D.C. City Council member H.R. Crawford wants to see a little more service from "full service" gasoline stations and a lot less of what he says are pornographic computer games that are starting to show up around town.
Crawford introduced a pair of bills yesterday to back up his complaints, including a measure that would ban the sale to minors of video games like "Custer's Revenge," in which Crawford said a male figure dodges arrows and attempts to rape as many Indian women as possible.
Crawford, who wants to add the prohibition to the city's obscenity statutes, said the games are for home use and sell for about $40. The games are not available in video arcades.
Crawford said he heard about "Custer's Revenge" on a recent Phil Donahue talk show and then discovered the game was being sold here by some video stores and by roving "pirate" merchants who sell goods from vans in his ward in southeast Washington.
According to video industry observers, "Custer's Revenge" was pulled off the commercial market after women's groups vigorously protested the game at a New York video show last fall, saying the game was insulting to women and encouraged rape.
"The games that have been introduced to date can best be termed a joke," said Robert Gerson, managing editor of Video Week, an industry newsletter. "They have no play value. You get a bunch of people over to the house, you plug it in, everybody laughs and you unplug it."
Also yesterday, Crawford introduced the "Full Service Means Full Service Retail Service Station Act of 1983."
Crawford said the measure was prompted when he recently went to a service station in his ward. "I pulled up to a pump and asked for full service. The guy said, 'Pump it yourself.' "
Crawford said the station charged 36 cents a gallon more at the full service pump and did not offer refunds to customers who pumped the gas themselves.
To top it off, the council member said, he went to use the same service station's restroom and found "the door was locked. They wanted 25 cents."
In a written statement, Crawford said his bill would require full service stations to "render the kind of full service a motorist expects at a full service pump--including fuel pumped in a prompt fashion, a clean windshield, oil and tire pressure checked, and access to a free public toilet."