Town Hopes Burning Video Games Will Help End Senseless Violence

fireThere is no question that 2012 was a frightening, violent year in America. What is up for debate is how to stop it from continuing into the new year. Well, one Connecticut community about 30 miles outside of Newtown thinks it has the answer. Southington is planning a violent video game burning.

An organization called SouthingtonSOS started the Violent Video Games Return Program and is giving residents a $25 gift certificate for games that feature shooting, fighting, and other brutal crimes. Then on January 12, the entire town is invited to watch as the cartridges are put in a massive pile and burned. But I have to ask, can you really fight violence with a big bonfire?


“What happened in our community, very similar to communities across the world, is everyone wanted to do something for Newtown," a Southington school superintendent told Polygon. "The SOS convened and we looked at how do we continue to pray and support Newtown and how do we do something perhaps meaningful for Newtown and our own community.”

I hate to say it, but I'm seriously skeptical this will make a difference. First of all, getting people to part with games that cost them upwards of $50 is going to be hard enough as it is. But on top of that, I am not sure what this really accomplishes. Yes, it will spark conversation about the issue -- which is one of the stated goals of the program. But are video games really to blame for the violence that plagues our communities? It's hard to see this leading to a drop in the crime rate with all the guns still on the streets. (And as a quick aside, will burning these games release any toxic chemicals into the air?) 

All that said, at least Southington is trying SOMETHING. ANYTHING. That is certainly a lot more than other communities are doing. Fingers crossed that it leads to meaningful change in some way, shape, or form.

Do you think burning violent video games will help?


Image via benwatts/Flickr

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