The town of Marshfield, Massachusetts has elected to overturn a ban on arcade machines.
The ban has been in effect for 32 years, according to the Patriot Ledger, and was introduced to protect children’s savings and avoid attracting an “undesirable element” to the town.
The motion to lift the ban was passed with a vote of 203-175; that’s still significant opposition, and it had been challenged and upheld twice before, in 1994 and 2011.
Local opponents argued that businesses didn’t want to host arcade games – a point successfully rebutted by polling business owners – and that video games can be disturbing in venues like restaurants.
“There is gaming all over the place, and there’s nothing fun about it,” one resident said, commenting that children playing can be distracting for adults.
Meanwhile other residents said businesses should be free to choose, just as customers are, and that if parents don’t want their children to play arcade games they can just say no. Magnificent cut and thrust of debate, here.