The country's largest cinema chain, the Regal Entertainment Group, has decided to ban video games that contain graphic violence, obscenity or sexual behavior from its lobbies. Regal operates 562 multiplexes with 6,119 screens in 39 states under the trade names Regal Cinemas, United Artist Theatres, Edwards Theatres and Hoyts Cinema. Regal currently offers video games in about 90% of its theaters.
Mike Campbell, CEO of Regal Entertainment Group's theater operations, says, "Parents of our younger moviegoers have concerns about the content of certain video games. We want to do the best job in evaluating which video games are acceptable by the majority of our patrons." Company spokesman Dick Westerling said that content Regal finds unacceptable includes: graphic depictions of sexual behavior or nudity, violence toward law enforcement officers or figures of authority, obscene or foul language, displays of human-like characters suffering bloodshed and/or dismemberment, graphically violent character deaths and the promotion or glorification of illegal activity.
It is reported that Regal's decision was prompted by parental complaints.
White Hutchinson is pleased to learn of this development, as we do not believe that any games with violence, sexual themes or other content that runs counter to family values or is offensive to parents, and especially moms, belong in any family leisure venues. We hope this is the beginning of a trend by venue operators away from violent games.
For additional information about the appropriateness of violent games and their impact on both children and adults, see our August 2003 article Game Violence: Good Business or Bad?