As students of Sandy Hook Elementary School return to school after last month’s mass shooting, a neighboring community is taking some unconventional action in an attempt to prevent further bloodshed.
Community groups in Southington are partnering to host a video game collection drive on January 12, specifically aimed at “buying back” violent video games — an event similar to frivolous gun buyback programs, but for “violent” media:
Organisers [of] SouthingtonSOS plan to offer gift certificates in exchange for donated games, which will be burned. The group, a coalition of local organisations, says its actions do not assert that video games were the cause of the killings in nearby Newtown, but argues that violent games and films desensitize children to “acts of violence”. …
The video game amnesty will take place on 12 January in Southington, a 30-minute drive east from Newtown. The town of Southington has provided a dumpster, organisers said, where violent video games, CDs or DVDs will be collected.
“As people arrive in their cars to turn in their games of violence, they will be offered a gift certificate donated by a member of the Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce as a token of appreciation for their action of responsible citizenship,” the group said in a statement.
Remember the good ol’ days when “responsible citizenship” was limited to voting, paying your taxes and obeying the speed limit? Now, the “responsible” thing to do is apparently to rid our communities of video games by incinerating them — in exchange for money, naturally.
“Violent games turned in will be destroyed and placed in the town dumpster for appropriate permanent disposal.” …
The press release accompanying the announcement said that Southington SOS’s action should not be “construed as statement declaring that violent video games were the cause of the shocking violence in Newtown on December 14″.
What strikes me about this popular blame game is how expectations for parental responsibility continue to diminish. Nowadays, video games come with ratings systems, just like movies. I long for the days when society relied on parents to be responsible enough to keep inappropriate games out of their children’s hands. What the heck ever happened to that idea?