Why Should You Need A Special License To Run An Arcade?

from the silly-laws dept

Adam Thierer notes that Amherst NY has rejected an attempt by a Chuck-E-Cheese get a "game license," which makes him ask why anyone should need a special license to run a video arcade? He points out that this is basically a money grab by the town, which makes a lot of money off such licensing fees -- while also pointing out that if the city's concerns are legit (they claim worries about little kids playing violent video games) there are numerous ways to deal with that, from content rating systems to (gasp!) parental responsibility.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 9:20pm

    C'mon, everybody knows that Video Arcade = Columbine Training Grounds. We can't have that now. Games are the Satan's way of capturing the minds of our children.

     

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  2.  
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    Bubba Gump (profile), Aug 6th, 2009 @ 9:31pm

    Re:

    You say that like that's a bad thing.

     

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  3.  
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    Net Dad, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 9:35pm

    Seriously? Have you been to a CEC lately?!

    Most of the games are driving games, skiball and air hockey?
    I didn't see one "gun" game there...

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 9:40pm

    Just think what Whack-a-mole teaches kids (hitting with a stick good).. the point and roll an token to knock more off the shelf teaches gambling.. African safari teaches to capture wild animals (or eve neighborhood ones) for money... All video games are bad in one way or another.. IF YOU LOOK HARD ENOUGH... Better the kids should bully the other in the ball pit or the climbing tubes and eat the fattening pizza and pop then do nothing but play those dreadful video games...

    ...(hint this IS sarcasm)...

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 9:40pm

    Just think what Whack-a-mole teaches kids (hitting with a stick good).. the point and roll an token to knock more off the shelf teaches gambling.. African safari teaches to capture wild animals (or eve neighborhood ones) for money... All video games are bad in one way or another.. IF YOU LOOK HARD ENOUGH... Better the kids should bully the other in the ball pit or the climbing tubes and eat the fattening pizza and pop then do nothing but play those dreadful video games...

    ...(hint this IS sarcasm)...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2009 @ 10:08pm

    If a little town does not want businesses there then they loose. Silly me, I thought having businesses in your town was a good thing. Jobs, taxes, indirectly bringing in customers to other businesses....Greed is going to make businesses leave and that means the town can only get taxes by raising things like property taxes, school taxes, etc. And for the slow one, yes I mean politicians, that means raising taxes on those who vote for you. Oh yeah, smart move in todays economy.

     

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  7.  
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    Steven (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 12:40am

    Re:

    You never had video games to play when growing up, did you?

     

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  8.  
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    Steven (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 12:41am

    Re: Re:

    I stand corrected. ::wonders how he missed the little note at the bottom::

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 2:08am

    You need a license to own a gun, right? It stands to reason, you need a license to own a murder death kill simulator.

    Do it for the children!

     

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  10.  
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    Sheinen, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 2:16am

    Does that mean I need to get a liscence for when my friends come over and we play halo? Sometimes they bring people I don't know, so really it's open to the public...

    It's similar to my local kebab shop applying for a 5am lisence and being refused, they have to close at 10:30 - who the hell wants a kebab at 10:30??

     

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  11.  
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    DS, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 4:24am

    Re:

    Look at the comments on the local paper's website. The residents are concerned about the poor people who go to to Chuck-E-Cheese. And by concerned, I mean that the vocal residents don't want 'thoes people' in their neighborhood.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 4:50am

    Re:

    Does that mean I need to get a liscence for when my friends come over and we play halo?
    Well, of course, but that's because it's now public performance. Please send your pertinent information to the Entertainment Software Alliance.

     

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  13.  
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    Another AC, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:16am

    Maybe its the gambling

    They also teach the kiddies how to gamble.

    Rolling that quarter down the miniature bowling alley to hit the 100 ticket pin is very addicting.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike4 (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:04am

    Re: Columbine Training Grounds

    I know you're joking but there is, of course, a ring of truth to it. If violence is really the concern, then I'm surprised they would allow any video arcades whatsoever.

    This really is a little bizarre.

     

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  15.  
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    Money Mike (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:08am

    Re: Sarcasm

    I'm surprised you needed a note to tell you it was sarcasm... especially on this site.

     

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  16.  
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    Money Mike (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:17am

    Re: Murder Death Kill

    Excellent "Demolition Man" reference, Mr. Anonymous.

     

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  17.  
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    Fracture, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:28am

    Chucky's Game selection

    If you've every been into a Chuck E Cheese beyond the age of 10, you'll know that disappointingly, they have incredibly high standards against violence in their games. Denying them a "game license" (as if you should need any to display games approved for all ages) seems to only be based on some political agenda.

    Be well Anonymous John Spartan.

     

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  18.  
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    Tek'a R (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Having worked in a rather huge arcade (Gameworks. Know it, love it) I can tell you from the inside that many of the things being done regarding the "license" of video games is a pure money grab.

    There was no restriction on games, we could have anything we wanted as long as we paid. The city just wanted to come by every month, send a guy to wander around and check the date and placement of the tags on every individual unit.

    The GM wasnt supposed to talk about the costs of the license, would only admit under pressure that it was a considerable slice of operating expenses. The whole thing was a continual money grab by the city thanks to some much-amended "Mechanical Gambling (and all other video game) Security and Registration Act.

    Short version: They would require a license on Shelves if they could get away with it, to keep bringing in the fines.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:48am

    the problem is not the video games, or them being violent...and how do you place "parental control" into effect, when the problem are the parents. the reason for the licence rejection, is the constant police presence at the location, because parents are getting into fights, getting drunk, and a slew of other things. this licence rejection has nothing to do with kids, or video games, but the poor behavior of their parents. and this being a mid-high $ community, they dont want to see these type of things going on and ruining their community, so the are basically telling the business to go somewhere else by rejecting their gaming licence.

     

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  20.  
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    Just Another Moron in a Hurry, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    Speaking from experience

    So, I actually live like 3 miles away from this Chuck E Cheeses.

    It is so weird to see a place you drive by everyday getting national media attention.

    Here is the local story, for anyone interested:
    http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/741867.html

     

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  21.  
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    Just Another Moron in a Hurry, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:22am

    Re: Speaking from experience

    It seems to me like the video games is just a symptom of another problem, and it was an easy way for the town council to show some measure of authority, and try to get this CEC to clean up their act.

     

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  22.  
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    Ryan, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    Virtually all licenses are a blatant money grab. If something really needs to be certified, there's plenty of private options that can do it fairly and cheaply. Many operating licenses cut sharply into business revenue solely in order to prop up more government; they are also among the most abusive ways to choose winners by granting them to the politically connected. It's a joke...

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Columbine Training Grounds

    There is no 'ring of truth' you idiot. Pure sarcasm there. Physical games like football and dodgeball are WAY more violent than video games - people actually get hurt all the time playing games like that but those are perfectly fine. Who gets hurt in the CEC arcade? We do not need the government to regulate what we can and cannot do.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Re:

    I guess you're referring to things like this article about the issues at the various Chuck E. Cheeses. I never knew that they actually serve alcohol at these places. Does this location serve alcohol?

    Although, if fights is the concern, the city can control this though the permit/license to serve alcohol.

    Note that this about rejecting the renewal of the video game license at a location that already has the games. Also the concilwoman with the “action-packed shoot-and-kill games” quote tired to change her no vote after seeing that it didn't pass.

     

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  25.  
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    Jrosen (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    Hell....

    I'd love to have an actual freaking arcade somewhere near me. I THINK there's a chuck e cheese somewhere within about 20 miles. There's a Dave & Buster's nearby-ish. But I can recall where I could bike 10 minutes to Fun and Games or any number of other arcades which had an office-building floor worth of games and space. Not a restaurant/bar/dance-floor/gods knows whatever else.
    Yes, I'm sure that all the console games have pulled people (mainly kids likely) from the actual arcades. But it's morons like this town that have hurt places as well (we don't want kids/certain/those people hanging out here) and all that bs.

     

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  26.  
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    known coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    have you ever been to a chuck E cheese

    I have and believe me it is not for the squeamish. Screaming kids, crying parents, the stupid mouse, the lousy food. Of course they sell beer and wine, handing out Demerol to the masses which while necessary for survival, is still illegal.

    Brothel, opium den, sure bring them to the neighborhood. Chuckie cheese I say “NO”

     

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  27.  
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    Heephaestus, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 11:17am

    Re: Chucky's Game selection

    Actually the guy who wrote the Law up was bitten by a rat as a child....

     

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  28.  
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    joe, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 11:31am

    Back in the day when I worked in a movie theatre, we had pinball machines, centipede, ms pac man, etc. Each machine had a city tax stamp on it.

    Why? I surmise it was to know who has these games, and to ensure they are games and not gambling or 'gaming' machines. And sure, to make some coin for the city.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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