A town in Connecticut is holding a drive to collect and destroy violent games, music, and movies in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown. On January 12th, a community group in Southington will host a "Violent Video Games Return Program," where despite the name, it asks people to turn any types of violent media. In return, Polygon reports that they'll get a $25 gift certificate from the local Chamber of Commerce, and the media itself will be "destroyed and placed in the town dumpster for appropriate permanent disposal," probably by incineration. Given how quickly used games lose value (and the even cheaper cost of CDs and DVDs if the same gift certificates are handed out for everything), that's a surprisingly good incentive.
The program echoes a similar effort led by a Newtown student, and like that effort, it's not meant to imply that the shooting was inspired by games. Instead, the group makes a broader statement that "violent video games, along with violent media of all kinds... has contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and is desensitizing our children to acts of violence including bullying." Though the drive has the support of several major local organizations, it does not appear to be officially sanctioned by Southington.
"Our message is fairly simple: have the conversation with your child."
Concerns over games and violence have been echoed by members of Congress and the NRA since the Newtown shooting, and everything from comic books to Beatles records have been burnt as a form of protest during past decades. Southington Superintendent of Schools Joe Erardi, however, insists that this is an independent movement that doesn't necessarily condemn the media it's destroying. "Our message is fairly simple: have the conversation with your child," he says. "If you conclude your child is done with these games, drop them off and let's move forward. That is all."