Massachusetts Town Finally Overturns 1982 Arcade Game Ban

Coin-operated video games were banned in Marshfield, Mass., back in 1982, during the golden age of arcades. Now, three decades after the peak of Pac-Man, Pole Position, and Dig Dug, the town has voted to allow video games back into local businesses.

Apparently, the threat that kids will "skip school and spend unreasonable sums of money to play [games] at a quarter—and sometimes 50 cents—a pop" just isn't the menace it used to be.

At the time, the retired narcotics agent who proposed the ban felt unsupervised gaming could lead to drugs and gambling. (This was years before every arcade machine was slapped with the FBI's famous Winners Don't Use Drugs message.)

Somehow, the mythical connection between gaming and degeneracy never emerged. Beaumont citizens tried twice—in 1994 and 2011—to have the ban lifted, but they didn't succeed until this year's 203-175 town vote.

If you find it hard to believe that a vote on arcade games would be that close in 2014, here's the kind of voter we're talking about:

"There is gaming all over the place, and there's nothing fun about it," the Patriot-Ledger quotes one Beaumont citizen as saying.

[H/T Hypervocal, Photo: Getty Images]