NJ Lawmakers Considering Ban on M-17 Arcade Games

Not all arcade games are suitable for all audiences. The general themes and content of ultra violent and mature video games are often hidden away behind cleverly designed cabinet art and home console sleeves. However, when a gamer actually plays a cocktail arcade table game that contains questionable content, all spectators and people in passing will be subjected to vivid visual depictions. In response, some New Jersey lawmakers are considering passing a bill that would severely restrict where these games could be played. More specifically, an arcade game with a mature rating could be completely banned from being played or displayed in public.

Although there are plenty of consumers of arcade tables whom are happy to play their favored titles in the comfort of their home, this bill could impact a great number of arcade parlor operators. Visitors of all ages are allowed and even expected to hang out in arcade parlors. In fact, most visitors are adolescents. While these kids may not be old enough to buy certain titles because of parental discretion labels, virtually nobody would stop them from popping a few quarters into a gaming machine and enjoying a round or two of bloody violence.

As fewer and fewer studies making a connection between mature games and the corruption of youth are released, more loopholes allowing them access to these restricted titles are becoming apparent. A child that is not allowed to purchase the home version of a violent cocktail arcade table would certainly not benefit from playing the game for hours on end in any establishment.

Even still, there are plenty of fans of violent video games that are of age. The current version of the NJ bill that proposes to ban all mature themed video games in public places does not make exceptions for bars and other establishments that only allow adults on its premises. Even games shown at conventions, utilized during tournaments or otherwise accessible by the public would be subject to restrictions. Perhaps instead of preventing anyone in the general public from seeing mature games, there could be steps taken by the operators of these games to keep them away from easily impressionable eyes.