Town Hopes Burning Video Games Will Help End Senseless Violence

Say What!? 10

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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dirti... dirtiekittie

that's so stupid, i can't even fathom how it got approved. (i'm guessing this is a small town community.) video games did not make that a-hole go kill innocent children. they are an outlet, and often a mature one (hence the mature rating). video games are just a target. personally i think the problem is more with parents who expect their kids to be babysat by video games rather than be actual parents. something tells me that many of those parents willing to let their kids' video games be burnt in protest also ignored the giant "M for Mature" rating in the corner of the box. on top of this, yes - - what about those chemicals from burning plastic and cd's? i'm sure that's not exactly earth-friendly. 

yes, they're doing something. just not something very bright. 

nonmember avatar Gundam4ever

This is like a book burning. What next rounding up gamers and putting them in work camps?

Doomy234 Doomy234

Its really come to this? I truly fear for society. How reminscent of book burnings this is... Burning video games will do nothing, they will still exist and will do nothing to hinder violence. And offering a reward for burning them is just sickening to me... Those who are so offended by them, shouldnt have bought them, simple as that. Things have adult ratings for a reason, if you're not mature enough to handle the content, dont watch it, play it, or buy it.

nonmember avatar jfritch

Video game burning seems more than a little archaic in this age of digital download editions.

Vegeta Vegeta

Yo despite how pointless and un-eco friendly (burning tons of plastic? How about recycle them?) I think I might head to that with all my games that gamestop would only give me a couple bucks to trade in lol. Is it 25$ total or a piece?

2cent... 2centsCDN

If its per game, thats a great deal! LOL

nonmember avatar katie

Give me a break. They're like the moms in South Park. BLAME CANADA! & burn all their stuff

Nelli... NellieAthome

All of this reminds me of Nazi Germany

Don't like the ideas - ban the item or burn the book

Ban guns ( Hitler was a big fan of disarming the civilian population )

Blame every bad thing on the "outsider" (The Jews in Germany - illegals and Hispanics in 21st century USA)

He who ignores the past is doomed to repeat it.....

wamom223 wamom223

I think its dangerous to sit a three or four year old down in front of a very mature and very violent video game but I don't blame the game I blame the parents.  I have seen some children that seem to be disconnected with reality due to over gaming or playing games that are over their maturity level.  Again I don't blame the game, I blame the parent.  This demonstration will prove nothing except that these people are as dumb as the ones blaming guns.  I know who to hold responsible for what happened in Newton only I refuse to say or write his name.  If we want to blame anyone or anything else it should be a system that doesn't take very good care of its mentally ill.

nonmember avatar Amomma

It just doesn't make sense why they are blaming video games when they could be blaming pill heads,more violence come from a pill head than a video gamer...

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