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Connecticut Town Holds Drive to Collect, Destroy Videogames

By - Source: Polygon | B 66 comments

Southington is holding a drive to collect and destroy violent media.

The response to the tragedy in Sandy Hook is a familiar one: the finger of blame is often pointed at multimedia. During Columbine, it was Marilyn Manson. Now, violent videogames are the scapegoat for the shooting.

Southington, a town in Connecticut about 30 miles away from Newtown, is holding a drive dubbed the "Violent Video Games Return Program", which offers up a $25 gift certificate for non-violent forms of entertainment in exchange for violent videogames. Violent movies and music are also acceptable.

Hosted by SouthingtonSOS, a community-organized group that formed after Hurricane Katrina, the Violent Video Games Return Program will take place on January 12th at the Southington Drive-In.

The point of the program, according to Southington School superintendent Joe Erardi, is for parents to initiate a "real, sound conversation with their children about videogames."

"We're suggesting that for parents who have a child or children who play violent video games, to first of all view the games," said Erardi to Polygon. "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."

However, the program is directed to parents who aren't comfortable in having such a conversation with their children. They can instead take their violent media and exchange it. The discs will then be snapped and burned.

While the idea of burning multimedia may call to mind something akin to Fahrenheit 451, Erardi assures that the goal of the movement was not for the destruction of violent videogames.

"Our message is fairly simple: Have the conversation with your child," he said.

"It's not about the NRA endorsing, or video game production companies defending, it's a grassroots movement. It's simple and we believe it's meaningful."

The only question is: why offer up incentives for having parents bring in violent media to be destroyed? Doesn't that undermine the very message that Erardi claims the movement is trying to make?

 

 

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    whiteodian , January 3, 2013 3:45 PM
    I think this is stupid for them to target videogames/movies. Good parenting would keep young kids from having violent videogames/movies in the first place. There are other ways to educate kids. How about educating them on mental illness and gun safety? It sounds like a good old fashioned book burning. In the end, I don't really care as long as they recycle those games/movies in an environmentally safe. I just picture a pile of games burning and toxic fumes from the melting plastic going into the air.
  • 29 Hide
    xaephod , January 3, 2013 3:42 PM
    This will definitely help....not.
  • 24 Hide
    Tuishimi , January 3, 2013 3:47 PM
    I just watched "The Hobbit"... I'm feeling strangely violent.
Other Comments
    Display all 66 comments.
  • 29 Hide
    xaephod , January 3, 2013 3:42 PM
    This will definitely help....not.
  • 29 Hide
    whiteodian , January 3, 2013 3:45 PM
    I think this is stupid for them to target videogames/movies. Good parenting would keep young kids from having violent videogames/movies in the first place. There are other ways to educate kids. How about educating them on mental illness and gun safety? It sounds like a good old fashioned book burning. In the end, I don't really care as long as they recycle those games/movies in an environmentally safe. I just picture a pile of games burning and toxic fumes from the melting plastic going into the air.
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2013 3:46 PM
    Burn moar plastic! That's all we need to do.
    Burning solves everything.
  • 24 Hide
    Tuishimi , January 3, 2013 3:47 PM
    I just watched "The Hobbit"... I'm feeling strangely violent.
  • 22 Hide
    Prey , January 3, 2013 3:52 PM
    Video Games have been a scape goat for violence long before this incident. It's unfortunate that people use a tragedy such as this as a launch point for their own agendas. While I wouldn't let a 5 yr old watch me play God of War, I don't see violent video games being the cause for the shooting in that school. Perhaps if we were more studious about mental health we could find more answer to the root of the problem.
  • 7 Hide
    dns7950 , January 3, 2013 3:55 PM
    If someone came to my house and asked me to turn in violent video games to destroy them, i would tell them to go f*** theselves.. If it was Jack Thompson, I'd also punch him in the face for being such a retarded, arrogant attention-seeking prick.. Seriously these self-righteous nutjobs drive me crazy, it's like a freaking cult.. Stop trying to force your views on everybody.. Everyone needs to blame something, and violent video games make a great scapegoat.. It makes me sick that some people actually listen to and encourage these a**holes.
  • 18 Hide
    homerhellboy223 , January 3, 2013 3:55 PM
    TuishimiI just watched "The Hobbit"... I'm feeling strangely violent.

    Me too. After watching that movie I had a sudden urge to kill midgets. lol
  • 22 Hide
    dark_knight33 , January 3, 2013 3:55 PM
    Modern mob mentality, and knee jerk reaction from ignorance. Its like burning a "witch". These people should be ashamed.
  • -6 Hide
    yeesh , January 3, 2013 3:57 PM
    Ah, a story like this on a technology-oriented site. Knee-jerk condemnations of a knee-jerk reaction. Let me tell you who understands WHY any person does anything: Nobody. Nobody in the whole world.

    And that means that you can't actually say with certainty that video game violence had NOTHING to do with a given action, just like you can't say with certainty video violence had SOMETHING to do with a given action. No one knows. Saying you do know what the cause ISN'T is exactly as much of lie as saying you know what it IS.

    In fact, probably even more so, since I'd guess a positive correlation is easier to prove than a negative one. What experiment would definitively prove that any given thing has absolutely no effect on any other given thing?

    That is all.
  • 22 Hide
    greenrider02 , January 3, 2013 3:58 PM
    I live near there. Sounds like a better deal than Gamestop if it's $25 per game...

    Might have to go check it out.
  • 3 Hide
    steve360 , January 3, 2013 4:00 PM
    Whenever such violent acts occur like mass shootings, there is always a chain of events that tells the whole story.

    Violent video games can be trigger and/or makes up part of the whole story but it is often NOT the root cause or the be-all-end-all these people try to make it out to be. It is usually a combination of factors that lead to such violent events. Mental health often plays a major role. Money, politics, love/romance, alcohol/drugs are also other potential triggers.

    It is as if they think if people play violent games, they must become violent people. Not true. I've played violent games my whole life yet I am a law-abiding citizen. I've watched violent movies since I was just 10 yet I've turn out just fine.

    Blaming video games is too easy.
  • 6 Hide
    TunaSoda , January 3, 2013 4:00 PM
    This won't infuriate the kids at all...
  • 8 Hide
    vistaofdoom , January 3, 2013 4:02 PM
    greenrider02I live near there. Sounds like a better deal than Gamestop if it's $25 per game...Might have to go check it out.

    This... made my day.
  • 0 Hide
    dimar , January 3, 2013 4:08 PM
    Why not convert all churches to free education / sports centers, instead?
  • 6 Hide
    d_kuhn , January 3, 2013 4:09 PM
    More looking for the quick fix... it's the guns, it's the games, it's the movies, it's the (insert knee in eye and tell us what you think here), just get rid of that thing and we'll all live happily ever after.
    I think the problem is one of magnitude and society. Magnitude is a problem because in todays connected world, even problems of lower magnitude get a LOT of coverage if they're attention grabbing (for everyone killed with a gun in the US, something like 6 commit suicide... but that's not a headline grabber). Society is a problem because of the norms that don't just accept violence but glorify it, media is just a symptom (they give us what we want).
    The reason these quick fixes are attractive is because there is no easy solution, and people want to "take action" when something horrific like this happens. There's no action they can take that will really help, so they flail around until they settle on a scapegoat.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , January 3, 2013 4:14 PM
    But can they burn crysis?

    I live near there too. There is a certain irony to having a "software burning". One has to question the sanity of anyone who takes time out of their day to destroy something that can be reproduced so quickly and cheaply. An eloquent counter-protest would be to sit across the street with a laptop burning dvd images of violent games.
  • 1 Hide
    thegreatms , January 3, 2013 4:15 PM
    I was just starting to get some fond feelings for my suburban home town...

    I guess this shows I made the right decision when I moved away 14 years ago.

    Well, my parents still live there so there are at least two sane people in the town.
  • 1 Hide
    Bloob , January 3, 2013 4:17 PM
    If this gets the parents to play the games with their kids, then it's a good thing. Otherwise, pointless.
  • 7 Hide
    bustapr , January 3, 2013 4:22 PM
    i think its ok to have a conversation with kids to not dothe crazy shit in games, but taking away games and destroying them because you dont have the balls to have a conversation with your kid is and stupid.

    I find it really hard to believe that most pissy parents still complain about game violence and ignore thatevery game sold in a reputable store has a rating. If theres an M, 18+, or similar rating on the box, then its probably a good idea to not let your kid play it. From my experience, M rated games are NOT sold to kids, they are sold to parents or other adults(at least thats how its always been at my local gamestop).

    I was a kid who at age 10 got a copy of GTA:VC for christmas. I did all the most disgusting things in that game and I had fun doing it. I still do it in GTA 4 and similar games. I never once considered or even thought of doing any of those attrocities in real life. Kids arent stupid, they know that its bad to run over people in real life and they know that a game is a game.

    After the sad shooting in sandy hook, I remember there being an old guy who got on a stage and ranted against video games citing a 10 year old flash game that was extinct until he mentioned it. I believe the game was called "kindergarten shooting". this guy was the very example of an idiot taking advantage of a horrible moment to promote his hate. Theres no way in the world that after 2 days of a disaster youd go on a stage and blame games by citing a flash game hidden in the depths of the internet.
  • 3 Hide
    Prey , January 3, 2013 4:23 PM
    yeeshAh, a story like this on a technology-oriented site. Knee-jerk condemnations of a knee-jerk reaction. Let me tell you who understands WHY any person does anything: Nobody. Nobody in the whole world. And that means that you can't actually say with certainty that video game violence had NOTHING to do with a given action, just like you can't say with certainty video violence had SOMETHING to do with a given action. No one knows. Saying you do know what the cause ISN'T is exactly as much of lie as saying you know what it IS. In fact, probably even more so, since I'd guess a positive correlation is easier to prove than a negative one. What experiment would definitively prove that any given thing has absolutely no effect on any other given thing?That is all.

    I think the reaction on this site is somewhat knee-jerk, I'll give you that. However, this same controversy came up when Doom and Mortal Kombat were in the spotlight. Also violence was blamed on music for a very long time, the kicker is, there is no causation. You can take two variables and find some way to correlate them. Example, number of iPhone 5s on the market and school shootings since then.. both correlate positively, however most can be fairly confident in saying there is no causation there.

    Even if someone were to come out and say.. I played God of War and stabbed someone repeatedly because of this game. Is this stemming from a person with psychological issue, or because the game? Me, I blame that damn iPhone 5.
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