Massachusetts Is Doing Everything It Can To Demonize Video Games

Case in point: violent games = homework.

The finger pointing that has stemmed from the Sandy Hook tragedy continues, and video games are still being blamed for the heinous crime that took place. All across the country, though primarily in the northeast, various towns have made it their mission to stamp out violent games.

Though one state where most of this activity seems to be taking place is Massachusetts. For starters, and as Polygon reports, the town of Melrose has just announced a program that will reward children that discard their violent games, as well as other forms of media, including movies, music, and toys.

So what do they get in return? Coupons that include deals with local businesses, along with special "get out of homework free" coupons. Perhaps we're biased, given that Gameranx is an outlet that celebrates video games, but that later deal sounds an awful lot like blackmail.

It's one thing to reward good behavior with no homework, since said accomplishment might be the result of strong grades, meaning homework might not be necessary in every instance. But to award that same perk for passing along a copy of Black Ops 2? That’s rather ridiculous on a number of levels.

Elsewhere in the state, Destructoid reports, offensive games have been removed from rest stops that adore the Massachusetts Turnpike. Specifically Time Crisis and Beach Head 2000, two light gun games whose presence was disturbing to individuals who resides in Newton, Connecticut, where the aforementioned shooting took place.

Andrew Hyams, one of offended individuals, had this to say:

"People have the freedom to have whatever video games in their own homes that they want… We were struck by walking into a [state-owned] rest stop within an hour’s drive of Newtown and seeing and hearing a life-sized, mounted machine gun on a video game."

This move, alas, is a bit tougher to criticize, given the location of the rest stop in relation to the tragedy. Even if Time Crisis had nothing to do with the matter, it hard to fault anyone being sensitive to anything featuring a gun. Even if it's oversized and blue in color.

Still, bit by bit, video games are being demonized. And even though no true connection has been made, the more they are deferred in such a manner, the more it will be difficult to convince parties otherwise that games are not the cause of society's ills.