Last week SouthingtonSOS, a group comprised of Southington, Connecticut community organizations announced a violent videogame buyback program, where citizens could deposit violent games into what basically amounted to a trash bin for a gift certificate provided by local merchants. Those game discs would be snapped and tossed in the trash…
The idea of the program was to get parents and children to throw away their violent video games – which some in the small Connecticut town felt were a factor in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December. The program had plenty of support locally including the Southington chamber of commerce, the local YMCA, the board of education, fire department, a number of the town's officials, the United Way and local clergy.
But in the days following the announcement of the program some experts were critical of the idea; the parenting editor at Common Sense Media likened the collection and destruction of video games to censorship, and Texas A&M International University researcher Christopher J. Ferguson wrote the group warning them that their efforts might cause more harm than good. Many editorial writers and advocates saw the buyback program as the equivalent of an old time book burning.
With all that pressure, the group decided that they would not host the Buyback program after all this week, but a spokesperson for the community organization called their efforts successful because it raised awareness about violent media, reports Polygon.
"We succeeded in our program," said SouthingtonSOS spokesperson 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. So we deemed it became unnecessary to have the physical return on Saturday of violent games. Also because it would create an unnecessary amount of logistical details for us."