Massachusetts town ends 32-year ban on arcade games

Marshfield residents vote 203-175 to overturn a 1982 bylaw that banned coin-op arcade games.

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Marshfield, Mass. residents this week voted to overturn a 1982 bylaw that banned coin-operated arcade games from all businesses in the town. A majority vote was required to overturn the bylaw, and it was a close one. The final tally was 203-175.

Town resident Craig Rondeau brought forth the petition to end the ban, which he says never made sense to him. "I was sitting thinking, 'why is this illegal in my town, to have fun with my friends," he told The Patriot Ledger (via Joystiq). He maintains that video games can help children learn social skills and practice problem-solving.

Not everyone agrees with the end of the ban. Marshfield resident Sue Walker said arcade games can disturb family gatherings at public restaurants. "There is gaming all over the place, and there's nothing fun about it," she said.

Marshfield originally banned arcade games in 1982 on the grounds that these games were too addictive for children. The ban gathered national attention and local business owners even attempted to have the case heard by the United States Supreme Court, but that never happened.

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