National Amusements Caves on FPS Videogames

Time Crisis 4 (courtesy

“I was upset to the point of cursing,’ said the retired museum administrator. ‘You can at least choose whether to see a violent movie. But there’s no choice when you walk into the lobby and there’s the most violent arcade game you’ve seen right there.'” Somehow I don’t think Richard Reitnauer has seen a lot of violent videogames. Nevertheless reports that Dick’s irate phone call to the National Amusements cinema chain has triggered a change in their pre-show games. “Steve Horton, an assistant vice president of operations for National Amusements, told The Journal News [them again!] that in addition to removing the offending [First Person Shooter] game at Ridge Hill, his company is considering pulling violent arcades ‘on a case by case basis’ from other locations.” Horton may not have heard a Who but he defended his company’s decision with Dr. Seuss-style sanctimoniousness . . .

“In the video game business, shooting games and driving games generate the most revenue,” he said. “But it isn’t always revenue that drives your determination of what’s right for your business. We try to listen to our customers because they’re our lifeblood.”

I thought revenue was customers’ way of telling companies what they want. Hey, what do I know?

Reitnauer — whose information, he said, was listed in error on a controversial Journal News interactive map containing information on gun-permit holders that has since been removed from the paper’s website — believes violence in entertainment is one of many issues that should be part of a national debate on firearms.

“If people take little tiny steps at the local level,” he said, “we are going to start solving the bigger problems.”

And if people restrict or demonize Constitutional freedoms with little tiny steps at the local level they’ll get rid of them, eventually.