Southington, Conn. community leaders announced today that they have canceled plans to collect and destroy violent video games, among other forms of media. The group held a press conference this morning during which a spokesperson explained to Polygon that they have achieved what they set out to do, making this weekend's event unnecessary.
"We succeeded in our program. Our mission was to create strong awareness in Southington for parents and families and citizens and children. And we accomplished that," spokesperson Dick Fortunato said. "Our other objective was to promote discussion of violent video games and media with children and with the families at the home. And we've accomplished that in spades. So we deemed it became unnecessary to have the physical return on Saturday of violent games. Also because it would create an unnecessary amount of logistical details for us."
Announced last week, the event would have seen volunteers assemble at the Southington Drive-In on January 12 to accept any video games, CDs, or DVDs parents or children wished to get rid of. These games would have been destroyed, and each family would have received a gift certificate to a local restaurant, the Lake Compounce amusement park, or a bowling alley.
The idea was conceived just weeks after the December 14 schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn, which left 20 children and six adults dead. Southington is a 35-minute drive from Newtown.
Discussion around violent games, and other forms of media, has taken off since the deadly shooting last month. Earlier today, New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) said on national television that violent video games must be examined as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce gun violence in the United States.
Additionally, National Rifle Association vice president Wayne LaPierre said at a press conference last month that violent video games like Bulletstorm and Mortal Kombat were partially to blame for the shooting. California senator Leland Yee called this claim "mind-boggling."
Earlier in December, West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller introduced a bill to Congress that would direct the National Academy of Sciences to investigate how violent games and other such programming affect children.
What's more, US Vice President Joe Biden will meet with representatives from the video game industry this month to discuss the role of violent games as part of a wider task force looking into the role of violent media in mass shootings.