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Speech that inspires Marshfield to lift its ban on video games

Back in 1982 the town of Marshfield in Massachusetts banned coined operated video games. It was observed that kids played them too much and that they were skipping school and wasting all of their quarters, and surely from this imagined addiction worse ones were to blossom. This year, under the leadership of citizen Craig Rondeau, the ban was finally lifted when the town voted 203-175 to support Rondeau’s initiative to bring coin operated video games back to public spaces in Marshfield.


What follows is a transcript of the speech Rondeau made to council:


“Let me start by giving you some numbers:

79, 510

143, 740

500, 100

10, 336, 440

These numbers are the high scores I achieved as a fourth grader in Space Invaders, Omega Race, Frogger and Asteroids. I’d like to just let that sink in for a little bit. Those. Numbers. Produced. By. A. Fourth. Grader.

I had a wicked powerful gift.

A wicked powerful gift that was stolen from me by the government.

I can guarantee you that my life would have turned out much differently if I’d been allowed to cultivate my gift and big government didn’t step in to crush the free market. Not only was the free market destroyed, but so was the spirit of a sweet, chubby boy in grade four who maybe wasn’t very good at sports, but learned how to compete and achieve greatness amongst the frogs, asteroids and pixels.


If I had been allowed to pursue my dreams I don’t think I ever would have been cursed with the Oxy addiction that’s plagued me for the last 8 years. I think I would have found the self-esteem I needed as a child and not been a bully magnet, I think I would have impressed some girls and perhaps learned to talk to them. When I’m sitting at the bar not playing a video game, I think about the life that might have been a lot.

A lot.

I know some of our city fathers thought that video games would lead to drug addiction, but it’s just the opposite! It’s the absence of video games that lead to drug addiction!

Just as it’s not right for Ben Affleck to get banned from the Hard Rock Casino in Vegas for counting cards, Ben-Affleck_2900495bit’s wrong for the government to steal the dreams of children and merchants alike, and ban video games in our town! What is this, Footloose?! No, we’re not friggin’ Soviet Footloose, we’re America, and we don’t tell our citizens what to do! We’re number one, and we need to stay number one! China has some pretty wicked video gamers coming down the pipe right now, and in order to keep beating them, we need our kids to start early and play hard!

It’s been over 30 years, it’s time to lift the ban!

Pac-Man for everybody!!

Thank you for your time, and go Bruins!!”

(Standing Ovation)


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