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Crime United States Games

Connecticut Group Wants Your Violent Videogames — To Destroy Them 449

Posted by timothy
from the world-is-a-strange-place dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes with this excerpt from IB Times: "The Sandy Hook shooting once again raised the debate about how much power violent videogames wield over teenagers. Following proclamations from the National Rifle Association and the establishment of a study by the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the psychological effects of violent games on children, a group in Connecticut is now having its say Southington, a town 30 miles from where the shooting took place, is offering gift tokens in exchange for violent videogames, as well as other violent media such as DVDs or videos. The group, called SouthingtonSOS, said in a statement: '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.'" And Yes, they plan to destroy the traded-in games. (Note: Beware the obnoxious auto-playing video ad with sound; adjust volume accordingly.)
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Connecticut Group Wants Your Violent Videogames — To Destroy Them

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  • by Ogive17 (691899) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:17AM (#42461985)
    I'd be willing to give up some of my old titles that I no longer play if they'd give me more value than gamestop...
    • by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:39AM (#42462271)

      Then you run into the same problem as people trading in broken or useless guns to the gun buyback:

      By turning in your property, you effectively endorse their political cause. They get to say that "X number of people turned in this filth to get it off of our streets and out of our schools!". Personally, I'm not willing to become part of their cause and make that value of X going higher at any cost.

      If you actually do find their message convincing then by all means turn in your games.

      • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:04PM (#42462663)

        Then you run into the same problem as people trading in broken or useless guns to the gun buyback:

        By turning in your property, you effectively endorse their political cause. They get to say that "X number of people turned in this filth to get it off of our streets and out of our schools!". Personally, I'm not willing to become part of their cause and make that value of X going higher at any cost.

        If you actually do find their message convincing then by all means turn in your games.

        But if you use the reward you get from the group to directly support the opposite of their agenda... did you really help them? For instance, using the gift token to buy a new FPS game.

        I would like to think they would somehow arrange for the reward to not be able to be used in this way, but groups like this tend not to be terribly forward thinking.

        • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:50PM (#42463385) Homepage Journal

          Yes you do. You need to think emotionally and politically.
          No one is gong to track what you spend your token on. They will just count the number of games Point at the pile and say 'See!' why won't you DOOOOOOO something!'

          No different then book burning.

          • by Jawnn (445279)
            Well..., no, because the problem isn't books, or games. The problem is bad parenting. Period. A violent book, or video game, by itself isn't the problem. The problem is the absence of a parent or other guiding influence to provide perspective and help the child understand the difference between books, games, movies, etc. and real life. I shit you not - I know of one case where a young man nearly cost his friend his life. They had a disagreement of some kind and the solution was to "Just shoot him a little."
        • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:57PM (#42463497) Journal

          Lately they've been doing gift certificates to grocery stores and such, but completely forgetting that money is fungible - money I suddenly didn't have to spend on groceries is freed up for buying, well whatever else, including guns. That's the thing, though. Unless the trade-in doesn't involve money or any tangible good, it become a fungible item.

          I think that the anti-gun lobbies and authorities who host these things could have benefited from consulting any divorce lawyer when it comes to the subject of all things fungible, no?

          • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:49PM (#42464229)

            Lately they've been doing gift certificates to grocery stores and such, but completely forgetting that money is fungible - money I suddenly didn't have to spend on groceries is freed up for buying, well whatever else, including guns. That's the thing, though. Unless the trade-in doesn't involve money or any tangible good, it become a fungible item.

            I think that the anti-gun lobbies and authorities who host these things could have benefited from consulting any divorce lawyer when it comes to the subject of all things fungible, no?

            Either that or you can simply assault someone with a banana.

    • by Chewbacon (797801)
      I'd drink to that just so GameStop would hopefully get their heads outta their asses over their pricing schemes.
    • I'd be willing to give up some of my old titles that I no longer play if they'd give me more value than gamestop...

      I would gladly give up a slew of DVDs that have violence in the films.

      The one thing I can't do is get rid of the violence through the news that I've been slammed with my whole life. I can't 'undo' that one with a trade-in...

      I wonder if they even care about movies, or if maybe they've watched enough movies that they think it is only video game violence that matters... I dunno. It seems stupid to think violent video games would be any more of a problem than violent media in general. I have a Twista album on

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:20AM (#42462013)

    People should play more pinball.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:27AM (#42462101)

      NO! Pinball is too violent.
      The little steel ball was resting comfortably when you put in the coins, then sart your abuse with hitting it out of its rest. This is followed by continuously slapping the ball with paddles and propelling it into walls! All the time, the ball is just trying to get back to the safety of its home, but NO, you keep batting it away.

      The only civilized game is Canasta, because I'm not sure how to play it.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I'm sure The Who would approve of that.

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:21AM (#42462027)

    They can have my violent video games when they pry them from my cold dead hands!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:21AM (#42462037)
    Clearly, the only solution is to install a violent videogame playing security guard at the entrance to each school.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    1. Create a simple violent video game
    2. Buy a large set of cheap DVDs and burn it on them
    3. Exchange DVDs for a set of gift tokens
    4. Profit!

  • hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davidmcg (796487) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:29AM (#42462123) Homepage
    I'll believe that video games result in violent behaviour the day when someone gets arrested for mass murdering pigs by hurling various birds at them.
    • by boristdog (133725)

      I kill all my victims by dropping anvils on them from cliffs, or handing them a stick of lit dynamite. I learned it from violent cartoons.

  • After a few rounds of Flower (by thatgamecompany) I know I'm ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence.
  • I have long thought attempts to do this kind of thing were stupid and intrusive.

    But think, those of you with kids, how many times have you refused your kids desire to watch a program because it is too violent? If you are any kind of parent, then that happens often. Desensitization [killology.com] is a long time practice in the military and kids watching/playing violent shows/games is very similar to the process the military goes through.

    I think it's time that this subject is given a hard look. Unfortunately, any solution

  • Don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LiquidMind (150126) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:31AM (#42462175)

    i really REALLY don't get this obsession with linking violent video games to violent behavior. Take yours truly:

    Born in 1980, I played all the big titles: From Wolfenstein, Doom, Solider of Fortune, to whatever latest titles are out (I can't remember what all the Call of Duty flavors are called, but you get the idea). Hell, I even designed Doom and Half-Life levels based on my old high school (shit, don't tell anyone or they'll come after me next!!!)

    At some point in my 20s, I joined the Marines for 4 years, so I know how to use a rifle.

    Neither before nor after my service have i EVER had violent tendencies that made me go on a shooting spree. I deal with stress every day (Hello IT, working for an international liquor company that needs to be up 24/7) yet I still score normal blood pressure numbers.

    I just don't get this obsession. There are always a few nuts. The rest of us are fairly well-adjusted.

    Stupid media. Stupid fear-mongering. Stupid people.

    done ranting now.

    S/F

    • Re:Don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rokstar (865523) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:59AM (#42462567)
      The obsession isn't anything new, the target is just different now. Used to be that comic books were the cause of all moral decay in america's youth. Go far enough back and i'd put good money that someone thought opera was the reason for violent crime. So just remember that you don't understand this obsession when holographic vid novels are dragged through the mud as being responsible for all of societies woes and maybe we can break this stupid cycle.
      • FYI the first time Beethoven's 9th symphony was played in public it caused riots.

        Symphonies inflame the emotions and should be banned.

    • Re:Don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LanMan04 (790429) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:02PM (#42462621)

      Hell, I even designed Doom and Half-Life levels based on my old high school (shit, don't tell anyone or they'll come after me next!!!)

      Heh, I did the same thing with Bungie's Marathon II and their level/physics editors 'Anvil" and "Forge".

      Now I'd get expelled for talking about it. So sad.

    • i really REALLY don't get this obsession with linking violent video games to violent behavior. Take yours truly:

      Born in 1980, I played all the big titles: From Wolfenstein, Doom, Solider of Fortune, to whatever latest titles are out (I can't remember what all the Call of Duty flavors are called, but you get the idea). Hell, I even designed Doom and Half-Life levels based on my old high school (shit, don't tell anyone or they'll come after me next!!!)

      At some point in my 20s, I joined the Marines for 4 years, so I know how to use a rifle.

      Neither before nor after my service have i EVER had violent tendencies that made me go on a shooting spree. I deal with stress every day (Hello IT, working for an international liquor company that needs to be up 24/7) yet I still score normal blood pressure numbers.

      I just don't get this obsession. There are always a few nuts. The rest of us are fairly well-adjusted.

      Stupid media. Stupid fear-mongering. Stupid people.

      done ranting now.

      S/F

      You became a professional soldier but you don't see that as an expression of your violent tendencies?

      Step back from yourself for a moment and think about that.

      • Re:Don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PhxBlue (562201) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:12PM (#42463667) Homepage Journal

        You became a professional soldier but you don't see that as an expression of your violent tendencies?

        Step back from yourself for a moment and think about that.

        Oh, bullshit.

        People join the armed forces because it's a job with a regular paycheck. They join because the military offers some sweet medical benefits. They join because they want to go to college without spending the rest of their lives in debt. They join because they had family members in the military.

        And some of them join because they believe the Constitution and what it represents matters enough to risk their lives defending it.

    • Re:Don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:08PM (#42462729)

      I just don't get this obsession. There are always a few nuts. The rest of us are fairly well-adjusted.

      THIS. A thousand times.

      Look -- I think the gun control crowd basically has one legitimate point that is nearly triviailly weighed against. My bias declared up front.

      But there's been school shootings for at least four centuries. Their frequency is likely easily plotted out with some basic statistical physics or similar applications. The "epidemic" is so insubstantial as to be boring to everyone but CDC types with a moral obligation to treat it as such.

      But I don't even need science for this, just memory and a bit of knowledge of history.

      Before I was born there were witch trials, pogroms, purges, mccarthyism.... and all of these were in reaction to *shit happening* (although not necessarily caused by the victims of these activities)

      In my relatively short lifetime there's been panic over D&D/satanism, rock & rap music (remember tipper gore?), trenchcoats (after columbine), pedos, terrorism, and I would claim drug use. Every five years or so we need a new internal societal threat.

      These might all have a legit correlation with some form of violence. I really don't know (or care -- if they are or aren't correlated is immaterial to me, they mostly fall under the guise of the 0th freedom of thought).

      But people want to find a way to understand bad things happening. They will latch on and clasp desperately to God, to an outlier, to anything to explain the 'senseless' violence they see rather than admit we are big dangerous apes with a thin veneer of civilization.

      To point out anything not them that they can collectively engage in risk-free destruction of in part of the big orgy of lynchmobbery -- ideally through the tyranny of the majority driven through by the rifles of the government and their easy taxy dollars. Because this is how civilized white people destroy things -- with a pen stroke instead of a rioting mob.

      And that is really all that well-adjusted means.

      BRB, gonnna watch some CNN and Fox....

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      i really REALLY don't get this obsession with linking violent video games to violent behavior.

      Well, for starters, exposure to anything desensitizes. It's why the military uses the same games to train soldiers these days - because they know the first kill is hard (many get ill or sick), but by desensitizing them to the violence and reducing the value of life to a mere statistic, when ordered to shoot and kill, they most likely will.

      That's the most tenable and demonstratable link to violence in videogames to

  • They'll be prying my copy of Battle Toads from my cold, dead fingers.
  • Opportunity (Score:5, Funny)

    by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:46AM (#42462373)

    Someone needs to set up and publicize an NRA-branded parody site offering a guns-for-games exchange where the site offers free firearms in exchange for violent video games.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Whatever the generation in power didn't grow up with becomes the Bogeyman. In the 60s through the 80s it was that Devil music Rock And Roll. In the 90s it was Rap. Now it's Violent video games. After violent video games I'm sure it'll be something else to blame for the problems in society.

    People just have bad memories and think when They Grew Up, it was some golden age. Nope.. no societal problems in the 50s or 60s. No Sirrr-ee.

  • It's been my experience that when kids can work out tension playing these games they tend to be better off in real life than the kids whose parents won't even let them play cops and robbers, let alone have a toy gun.
  • Maybe the temperature needs to be a bit higher than 451.

  • They're all fucking mentally deranged morons. And since they are against entertainment media (and basically freedom of speech and expression) while apparently the killer wasn't, I conclude that violent video games are not the common correlation here. It's dumbasses. I'd rather see the country rid itself of them, send them away for "disposal," but that will of course never happen.

  • "Rather, SouthingtonSOS is saying 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.

    The "or" means it could contribute only to a single one of them and the entire statement would still be true, but totally meaningless. Furthermor

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      Id like to see their ample evidence. But I like how they list a half dozen potential causes, but only plan on doing something about one of them.
    • by DavidTC (10147)

      I find it hilarious they think children are desensitized to bullying.

      That's hilariously stupid on so many levels. For one thing, if kids were desensitized to bullying, it wouldn't be bullying! Secondly, it's the goddamn adults who refuse to pay any attention to bullying, at least until the person being bullied snaps.

  • All the crappy FPS shooters and worthless ancient violent games that I have filling up my bookcase since 1992, I can give to these guys and I'll get CREDIT that I can use toward some other game that I might actually want??
    (No I didn't read TFA, I'm not going to that site, thanks.)

    LOL, let the great shovelware crap-pile commence!

  • I can destroy any such games myself - eg, while videoing the happy process - without paying any postage.

  • Game companies like this because it takes traded in games off the market and so they'll sell more new games. This only serves as an inducement to make more violent games.

    So, giant failure.

    Even bigger failure is that there is no correlation between video games and violence. There are countless studies, but I like this fact: Japan has 0.6% as many gun deaths as the US.* I wonder if they play video games over there?

    * 10.2 per 100,000 per year in the US vs 0.07 for Japan according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

  • Is there any evidence whatsoever that the recent shooter even played video games at all? I hate these people. Bunch of fucking reactionary idiots. We have these shootings because we've created gun-free target practice zones for anybody who wants to ignore the sign and shoot up the place. There have always been and will always be crazy people willing to kill a lot of innocents. This shit just happens now because we've given them ample opportunity to cause an extreme amount of damage without any hindranc
    • Honestly, it doesn't matter. Video games are so prevelant... it's hard to find anyone 35 or under that both (A) does NOT have a violent video game in the house and (B) hasn't played violent video games in the past. You might as well blame bottled water: chances are you either have a bottle somewhere in your house or you've at least drank some in the last X years.

      It's like when Jack Thomson proclaimed during hours one of the school shooting a few years ago before the police released any details or went to

  • by phamlen (304054) <phamlen@nOSPAM.mail.com> on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:28PM (#42463063) Homepage

    I will just point out that I've been through this before with the scares in the 1980's around "Dungeons and Dragons". Which was considered then a clearly dangerous game - after all, children who liked to pretend that they lived as heroes in a violent universe killing monsters would clearly grow up to be violent maniacs. As we now know, D&D is mostly dangerous in terms of "if you let it slip that you like D&D, the jocks will beat you up." and the theories that D&D would teach the children to be violent have been (largely) refuted.

    -Peter

  • I don't blame them for thinking as such, but that's because they are desperately in need of doing something to somehow make sense of the terrible tragedy of Newtown. But taking away violent video games will not solve the problem. Heck, define violences to begin with? some of the old disney and warner bros cartoons at some point were deemed to violent to be on TV. No, the solution isn't avoidance of violence, but rather, guidance. Educate our kids what is fiction and what is reality. Nobody wants to adm
  • Will they be happy if I send them 300 copies of Planetside2? There's a lot of shooting in that one.

  • by minstrelmike (1602771) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:03PM (#42465211)
    There are 3 types of gun-owners imo.
    1. Hunters. I am not worried about them. I've confronted armed hunters in the woods. They have actually killed and eaten living things and understand death.
    2. Video-gamers. They point and click and pretend-kill things. I am not worried about them even if they own a gun because real life shooting is not anything like gaming. (I suspect most don't own a gun at all which is why I don't count them in this list)
    3. Sport shooters who frequent ranges. These assholes scare the shit out of me. They have never killed anything at all so aren't actually familiar with the destructive capability of their weapon. In addition, they are intimately trained in its use and they _like_ to shoot.
    4. Scared citizens who buy a gun for protection. These guys aren't too bad but do cause most of the gun destruction in the US, either simply by having a gun int he house to make it easy for suicide and accident or by having it in reach of some angry guy whose girlfriend just broke up with him and now he's gonna make her pay along with anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity.

    As far as the NRA proposal, if we suggested putting an armed guard at every single school in Afghanistan, would that be a sign we are winning the war there or losing it?

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