Friday, January 4, 2013

A burning

(NEWSER) - A Connecticut town is getting ready to burn violent video games to protest their "desensitizing" influence on children, the GUARDIAN reports. A group based in Southington, which sits a half-hour from Newtown, is calling on locals to donate their games, DVDs and CDs in exchange for gift certificates "as a token of appreciation for their action of responsible citizenship," the group says. "Violent games turned in will be destroyed" - burned by town workers, according to tech site POLYGON - "and placed in the town dumpster for appropriate permanent disposal."

The town dumpster? How little is this place, anyway?

The group doesn't blame violent video games for the shooting on Dec. 14, it says, but believes such media have "contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and is desensitizing our children to acts of violence including bullying."

My thoughts? A desperate desire to do SOMETHING, even if it is only a knee-jerk symbolic gesture which will accomplish nothing. It also smacks of book-burning, which I don't encourage. No, what I want to see (my personal opinion only) is for the states to regulate video games sold within their borders. Unfortunately that means interstate commerce regulation, a province of the federal government, and perhaps that is what we need to see happen in this country. More than the federal government is doing now. Horrors. Did I just write that?

Is regulation of free speech a lesser evil than mass shootings?

These things are already regulated and come with age ratings on them. What am I missing? Ah. Enforcement of the law. Such is the failing of any good-intentioned law.


  1. I understand what they are trying to say but I'm afraid my immediate reaction was that it would be a great way to replace all your video games and DVDs with new titles if they're offering gift certificates in exchange. It depends on the gift certificate I suppose.

    I don't think it will achieve anything other than preach t the converted. I don't know that age ratings help too much either. An 18 (in the UK) just makes the game or DVD more desirable to precisely the people who possibly shouldn't have them.

    1. I don't think it will accomplish anything either. I was happy for the small effort. I think the certificate is for a car wash.

  2. Great post, short and to the point.

    I have never played a single video game in my life; (I played a cute game called Dangerous Dave on the computer back in the early 1990s and I have a serious Solitaire addiction) so I don't know how violent these games get. I have seen these video games being blamed for a lot of what kids are doing though.

    Mine is probably an over-simplified opinion, but is it not possible that those kids who end up going on killing rampanges are just our natural quoata of psychopaths. Mass killers, younger killers, existed before video games after all.

    1. the games get very violent. The object is often to beat people up or make their head explode in a bloody mess. Some kids fiind it hard to separate this from reality after awhile,I think. And they go shooting up theaters and schools, assuming afterwards the game will simply be over and life will go on.

      I don't think this level of violence existed before. Maybe.

    2. There were DVDs before the games, of the Driller Killer type. Yuck. And I know parents who let their children watch them.

  3. Maybe they should get the organizers of the Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in Chicago years ago to help them really make a statement?

  4. Never mind...someone or other will jump up and down for them polluting the air!

  5. It doesn't do any good to put ratings on them if parents ignore the ratings. The shooting games are really awful. Blood spattering everywhere, targeting human beings in all sorts of horrible situations. Many set up game play so that the player is a bad guy--shooting those trying to stop him (who are also bad guys). Not sure if there are any games where people set out to kill cops or children... but when the goal of a game is to end (virtual) human life, and that is what the child "practices" over months of game play, how much of a leap is it for a person to go further, to do it in real life to increase the thrill.

    Developing a thrill for killing is never something I'll seek to do with my kids, or with myself. No way. But I can't force other parents to do the same.



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