We’ve previously documented the way the media has blamed video games in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Once it was revealed that the killer was a fan of Starcraft, a relatively non-violent strategy game, the age old witch hunt began again from blog posts to full-on segments on CNN. Then the NRA came out and blamed specific games as having a role in the massacre, and saying that in fact more guns would have helped prevent the shooting. We spent many days debating the differences between video game violence and gun violence, but today the issue takes new relevance.
According to Polygon one Connecticut town, Southington, is now combining the idea of gun buybacks, where people are paid to turn in their firearms, and the age-old ignorant tradition of book, art or album burning from decades or even centuries past. The group SouthingtonSOS has organized an event that will offer people a $25 gift card to turn in their violent video games, which will later be broken and ultimately incinerated. The group explains their plan, saying it’s not blaming video games for the massacre, but they’re a bad influence nonetheless:
“The group’s action is not intended to be construed as statement declaring that violent video games were the cause of the shocking violence in Newtown on December 14th. Rather, SouthingtonSOS is saying is that there is ample evidence that violent video games, along with violent media of all kinds, including TV and Movies portraying story after story showing a continuous stream of violence and killing, has contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and is desensitizing our children to acts of violence including bullying. Social and political commentators, as well as elected officials including the president, are attributing violent crime to many factors including inadequate gun control laws, a culture of violence and a recreational culture of violence.”