In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, a town in Connecticut is hosting a "Violent Video Games Return Program" to collect and destroy these titles. Despite the name, this extends to all types of violent media, and the local Chamber of Commerce will give a $25 gift certificate in return for any submissions.
To be held on January 12th, the SouthingtonSOS group say this program is not meant to be construed as statement declaring that violent video games were the cause of the Newtown shooting. Rather, 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," they have commented in a press release.
"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." While this maybe true, it's fair to say that the knock-on effect of the NRA speech can be felt, and the oddity behind this idea is more than evident.
"Our message is fairly simple: have the conversation with your child," Southington Superintendent of Schools Joe Erard says. "If you conclude your child is done with these games, drop them off and let's move forward. That is all."
This is a fairer option, which brings to light the metaphorical grey area in what many people perceive to be a 'black and white' topic. Studies and reports argue both for and against violent media having an affect on children; but at least parents are now getting some of the responsibility, instead of the law (hi Jack Thompson).
Could we see something like this in Britain?
Source: Southington (PDF)
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.