Southington, CT. Group Cancels Violent Video Game Return Program

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."

Source: Polygon by way of Avalongod.


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  1. 0
    NyuRena says:

    I know they are in a lot of emotional pain so maybe I was a bit harsh in how I stated it, but jumping to any unsubstantiated conclusion as they did is how we get a great many laws that needlessly restrict people's freedoms and criminalize victimless "crimes".

    The suggestion coming from a, presumably innocent, child's idea does not make it correct to act upon.

    (I upvoted because you kept it civil in the face of my sarcasm. Well done.) 


  2. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    For all we know the boy was put up to it b y his parents or church.

    And this was hardly a discussion, they were going to destroy whatever they got and give the people who turned in games something that was many, many times less the value.

  3. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    When Common Sense Media is calling your program censorship, you know it's a problem.

    On a similar note, Marin County, CA, near where I live, is doing something similar (along with a gun buyback). Only they will not give anyone anything for their games, since they are afraid people would use the money to buy more violent games. Well, they did say they "might" offer $10 to someone who brings in 50 games.

  4. 0
    GrimCW says:

    Still forgetting about them knives, forks, spoons, and hands.

    As well as the worst offenders such as hearts, cars, alcohol, and anything that might cause a person stress.

  5. 0
    Craig R. says:

    As I said before, instead of turning in violent video games, where are the efforts to turn in the things that can and do actually kill people: guns?

  6. 0
    Mrxknown_JG says:

    Hey, they are greving and dealing with an incredible lost near their community. Was it a knee-jerk reaction to point at a cause of something so terrible when there aren't any hints as to the source? Probably.

    But I'd rather there is a discussion about the content of the media with digest than a mindless protection of it.

    I believe this is the same program that was started by a little boy. So I'm not going to blame them for supportting what they boy thought was a good and safe idea.


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