T will no longer display advertisements for violent video games

Associated Press, 12/12/06

BOSTON -- The MBTA will no longer display advertisements for video games that are meant for adults after a citizens group complained about posters for a game that encourages players to steal, murder and have sex with prostitutes, a top official said Tuesday.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood had demanded advertisements for "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories" be pulled off the subways.

In a letter dated Monday, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's General Manager Daniel Grabaukas told the group that the MBTA's board had approved a ban on ads for games rated suitable only for persons 17 or older.

"We are thrilled that the MBTA has been so responsive to community concerns," said Susan Linn, co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. "The children of Boston can now ride the MBTA without being targets for advertising that glorifies violence.

Linn added that the decision "sends a strong message to the videogame industry that public property cannot be used to promote violence to children. We hope that other cities will follow suit."

A media watchdog group, The National Institute on Media and the Family, has listed "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories" among 10 games parents shouldn't buy for their kids this holiday season, citing its violent content.