The misdirected attack on violent video games continues in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting. After the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a West Virginia senator called for action against violent games, the Connecticut community of Southington is encouraging local families to trade violent games in exchange for restaurant gift certificates.
According to the Hartford Courant, on Jan. 12 Southington-based volunteers will begin accepting any video games parents or children want to relinquish in exchange for a gift certificate to a local restaurant.
Those games will reportedly be destroyed.
Charlie Cocuzza, who is Southington’s chamber of commerce president, says it’s part of an attempt to “stop the violence in our community.”
Although the people behind the trade-in initiative say they’re not blaming violent video games for the recent Newtown shooting, they’re certainly not defending those games, either.
“We’re not saying the use of video games causes people to become murderers, but there’s evidence that it causes increases in aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and desensitization about actions of violence,” noted Susan Saucier, Southington’s director of community services.
It’s not clear exactly which studies Saucier is referring to. One also wonders why, yet again, violent video games are being weeded out in a culture that wholeheartedly embraces violent movies and television shows.
Meanwhile, Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy has reportedly appointed a team of experts to make recommendations on how to improve public safety in the state.
Here’s hoping Malloy takes a close look at gun control before wasting any time blaming video games.