter while waiting for oppertunities.

That said kids do want their action games, and things like "House Of The Dead", "Time Crisis", "Operation Terror" (which involved shooting digitized actors with a light gun... I think I have the name right), and others do periodically return, after all they are among the types of games that will get kids to beg for more money (and it is a business) and these kinds of games not only look fancy, but are one of the few types of games that arcades can still do better than home consoles.

Add to this that your dealing with a fairly major tourist area in SE Connecticut (Mystic Village/Seaport, Sailfest in the summer, etc...) in addition to the casinos, your dealing with a bunch of hotels and motels that all have their own arcades and game rooms where kids wind up being dumped for prolonged periods.

Now this guy is wrong about tying the games to violence, my simple point is that he's not quite as out of touch as those dissing him might want to think. There are far, far, more of these machines out there than people are considering, and they are also in places where kids tend to be left unattended... even if by definition kids should not be being dumped in arcades while the parents go off and do other things (it happens, constantly).

So your counterpoint to people claiming he's stupid is "This needs to be done because parents are irresponsible." Seems to me that we should be arresting and throwing fines at parents rather than blaming the device they use as a surrogate and depriving people of appropriate age and responsibility from having access to something.

Parents can't even read the ESRB/PEGI ratings on a videogame cases! They need all the help they can get! ~_~

Ah, so that's the latest evil conspiracy against videogames?
How do they keep coming up with this stuff?

I have a better idea.

Why don't we connect all the real guns to arcade cabinets with bolts or cables? :D

Sylveria:

Therumancer:
I can't say I'm surprised actually, I think you guys are underestimating the whole "Arcade" culture as it stands now. Granted tweens and teens aren't heading to the malls to blow tons of quarters anymore, and it's not a social hub like it used to be, but Arcades DO exist in places like oh say... Casinos (like where I worked, which happen to be in Connecticut) where irresponsible parents like to dump their kids for hours upon hours at a time while they go and gamble (despite posted and live warnings to not leave kids unattended). A lot of what I say about child molestation and such comes specifically from having worked around places where kids are left unattended for long periods of time.

At any rate, most "violent" games wound up being voluntarily weeded out for security concerns, due to not having them giving creepy dudes less of an excuse for hanging out in locations largely inhabited by unattended children. Some 40 year old dood can't claim "Well, I'm here to play that game" and pop in the occasional quarter while waiting for oppertunities.

That said kids do want their action games, and things like "House Of The Dead", "Time Crisis", "Operation Terror" (which involved shooting digitized actors with a light gun... I think I have the name right), and others do periodically return, after all they are among the types of games that will get kids to beg for more money (and it is a business) and these kinds of games not only look fancy, but are one of the few types of games that arcades can still do better than home consoles.

Add to this that your dealing with a fairly major tourist area in SE Connecticut (Mystic Village/Seaport, Sailfest in the summer, etc...) in addition to the casinos, your dealing with a bunch of hotels and motels that all have their own arcades and game rooms where kids wind up being dumped for prolonged periods.

Now this guy is wrong about tying the games to violence, my simple point is that he's not quite as out of touch as those dissing him might want to think. There are far, far, more of these machines out there than people are considering, and they are also in places where kids tend to be left unattended... even if by definition kids should not be being dumped in arcades while the parents go off and do other things (it happens, constantly).

So your counterpoint to people claiming he's stupid is "This needs to be done because parents are irresponsible." Seems to me that we should be arresting and throwing fines at parents rather than blaming the device they use as a surrogate and depriving people of appropriate age and responsibility from having access to something.

No, my comment is simply that these games exist in greater numbers than people give them credit for. If you read what I said, I said the guy was an idiot, but the people acting like he's out of touch with reality because there aren't many arcade machines out there are being fools. I was responding more to them than to the article, which I believe this should make fairly clear... though since your not the only person who didn't quite get it, probably because of my penchant for tangents, it's my fault I guess.

At the end of the day I think the guy is wrong about video games, and even if he was right, censorship is wrong, and games causing violence would be the lesser evil to the free speech controls needed to make a differance. Ultimatly my opinion is that it's a non-issue because even if it could ever be proven that games were responsible for violent behavior (the opposite has actually been proven) the basic human right to free speech and expression should put this outside of the goverment purview to control or limit.

I do not agree with him, but I DO understand where he's coming from. It's not a situation where lightgun games or kids being left for hours upon hours in arcades is not common, contrary to some of what the responders here seem to think.

That said, in response to a response you received about parents "needing all the help they can get" my opinion after long experience is that social services needs to take a more firm hand with things. The places where the greatest amounts of child neglect take place, like say casinos, where I've seen kids abandoned on the concourse or at the arcade for 18 hours plus, or put inside a bathroom stall and told to lock the door and "not open it until mommy comes back", is where social services needs to be. The Casino itself isn't going to do anything because at the end of the day it only gives a F@ck so far as it can make money and it's reputation isn't going to be hurt, it doesn't want kids being raped in stairwells, but at the same time it wants the parents to come in and drop as much money as possible (with kids not being allowed on the gaming floor due to agreements with the state gaming comission). As a result they make a show out of posting what parents are supposed to do, but otherwise ignore the problem, and leave departments like Security to act as unofficial nannies/child bodyguards while at the same time telling us it isn't expressly our job... (uh huh). Of course half the problem where I worked was the State getting a cut of the gambling profits, so it really didn't give a crap either, when something bad happened it just meant a scapegoat and pretending to give a crap for 15 minutes until everyone forgot about it again.

IMO at the end of the day the best "help" for parents and the kids has nothing to do with video games or anything else (if anything I think the violence comes from the way kids are treated and neglected). I think one day social services should just drive a couple of school buses up to say Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun, load every unattended child they or security can find on board, and then wait and see how long it takes before any parents even notice the kids are gone. Truthfully I think sending a lot of kids to foster homes or orphanages is better than leaving them abandoned in places like this, and some are there pretty much every day.

Of course with the money involved I can't help but wonder if when it comes to violence in Connecticut in paticular, anyone will bother to wonder what role the casinos might have played in it. Some kid who spends 12 houra a day growing up on the Foxwoods concourse might just develop some psychological problems, combined with a healthy dose of paranoia, and abandonment issues.

Of course I'm rambling and going on tangents again. :P

I remember when the shooting games in the arcade on BC Ferries had a modification made. The obviously plastic blue handgun-shaped light guns were replaced with... a box with a button on top. That poor Time Crisis machine did not deserve such a fate. I do find it sad that people are willing to demonize fake guns with which to shoot monsters and zombies in games that have likely not been updated since 2005 (or maybe even earlier!), but defend real guns with so much insane fervour. For all of us who grew up in the 90's just before the crash of the arcade, we can probably attest that while shooting polygonial things in the game with a gun peripheral, we probably did not have a bloodthirsty urge to gun down innocent school children. Honestly I feel like the concerns of these politicians are simply raised so they can pretend to do work, instead of focusing on the real issues that leave people marginalized.

1. is arcades still a thing? it sort of never started here thanks to soviet union but i was under the impression they pretty much died with personal consoles.

2. Yay, more restrictions based on arbitrary structures in hopes of changing uncorrelated things. good job Connecticut, you work hard to keep your reputation.

Please, out of all the fake gun games in an arcade or amusement park only an air gun with metal pellets (and therefore recoil and non-electronic aiming) could even be considered a teacher for guns. Even then, an actual rifle holds a greater kick. Anyone who knows anything concrete about guns should be laughing at this display.

Hey kids, let's play the Name That Party game!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Harp

Today's winner, Toni Harp - Democrat

In the 2000s, I've never seen an arcade outside of a building that that didn't sell alcohol. This tells me that adults populate arcades.

 

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