clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

National Amusements theater chain reassessing violent video games in lobbies

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Massachusetts-based movie theater chain National Amusements plans to review violent video games found in its theater lobbies for possible removal, according to an article in Komo News.

"We are going to meet with our vendor who supplies the games, and we're going to review it on a case-by-case basis," said Steve Horton, National Amusements' vice president of operations.

The decision came after Richard Reitnauer complained about an arcade game that he saw in a Yonkers, N.Y. theater lobby shortly after the Dec. 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

"I was upset to the point of cursing," Reitnauer said in an article published in USA Today. "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."

"I told him that in the context of the shootings, this was kind of like the last straw. Society needs to become more sensitive."

His complaint to National Amusements referenced last year's shootings in Newtown, Conn. and Aurora, Colo.

"I told him that in the context of the shootings, this was kind of like the last straw. Society needs to become more sensitive," he told Komo News.

In response, National Amusements removed the game and replaced it with Pac-Man.

"In the video game business, shooting games and driving games generate the most revenue," Horton told USA Today. "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."

National Amusements operates over 950 movie screens in the U.S., U.K. and Latin America, according to its website. It is also the parent company of the CBS Corporation and Viacom.

Earlier this month, a complaint to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation led to the removal of arcade games deemed violent from rest stops along the Massachusetts Turnpike.

You can read more about recent reactions to video games and violence in our storystream below.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon