Light Gun Video Games Pulled From Rest Stops In The US

Light Gun Video Games Pulled From Rest Stops In The US

Massachusetts’ Department of Transportation pulled a Time Crisis cabinet and seven other light-gun video games from rest-stop arcades along the Massachusetts Turnpike, after the parents of a 12-year-old complained they were inappropriate, reports The Boston Globe. The removal was attributed to the December 14 gun massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

The move will strike most gamers as completely tone deaf considering that arcades have been in steep decline across North America for many years, and how much more objectionable content than Time Crisis or Lethal Enforcers is available on home consoles. Still, it happened.

The Globe says Andrew and Tracy Hyams visited a rest stop in Charlton, Massachusetts, heard gunfire rattling off the walls, and wrote the state DOT commissioner. Being a no-lose political position, not to mention a game like Time Crisis can pull in, what, seven dollars a day at a Mass Pike rest stop, he ordered them removed.

“We were struck by walking into a [state-owned] rest stop within an hour’s drive of Newtown and seeing and hearing a life-sized, mounted machine gun on a video game,” said Andrew Hyams. Considering it’s New England, six states which would be a collection of counties in most any western US state, practically everything is within an hour of Newtown, Connecticut.

“Bottom line is I think there isn’t a person who doesn’t ­believe that there isn’t too much violence in our society, and games can glorify that,” said Richard Davey, the state secretary of transportation. “A video game in a public space could be used by anybody of any age.

“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.

The Globe visited a rest stop for reaction, and found only Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Cruis’n Exotica. Of the arcade games removed, Time Crisis and Beach Head 2000 were the only ones mentioned by name. As the Hyams were offended by the plastic machine gun control mounted on the game they saw, it’s safe to assume the nine titles removed were of the light-gun variety, one of the last genres to have any substantial presence in the remaining American arcades.

The state can do this because the rest stops are on the Mass Pike and therefore operated under state contract; they’re there so travellers can gas up and eat without exiting the road, which would require them to pay a toll.

State removes violent games from rest stops [The Boston Globe]

Picture: Getty


  • Great decision.

    Just imagine if someone pointed one of those guns at someone and fired at them instead of at the screen, someone could very easily be killed!

    These games are obviously only intended for psychopaths, the next step should be to round up anyone who has ever played a violent game and lock them up for life!

  • It’s good.

    The problem in the US isn’t guns – it’s the pervasive gun culture.

    If a few shooting games are sacrificed as part of a bigger solution, good.

    • Dude. No. Thats like saying sandwiches are evil. sandwiches are killing people. we shall hereby ban pizzas!

      This is a kneejerk reaction which will solve nothing. Nothing at all. To affect the gun culture one must strike AT the gun culture changing ownership laws and rights. To anyone who says it cant be done? Bullshit. Yes it can. Its human apathy that just disallows it from happening.

      • As I said, it’s simply one part of a solution.

        Stooping people having access to military grade hardware and a strict national screening system are the main planks, but there needs to be a shift away from the glorification of guns and gun culture too.

        If removing a gun game from a state-owned and funded truck stop is part of that, whatever.

        • But it’s an unnecessary distraction from the actual problem. Video games and movies aren’t that important here. They’re a factor in getting people interested in guns, along with a million other things, but if you solve the bigger problems those million little things become irrelevant. Here in Australia you can love guns all you want and it doesn’t matter since you can’t own a half dozen semi-automatic weapons or buy a boot load of ammo.

          I can understand if they don’t want the gun stuff in their store, that’s fine, but worrying about light gun games is taking energy and attention away from actually solving the problem.

          • Exactly right. The main issue is the mental health system and the easy access to firearms. Make firearms harder to access and the common man will not be able to access them as easily, Australia is the best example for that. The argument that ‘criminals will always have them’ is a flawed one. Criminals always have, however, punishments for this then get ramped up to reflect the serious nature of this crime instead of a slap on the wrist. Make guns harder to access and the common criminal will be unlikely to access them given most crimes of a lower level nature are spontaneous, however planned crimes? They’re usually career criminals or repeat offenders who know what they’re doing and where to get things. I digress, removing a video game is indicative of avoiding the topic altogether, last time the parents were on iTunes did they rage about the easy access to violent movies? When in a toy store did they rage about the access to toy guns? Unlikely. This is pure avoidance of the topic, well done America. Nearly twenty children are now dead, the worst shooting in American history and you’re burying this shit again behind meaningless knee jerk reactions. In this case ‘won’t someone think of the children’ is amazingly apt.

  • I agree gun culture is part of the problem with America. However gaming is a HUGE scapegoat. Some real solutions might be to remove ammunition & gun related products from stores (Kmart etc). Have stricter laws regarding heavy assault weapons. Address mental health issues within the community better ( instead of labeling mentally unstable people as ‘lunatics’ – NRA). Parents also need to take some responsibility. If your child is 10 perhaps buying the latest FPS isn’t the right decision. There are hundreds of other great titles that offer way better & more suitable experience for their age then online multiplayer shooters.

  • Perhaps the parents should have done their job and made sure the kid wasn’t playing games they didn’t think was appropriate for their child’s age. As for the gun violence they seem so concerned about (to say gun violence in the US is a problem would be an understatement), they should try sitting their child down and having a talk to it about gun violence. Of course, all of that would be completely pointless if they’re the kind of people who have an unnecessary amount of guns for no good reason at all other than because they can. Either way, I suppose it’s much easier to complain to someone and have something banned rather than actually doing your job as a parent. *rolls eyes*

    Oh, and let’s not forget the knee-jerk reaction by the Department of Transportation. That was pretty stupid and won’t solve anything anyway. The problem with gun violence isn’t video games but easy access to high powered weapons combined with poor mental health care. I suppose banning a few light-gun games is easier than fixing the real problems though… But then again, what else could this particular department do to help against gun violence?

  • I wonder what they’ll blame when they ban all video games and movies and tv shows and books and magazines and works of art of any kind that depict violence and the massacres keep going on.

  • Great. Don’t worry about the millions of automatic rifles. Removing those ancient on-rails shooters is the fix they clearly need.

  • It’s a lot easier to remove a game you don’t want your kid to play than to watch your kid.

    At the end of the day this seems like asking the government to be the parent of your child, because you need to suck down a few cheeseburgers.

    They hate shootings, but they love their guns sooo much. And looking at the last one (to make the news) the mother was a fine and perfect candidate to own a firearm. Her son was not. Do they extend the interview process of gun ownership to everybody in the household? Well no, than it would be too hard to get a gun.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that they want to stick their heads deep into the sand and ignore the gun part of gun violence and focus on the other elements and due to a peer pressure or a sheep mentality if somebody says the sky is green today people will think that maybe it is without looking up. And those who do look up and say it’s blue are ridiculed because everyone else says it’s green and the majority is right.

    • Parents refuse to take responsibility instead blame everyone else for the downfall of society.
      Pro-gun groups refuse to acknowledge guns and lack of gun control as a problem and blame violent media for the downfall of society. The NRA are like a bunch of children – sitting with their fingers in their ears whenever someone is trying to talk to them.

      I live in Australia. Do we have gun crime? yes!
      shootings? yes!
      but not to the ridiculous extent that the US have.
      Why? Because we have gun control.

  • In 10 years time the most voilent games we will be able to play is My Little Pony and even then that will be unavailable due to animal rights.

  • Are you kidding me?
    They pull out video games featuring guns as the controller but do NOTHING about guns themselves?

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