News Article

A Connecticut Town Wants to Buy and Burn Your Copies of God of War

Posted by Katy Ellis

Hand 'em over

A small town in the state of Connecticut has called for families to participate in a drive to rid the area of violent video games following the devastating shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school. The 'Violent Video Games Return Program', instigated by the SouthingtonSOS, urges families to give up their M-rated games, films, and CDs in exchange for $25 gift vouchers. The collected content will then be destroyed.

The group argues that many youngsters are "consumed" by violent video games, and that by ridding their town of violent media they are giving their support to the community of Newtown and doing something meaningful to stop future tragedies. The program also hopes to raise awareness about the "dangers" of playing video games.

SouthingtonSOS noted in an official statement that the drive is not condemning video games, or blaming the medium for the massacre at Sandy Hook on 14th December, but that it believes violent media contributes to aggressiveness and desensitization to violence.

What's your opinion on violence in video games? Let us know in the comments section below.


User Comments (23)



Splat said:

They are rated M for a reason and yet alot of these same parents buy the games for their kids anyways. Who's fault is that?



get2sammyb said:

@Splat To be fair, one of the group's aims is to encourage interaction between parents and children about the content of M-rated games. While I feel that the overall motion is a bit extreme here, I do think that's a good thing.



Splat said:

@get2sammyb - That's great I'm all for that. It just bugs me to see a parent buy their 10 year old GTA,GOW,AC ect and then turn around and blame the game for something.



Gemuarto said:

Most games with violence are very idiotic and stupid..... God of War, for example. But violence in Last of Us, Resident Evil 4 and Killzone looks cool. So I don't know what to think about violence. Most games that I like have violece, thogh.



Epic said:

Meh some people will just give their copies that they don't use anymore to get some giftcards.



Kayoss said:

Really god of war is what they are after... What happen to call of duty, battlefield, far cry, and other shooters? Games that actually have gun violence??
What happened in Connecticut is a very very unfortunate thing but at the end of the day, the kids exposure to violence comes down to parents responsibilities. How do these under age kids obtain these violent games? The parents. If game is to be blame then you must also blame the internet, YouTube, and television because are easy access to violence. That's why there are ratings and precautions for all games, shows, and social media. I'm a parent and I will never blame for my child's behavior if I do then I'm just admitting my failure as a parent. Getting rid of games will not do no good because there many other thing out in this world where violent is portrayed.



FuzzyYellowBalls said:

I only play Mario games so I run around hopped up on 'shrooms all the time instead of shooting others. It works for me.



FuzzyYellowBalls said:

@Gemuarto violence should never "look cool," as you said. It should always be looked upon in a negative light. There is absolutely nothing cool about violence.



Ginkgo said:

I have many thoughts/strong beliefs around this topic and don't really want to post an essay here. However, I would say a few things:

Anything that promotes education, open dialogue and greater awareness is good. I wholeheartedly endorse.

As a parent of 3 kids, it is my responsibility to guard carefully my children’s activities. Video Games, TV, Movies, YouTube, Internet sites, songs and video clips, news stories, which piano/swimming teacher they go to etc. Ratings exist for a reason, and it is important that parents are aware and heed ratings for all media.

As far as I am aware, although much resource has been done, no causal link has ever been established between violent video games and real world violence. Many violent people play violent games, but that does not imply that the games caused or even encouraged their behaviour.
As far as I am aware, although much resource has been done, no study has shown that the interactivity of video games makes violence (or sexual content etc) any more influential than TV, Movies or even books.

Certainly visual, written and oral media can influence people. No question. However, I personally believe that on the whole the content of games (as well as TV, movies, books etc) are a reflection of society rather than the other way around. People seek to read, watch, play what interests them.

I don’t believe that video games should be limited to children or teens themes. Games are a valid medium to explore adult themes. However as with any medium when more mature themes are involved, it is important that the appropriate safeguards are in place.

I was a strong supporter of the introduction of the R18+ rating in Australia for games. Not because I necessarily want to play more violent games, but because there are some games that deserve that rating. Many today slip though under MA16+ and because there was no 18+ rating system, it gave the false impression that games are only for kids/teens. I once saw a mother try to buy Saints Row 3 for her 10 year old son. I don’t think that she even realised that games could have adult content, like on film.

I have ranted enough already…



Ginkgo said:

From the footage I have seen, I think that the violence in the Last of Us is some of the most disturbing that I have ever seen in a game (due to its realism). Hand to Hand fighting, where people struggle and take time to die.

I personally think that is appropriate. The violence fits with the genre (post apocalyptic survival), and the realism shows that you are taking a life. it is never something comfortable or desirable. It is only done when necessary, and when it can be avoided (sneaking away) that is always the preferable option.

Violence can be used appropriately as a device to explore characteristics of human behaviour. William Golding did it brilliantly in Lord of the flies. Would you kill to save your or your child's life if there was no other choice? It is possible to do what is necessary and hate yourself for it at the same time, which is the impression that I get of Joel.

It is an adult game with adult themes and should be treated as such.



Zombie_Barioth said:

While I understand where they're coming this is rather extreme. By this same logic they should be doing this with guns too, cause guns can kill people. Its not the kids' fault they're able to play those violent M rated games that they can't even purchase without an adult in the first place. There have already been studies showing theres no connection between violent media and behavior, but that doesn't mean certain types of people wouldn't be more drawn to them in the first place.

I'm not against violence but I don't think it should be glorified either. Something people often overlook with GTA and it's spin-offs is while there is a lot of mature content the game doesn't encourage you to run around guns ablaze'in, the wanted system actually gives that route consequences too and encourages you to be more discrete. Thats how violence should be handled but you don't need actual violence to make a point either, even Nintendo games have subtle hints that can be overlooked by kids but noticed by older players (particularly older ones).



charlesnarles said:

Rofl turtlelink. Yeah what a crock! Video game violence is a joke compared to real-world atrocities that are actually happening to people. It's sad that folks are so focused on what their kids do virtually, that they forget there are real kids having to suffer through violence first hand on an incomparable scale to freaking playstation games. Srsly, Conn.?!



theblackdragon said:

People do strange or seemingly-irrational things during the grieving process. It's okay, it's how they're trying to deal with it, and no one's being forced to participate. It's not anything self-destructive, and if their goals are met (getting parents and kids to communicate more when it comes to violent video games), so much the better. The 'but such-and-such is worse!' arguments only go so far when you're that close to the epicenter of a horrible tragedy; just let them work things out on their own. It's no skin off your noses, and things in CT will go back to normal in their own time.



Scrible said:

Maybe they should burn the TV shows Dexter, Criminal Minds, and How I Almost Got Away With It, since they all show different ways to actually commit murder, and I'm sure dude got the idea to killkids in a school since Kratos does that in all the GOW games with the numerous guns he had in



hYdeks said:

very...very...stupid. Americans people and what they come up with for solutions are beyond hilarious



Gamer83 said:

Sounds about right, here in America we always need to blame something. There can be no personal responsibility. It's not parenting and it's not that maybe some people are f'ed in the head, nope it HAS to be video games (or music or movies or tv, etc).



Superconsole said:

Crime and murder is unfortunately as old as time, and therefore pre-dates media like films, music and video games. Homicide rates have declined over the years that the popularity of video games has increased. It's a bit naive to believe that violence in the media plays absolutely no part in real life violence, but it's crazy to think that video games instigate crime.

As Sammy says, in a way it's good that this town is alerting parents to the age ratings and mature content of media and thinking about the impact of violent material more, but the National Rifle Association blaming the shootings on video games is absurd. Surely handing over firearms would do more to lessen crime rates?



bauckster said:

@Gingko I complete agree with you. Thanks for posting such thoughtful comments.

"As far as I am aware, although much research has been done, no causal link has ever been established between violent video games and real world violence. Many violent people play violent games, but that does not imply that the games caused or even encouraged their behavior."


"I personally believe that on the whole the content of games (as well as TV, movies, books etc) are a reflection of society rather than the other way around. People seek to read, watch, play what interests them."

And this. Well stated!



Samholy said:

burn the witch!
this is seriously a problem. society shouldnt encourage townsfolk to burn things they dont like. ridiculous.

last night, i saw a lion on discovery channel, eating a zebra ALIVE. Its was trying so bad to escape the lion,but it failed so many times... having its body mutilated and eaten chunk by chunk...
i would like to ask you people to hunt lions cause they are cold blooded killers. For every lion you capture and burn ,and you will get 25$ coupons to macdonalds.

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