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Crime United States Games

Connecticut Group Wants Your Violent Videogames — To Destroy Them 449

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

    People should play more pinball.

  • 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 @11:25AM (#42462077)

    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!

  • 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.


  • by pollarda ( 632730 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:32AM (#42462199)

    After all, they are asking people to voluntarily turn in their video games which people are free to do -- or not. This stands in stark contrast to those who would ban violent video games entirely and who would most likely support video game confiscation and for those who really want to play violent video games, background checks and registration. By requiring registration, it ensures that some newspaper will publish a map as to who owns violent video games or not so that violent video game owner's friends and neighbors may demonize them.

    Meanwhile, I'll burn a stack of CD's that I can turn in for a stack of coupons.

  • 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 dcollins117 ( 1267462 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:45AM (#42462359)
    While I understand the impulse to "do something" in response to the Sandy Hook shootings, I'm bewildered that this is the issue they've decided to pursue. It's quite simply a misdirected effort that will have absolutely no effect to curtail further mass shootings.
  • by Fuzi719 ( 1107665 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:56AM (#42462519)
    So what of all those children in other Western countries who watch the same movies and TV shows and play the same video games and have nearly the same access to weapons as do Americans, yet they don't go on violent rampages with the frequency of Americans?
  • 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.
  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:01PM (#42462603)
    While initially (and likely) harmless, such events echo a dark past. The US has a long history of 'voluntary' destruction of scapegoat media which, if they latch on to a big enough moral panic, end up exerting significant social pressure on people to 'volunteer'. They also tend to have the problem of parents (or other quasi authority figures lik significant others) getting caught up in the hysteria and destroying their children/partner's media for them. They can actually have a pretty corrosive force.

    And of course there is the effigy element of it. Even if other locals do not give up their media, knowing that a group is going around collecting for destruction something you consider important can be a bit unnerving... esp if they start using actual bonfires.

    Thus, stuff like this in isolation seems harmless, but can tie in to a larger pattern or even become bigger themselves.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:01PM (#42462605)

    Boy youd think once I proved 100% without a doubt that video games dont cause violence that it would be the end of the discussion. But Ill do it again and anyone here is free to re-use my points all they like and copy/paste them as needed allover the internet.

    1- If video games cause violent behavior, I mean truly caused violent behavior then every person who ever played a violent video game would be going out and commiting shootings right now. Considering that call of duty black ops 2 released not long ago and sold 11.22 million copies in 7 days, so that would mean there would be 11.22 million out there commiting violent crimes right now, but guess what? There arent over 11 million shootings going on right now and why is that? Because games dont cause violence if they did then every single person who played a violent game would become violent, but that isnt the case at all.

    2- If violent games are the source of school shootings and violent behavior then someone please tell me this. Which call of duty game was it hitler played when he exterminated millions of people? Was it Doom that charles whitman played when he got a rifle and shot all those people at the texas college in the 60s? Or what game was played by the man who killed his wife, set fire to his home, then went to a school and blew up like 50 little kids in the year 1927 in bath township michigan? You see, violent behavior and school shootings/bombings have been around WAYYYYY before video games ever existed, hell violent behavior has existed since long before even electricity.

    So there you have it, 2 simple statements that prove video games do not cause violent behavior.

    As an added bonus I will also say this. Get rid of religion. If you get rid of religion thousands of lives will be saved every year and people will generally be much happier. Hitler, the crusades, all the senseless killing in the middle east for hundreds of years, planes flown into the twin towers, the fact that stem cell research is doing amazing things now but christians cock blocked it for decades and if they hadnt imagine how much further we would be now if they didnt hold it back, and well I could go on and on and on and on about all the negative things religion has brought into our lives. So I say, religion causes more violent behavior than video ever could. I say religion causes more violence, hatred, judgemental mentalities, sadness, ignorance, pain, suffering and death than anything ever has in the entire history of mankind. So if you want to single out one paticullar thing to get rid I say religion would make the most positive impact on our society and the world.

  • 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....

  • Re:Haw (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:08PM (#42462739) Journal

    Jocks go on to become executives, lawyers, and politicians. Social outcasts might shoot up a movie theater every year or so, but it was jocks who got us into Iraq and caused civilian casualties in the hundreds of thousands.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:21PM (#42462945)

    But the sandy bridge shooter didn't play violent video games... He played star craft.. His brother was the one who did, so the media thought he did the shooting. They blamed the shooting on the wrong person because the media is retarded.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday January 03, 2013 @12:48PM (#42463355) Homepage Journal

    WTH? the top of my post was cut off.

    "The NRA has said clearly video games are the reason..."

    The NRA is full of memeber who ahve no wish to actual confront this issue. It would mean better socialized health care(pubs HATE helping people) and a serious look at the that data about gun control. Something they stop wanting about 15 years ago when the data very clearly shows a decrease in killing when guns are severly restricted. And the data continues to support that year after year.
    The used to just looka t UK data. Hand guns were outlawed in '97. Since there wasn't an immdeiate and distinct drop in crime the moment the were outlawed the NRA said that didn't work. But as guns were removed and the culture changed, fewer homicides.
    You see then is every 1st world country that enforces strict gun control. Every. Single. One.

    I mean Buy more guns! it hasn't fixed a damn thing in 50 years, but that's becasue you have bought enough guns! PLUS there is half a sentence when taken out of context gives you the right!

    For the sake of oneness: I am an ex-NRA member. 30 years ago, all this emotional and 'obvious' arguments seemed to make sense. .. but the data doesn't actual support it.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT 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.

  • 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.

  • by aevan ( 903814 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:18PM (#42463753)
    Dunno..sounds like would have the opposite effect: shooter goes to NRA convention, pulls out gun, gets off two maybe three shots...then is gunned down himself by everyone there.

    End Totals:
    Sandy Hook: 30 dead + gunman
    NRA: 2 dead +gunman

    On the other hand could end up with the world's largest bloodbath as people miss, hit the wrong people, people have no idea who the original shooter was, and they all just fire at anything remotely threatening (i.e. everyone else).
  • by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:31PM (#42463981) Journal

    I don't care if people criticize video games - I'm opposed to people demonizing video games, when the facts seem to say otherwise. In regards to video game related crime, from [] website:

    As videogames have become more popular in the U.S., violent crime has decreased dramatically, particularly among youth.
            In 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General found that: " was extremely difficult to distinguish between the relatively small long-term effects of exposure to media violence and those of other influences."
            In the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report on school violence, Lessons Learned: An FBI Perspective School Violence Seminar, they include a school shooter profile listing thirty factors that may be indicators of potentially devastating violent acts, but the FBI excluded playing video games from that list.
            In a four part series on rampage killings, the New York Times examined the influence of media on offenders' actions and found: "While the killings have caused many people to point to the violent aspects of the culture, a closer look shows little evidence that video games, movies or television encouraged many of the attacks."

    Incidentally, something like 2 days later a guy kills a couple of firemen with the same gun (a Bushmaster .223) and the guy is obviously not a video game player, but we won't mention that anywhere. Another guy shoots up a shopping mall and also is not known to be a video game player, so no talk of what caused his craziness. Suddenly the media hears "the shooter is a video game player" and Jesus is on the fucking cross and video games are to blame.

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

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @01:33PM (#42464023) Homepage Journal

    It proves that the military believe this link exists.

    Actually, it doesn't even prove that. It proves that the military believes the games are useful for training in some way--which might be making trainees more willing to kill, or it might be improving their reflexes or their tactical awareness, or it might just be as a morale-boosting tool for a generation of recruits who grew up playing the games. Personally, having served as both an infantryman and a medic, and having become very familiar in the latter capacity with what the consequences of real-world violence look like, I'm deeply skeptical that even the most realistic modern video games will do much to "desensitize" anyone to actual killing.

  • by Sentrion ( 964745 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @02:01PM (#42464397)

    You wouldn't need a gun, just a firecracker and a turban on your head.

  • 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?
  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:17PM (#42465399)

    While a misunderstanding could lead to a bloodbath, the reality is that almost everyone who doesn't hightail it out of there will hit the deck, find cover, draw their weapons and threaten to shoot anyone they don't know who moves towards them. It would be the biggest Mexican standoff ever recorded, but if no one went literally nuts, it would probably be stable until the police arrive to disarm everyone.

    More guns could cause problems in a crowded area, but a great deal of people who might be at those conventions are probably trained and experienced in the use of firearms and they wouldn't necessarily be unable to do threat identification. Not to mention you'll probably get at least one off-duty cop in the mix.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @03:37PM (#42465613)

    Heh... Yeah, it'll require a cultural shift...just not the one you're thinking.

    You and every other person on this planet, you're an animal. With the requisite biological drives. Yes, you're intelligent. It takes more intelligence and willpowwer than most have to override those impulses from the biological drives. Violence happens to be one of those impulses- it's found all throughout nature and it's because of our very intelligence that we have levels beyond most of the other animals on this planet. To tell yourself that you can change it by just by altering the "status quo" or yanking everything like the other fools want to is to lie to yourself that you don't have to deal with those impulses and give them alternate paths to express themselves.

    What is needed to remove the violence is to get rid of notions that we're "better" than this and find productive (or at least less counterproductive) outlets for the impulses. Increased participation in sports, for example. More actual violent games so that people can safely express the violence. That sort of thing.

    What about the people that "snap"? Well, people know the crazies for what they are- but we do nothing about them because of the same sorts of lies we tell ourselves about the violence, etc. If you own that there's a clear-cut definition of what is/isn't really sane (and there really IS one...) and care for those that're insane appropriately for their and everyone else's safety and well-being, you'll have less incidents.

    You'll never rid yourself of the violence so long as there's groups of humans on the planet, but you can be HONEST about that and do better things than we're currently seeing people proposing.

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend