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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 5, May 2014, Posted On: 5/2/2014

Mass. Town Overturns Decades-Old Coin-Op Videogame Ban

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: video game law, coin-op news, arcade video games, Marshfield MA video game ban, video game ban lifted, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong

MARSHFIELD, MA -- Rejoice! This small suburban Massachusetts community has lifted its 32-year ban on coin-operated videogames. During a recent town meeting, residents voted 203-175 to overturn the bylaw.

The law, adopted in 1982, went into effect in 1983 after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, and it created a major controversy, at the time. Enacted at the height of the video boom, proponents of the law claimed that such games as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong led to heinous societal ills, among them drug addiction, truancy, gambling and loitering.

Several attempts to repeal the law over the years failed, most notably in 1994, and again in 2011.

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