Following the events of last month's shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, a community group in the town of Southington, just over 30 miles from Newtown is gearing up to hold a drive in which it's hoped that violent video games and other violent media will be collected and subsequently destroyed.
Dubbed the 'Violent Video Games Return Program', the event has been arranged by community group SouthingtonSOS and is set to take place on January 12th. Trading in violent games, CDs and movies will grant gift certificates in exchange, rewarding people "as a token of appreciation for their action of responsible citizenship."
Offending games will be collected in a dumpster and then sent away "for appropriate permanent disposal." The group however claims that the drive is not a reaction to violent video games being a cause for the Newtown shooting. "The group's action is not intended to be construed as statement declaring that violent video games were the cause of the shocking violence in Newtown on December 14th," a statement from SouthingtonSOS notes.
"Rather, SouthingtonSOS is saying is that there is ample evidence that violent video games, along with violent media of all kinds, including TV and movies portraying story after story showing a continuous stream of violence and killing, has contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and is desensitizing our children to acts of violence including bullying. Social and political commentators, as well as elected officials including the president, are attributing violent crime to many factors including inadequate gun control laws, a culture of violence and a recreational culture of violence."
Southington School superintendent and member of SouthingtonSOS, Joe Erardi, told Polygon that the collection is intended to open up dialogue between parents and children. Presumably said dialogue involves the child begging their parents not to get rid of their copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops II...
"There are youngsters who appear to be consumed with violent video games," said Erardi. "I'm not certain if that's a good thing. If this encourages one courageous conversation with a parent and their child, then it's a success. We're suggesting that for parents who have a child or children who play violent video games, to first of all view the games. We're asking parents to better understand what their child is doing. Have a conversation about next steps."
In light of last month's Newtown shooting, so-called 'violent video games' have once again become the target and scapegoat for politicians, pundits and parents, with Senator Jay Rockefeller introducing a bill that would involve government agencies looking into the effects of such material on children. The NRA meanwhile, blamed the shooting on "a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against own people, through vicious violent video games."
Source - X360A