SouthingtonSOS is hosting a violent videogame return program at the Southington Drive-in next weekend.
The returned videogames will be trashed and participants will receive a gift certificate from sponsors and businesses that are a member of the Southington Chamber of Commerce.
The videogame return program was spurred by the recent shootings in Newtown that left 20 children and six adults dead.
“We are in no way implying that this one issue alone caused this or any other shooting, but collectively it is one that we felt we can do something about,” said SouthingtonSOS member Tony Palmieri.
SouthingtonSOS, a community based, action-oriented task force comprised of members representing agencies, businesses, town officials and other Southington residents, was formed by YMCA Executive Director John Myers after Katrina. The group gathers only in times of emergency and Myers called the group into action following the Newtown tragedy to do what it could to help.
The group has already gathered all the information on the various charities established to aid with the shooting aftermath and has worked to spread the word around town. After hearing that Newtown had already received a great deal of aid, possibly more than they could handle, SouthingtonSOS decided to hold the violent videogame return program to hopefully make a statement about the violence contained within the games and its effects on children.
Other communities, including Newtown, have held such violent videogame return drives.
“Violent video games (stressing violent, not all video games), are a symbol of violence that is easily recognizable by mature adult society as one activity that ultimately condones violence in games as something younger people want to “enjoy”, too,” said SouthingtonSOS member Dick Fortunato. “We have not documented case studies, though there has been research in this area and we certainly need to become aware of more good research. Nevertheless, we raise the question of moving to a kinder, gentler form of healthy pastimes with the intention of building character and moral values rather than the most aggressive forms of competitiveness and amusement which at best desensitize us and immunize us from the compulsion of power through violence in our culture, even if not in killings and murder in extremely aggressive behavior.”
Southington School Supt. Dr. Joseph Erardi, a member of SouthingtonSOS, has sent out a flyer on the event to all the parents in Southington.
The violent videogame return program will take place at the Southington Drive-in on Saturday, Jan. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon.