The town of Southington, Connecticut is holding a drive to collect violent media, rewarding those who turn in their wares with gift certificates. The fate of the discs? Snapped and burned!
An article on Polygon reports the response of Christopher J. Ferguson, chair of the Texas A&M International University's department of psychology and communication, to the planned burning.
A group of Southington clergy, businesses, and government officials are heading the program and say that it was, "spurred by the mass shooting in nearby Newton, CT." It is their belief that violent media, "has contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety, and is desensitizing our children to acts of violence including bullying."
Ferguson understands what they are trying to do, but says, "there is a real risk in focusing people's attention on the wrong thing, as well as contributing to historical patterns of 'moral panic' that tend to surround new media (often despite evidence media is not harmful, even if it may be offensive)." And furthermore, he says that the group's belief that violent media has all of those negative effects listed above is not true.
He cites another instance of moral panic in our nation's history, which concerned comic books and their effects on the youth, saying they, "caused not only delinquency, but homosexuality." There were even comic book burnings during this time, which was around the 1950's. About 60 years later, the same thing is happening, but with a different medium.
Instead of linking a form of media to a horrific event like the Newton shooting, Ferguson says that parents should talk to their children about the media they consume and get a dialogue going. He also says that you should ensure your child you know that video games aren't the cause of shootings and you aren't, "indulging in this moral panic."
To read the entire article, head to Polygon. And let us know in the comments below how you feel about the whole video game burning thing. We here at Arcade Sushi are pretty sure that it'll be the first time that someone's tried to damage a Blu-ray disc, on purpose.