Children playing violent video games has re-emerged as a national topic of scrutiny since the Newtown, Conn. shooting which left 28 dead. Now, the nearby town of Southington says it hopes to encourage conversation between parents and kids by offering an exchange program to collect and destroy the games on January 12, Polygon reports.
The Violent Video Games Return program offers a $25 voucher to parents who turns in games they decide are inappropriate for their kids, as well as music and movies (maybe they just wanted the title to have some alliteration). The voucher can be redeemed for other forms of entertainment from members of the Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce, such as tickets to a local water park.
"We're suggesting that for parents who have a child or children who play violent video games, to first of all view the games," Southington School superintendent Joe Erardi told Polygon. "We're asking parents to better understand what their child is doing. Have a conversation about next steps. If parents are comfortable [with their child's gaming habits], we're comfortable."
The organization running the collection, SouthingtonSOS, was careful to note that it isn't specifically linking games to the massacre, nor to any other violent actions. Instead, it said games are part of an overall media climate which parents should be more concerned about--the National Rifle Association had significantly harsher words.
"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," reads a statement from the organization.
Returned games and other media will be snapped, placed in a town dumpster, and likely incinerated, Erardi said.