Arcade games welcomed back to Massachusetts town after 32-year ban is lifted

Marshfield banned coin-operated video games in 1982.

By Evan Bleier
A man plays a game with Mad Catz Arcade Fight Stick. (File/UPI/Phil McCarten)
A man plays a game with Mad Catz Arcade Fight Stick. (File/UPI/Phil McCarten) | License Photo

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MARSHFIELD, Mass., May 1 (UPI) -- Residents of a Massachusetts town have voted to remove a ban on coin-operated video games that was instituted back in 1982.

Marshfield residents haven’t been able to legally play coin-operated games for the past 32 years, but that’s all in the past after a 203-175 vote eliminated the ban. Previous attempts to lift the ban in 1994 and 2011 were defeated.


The Patriot Ledger reported the ban was originally put in place because some people thought video games attracted an “undesirable element.”

Town leaders believed “it would be bad for the people, it brings bad characters into town,” Craig Rondeau, who led the charge to bring back arcade games, told WHDH.

“It is a big deal because if it ruffled so many feathers that it took 32 years to get it done; we did something important,” Rondeau said.

The restriction made national news as an appeal of the ban made its way through the legal system until the U.S. Supreme Court in 1983 declined to hear the case.

Even after 32 years, some people are still not in favor of lifting the ban. “There is gaming all over the place, and there’s nothing fun about it,” said resident Sue Walker.


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