Small Town in Connecticut Starts Drive to Collect and Destroy Violent Games

Video games are once again targeted

More misguided attempts to figure out how to prevent a tragedy like the one at Sandyhook Elementary has resulted now in video games not only being blamed but collected and likely burned. For members of the western world, who like to claim they are civilized, it sounds archaic at best. You don't like or fear something you don't understand? Destroy it. At least that seems to be the way of thinking.

The town that is holding the drive is about 30 miles from the site of the massacre. They're calling it the Violent Video Games Return program, but they are also offering up gift certificates in exchange for violent games, music and movies later this month. The group organizing the event is called SouthingtonSOS and includes the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, board of education, fire department, town officials, United Way and local clergy. The group was formed after Hurricane Katrina as an assistance group for national and local tragedies.

Let's face it, so far it sounds like an angry mob with pitchforks. But Southington School superintendent Joe Erardi talked about the drive in a different light.

"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. If parents are comfortable (with their child's gaming habits), we're comfortable."

Doesn't sound too unreasonable, right? After all, it is completely up to parents on whether or not their child should or can play any video game, right? But say dad doesn't like you playing Battlefield 3. Then he can go down to the local drive-in movie theater on Jan. 12 to turn in those games in exchange it for a $25 gift voucher to be used for other forms of entertainment. An example of a local water park was given. The gift certificate is being donated by a member of the Chamber of Commerce as a "token of appreciation for their action of responsible citizenship."

Yet once turned in, those discs will be snapped, tossed into a town dumpster and likely later incinerated, Erardi said.

It just seems like a contradictory image, burning games and movies and then sending a kid to a waterpark because the content is too violent.

So does the committee really believe violent fictional content was what caused that terrible shooting? Erardi, at least, claims he doesn't know. 

"I don't have the expertise to share an opinion on that," he said. "There is never anything wrong with parents having a courageous conversation with their children. And when you're stepping into the domain of your child, it's always a courageous conversation."

Source: Polygon