Connecticut Town Cancels Plans to Destroy Videogames

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.

  • house70
    Sounds like someone realized how retarded the move was.
    How did they decide the goals were attained, anyways? Some sort of "Mission Accomplished" banner? There is no reference to any data collected and processed to indicate that.
    This is a gun-based culture. Guns are not regarded only as tools, they are almost worshiped. That is not going to change anytime soon, so it is not a question IF the next massacre will happen, just WHEN and WHERE.
    Even the best videogame does not stand a chance when compared to any movie in terms of realism. Maybe they should have started with their TV sets. Not to mention the insane amount of media coverage given to these lunatics, turning them into some modern-era public figures.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    freggoTrolling or Spamming ?
    Trying to get extra free space on Dropbox.
  • mrmaia
    I wonder how long will it take for people to start blaming the schools themselves.
  • eiskrystal
    Wouldn't getting rid of the yknow "guns" be better? Until I see a load of kids being mown down with fireballs by someone in a panda/ork costume i'm finding it difficult to see the connection between violent games and random attacks. Nor do I remember completing a game by shooting myself in the head.

    I'm also wondering how this kid focused system would have stopped the 20 year old that sparked this "initiative".
  • happyballz
    Always blaming whatever fits their agenda... games, guns, fatty foods. Have some parenting and self-responsibility for once. No matter what laws are pass you cannot simply "ban" psycho-crazy... unless in some other realm people would be wearing a kill switch with constant monitoring of their actions, tragic accidents will happen. But don't get any ideas government...I rather be killed by a crazies than walk around like an animal-inmate 24/7 any day.

    And all this gun-banning BS... look at numerous lunatics chopping up 25+ people with knives/axes in China... what now we have to ban everything sharp? Ban fertilizer? Ban household chemicals? Anyone thinking that "banning" anything will fix any of these people from future massacres is a naive fool.
  • mage182
    I played whatever video games I wanted growing up (I'm 30). I don't have a problem with my kids playing whatever video games they want because they will know the difference between right and wrong and they'll know that it is just a game, a form of entertainment, not real life.
  • JamesSneed
    Over react much? People doing these senseless shootings are to blame nothing else. People drive reckless/drunk in cars and kill many more people each day. So by this logic we should ban cars. Tougher gun laws or assault weapon bans I could see as a valid reaction but video games, seriously?
  • ddpruitt
    It's amazing how people will get caught up in a frenzy and are willing to act against things they hate in the name of "security". But when it comes to doing something that will make a real difference that requires a little effort on their part they think it's a lost cause or too much work.
  • ithurtswhenipee
    They should burn witches too
  • snwkill
    It all boils down to this... An armed populace is a populace that the government must fear, and respect. As long as government continues to get bigger the more they will push to de-arm its populace.

    The similarities between the United States today and the beginnings of tyrannical dictatorships of history are quite disturbing. People think that dictators barged their way in, in a way they did but the people cheered for them and praised them as saviors when they first came into power.