An organization called SouthingtonSOS is asking residents of the town with the same name to return violent video games in exchange for a gift certificate and has plans to destroy and then burn all the collected material.
The initiative includes the Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the education board of the city of Southington, the fire department, United Way, a number of local churches and city officials.
Their initiative is called Violent Video Games Return Program and all those who deliver their title will get a 25 dollar (19 Euro) gift certificate.
It’s unclear who determines whether a video game is violent enough to trigger the gift certificate reward or whether the title is too mainstream to be a target for the SouthingtonSOS initiative.
On January 12 the town will be witness to the destruction and then the incineration of the collected material.
Joe Erardi, the Southington School superintendent, tells Polygon that, “What happened in our community, very similar to communities across the world, is everyone wanted to do something for Newtown. The SOS convened and we looked at how do we continue to pray and support Newtown and how do we do something perhaps meaningful for Newtown and our own community.”
He adds, “There are youngsters who appear to be consumed with violent video games. I’m not certain if that’s a good thing. If this encourages one courageous conversation with a parent and their child, then it’s a success.”
SouthingtonSOS says that it is not blaming the recent shooting at Sandy Hook in Newtown on violent video games.
The organization simply wants to see parents and children pay attention to the content they consume, especially in virtual form.
Since the Sandy Hook shooting, a bill has also been introduced, which will see official government funds used to study the effect of violent video games, potentially as a basis for future legislation.