The United States' reaction to the school shooting at Sandy Hook was a familiar one. Not so long ago, when the Columbine shooting occurred, politicians and parents directed blame at Marilyn Manson's music. Now, the same people who once had their eye on violent music are scapegoating violent videogames.
Last week, Polygon reported that Southington, a town in Connecticut not too far from Newtown, was planning on holding a drive to collect and destroy videogames. SouthingtonSOS, the community holding the drive, claimed that their goal wasn't to attack videogames, but to try and prompt discussions between parents and children. However, should parents be unable to hold a discussion with their children about violent videogames, then the group encourages the parents to bring the games to the drive and destroy them.
Now, Polygon reports that SouthingtonSOS has decided to nix its drive, which was to be held on January 12.
"We succeeded in our program," said SouthingtonSOS spokesman Dick Fortunato. "Our mission was to create strong awareness in Southington for parents and families and citizens and children. And we accomplished that. Our other objective was to promote discussion of violent video games and media with children and with the families at the home. And we've accomplished that in spades."
Fortunato also stated that the drive's trade-in program, which would allow parents to trade in violent media (videogames were specified, but other forms of entertainment could be traded in) for gift certificates for other, more family friendly forms of entertainment, would be a logistical problem. However, the program will honor giving out gift certificates to parents that have opened a discussion with their children. The details on how that will work out is still to be determined, although it'd be interesting to see how parents will provide proof that they initiated any sort of talks with their children.
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Catherine Cai is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, VG 24/7, RipTen, and The Game Fanatics. She has also worked as a lead producer for video game projects, a manager and lighting director for the stage, and a software engineer. Currently, she works as a Production Engineering Manager for Shopify.