Video Game Return Has Community’s Attention

Members of SouthingtonSOS are continuing to move forward with a violent video game return program on Saturday and the concept has drawn both positive and negative responses. Updates will be provided at a press conference today, members said.

When members SouthingtonSOS designed a violent video game return program, the ultimate goal was to spark a community discussion regarding the accessibility of violence to youth through various media.

They never anticipated the response that the program would receive.

The proactive collection, which aims to open a discussion between parents and children regarding violence in video games, has caught the attention of an entire nation, sparking discussion on whether the concept is a good idea or an overreaction to the Newtown school shooting that left 26 dead. Members have remained silent since announcing the program – but that will change on Wednesday.

E. Richard Fortunato said Tuesday that the organization and participants in the violent video game take back program will come together for a public press conference at the Southington Municipal Center at 10:30 a.m.

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“At that time, we will provide you important news of the progress and status of the Violent Video Games Return Program recently initiated by SouthingtonSOS,” Fortunato said in a press release.

The program, which is open to residents from throughout the surrounding area, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Southington Drive-In on the Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.

Representatives will be available from 9 a.m. to noon, collecting games and providing gift certificates to places in town in exchange for the violent games said local businessman Charlie Cocuzza. Violent games are loosely defined as any game that features graphic violence and could desensitize children to violent behavior.

Since the program was initially announced, it has gained traction on a national stage. On Monday, the HuffPost Live hosted a discussion on the subject with a mixed panel that showed opposition, support and neutral views on the collection.

Keith Young, New Haven Board of Education member, said he believes the program will provide a ripple effect that will create positive discussions and results nationwide.

“I’m not going to say it’s the video gamers fault, the onus is on the parents,” he said. “If this is going to ripple into something positive, let’s try it and see. Southington is on the forefront and this is something I think should be going on in every community.”

Still others disagreed, saying the collection will send the wrong message and allows parents to differ some of their responsibilities.

“At the end of the day, they are your kids. Does someone have to pay you $25 to get you to do something positive for your kids?” asked Paolo Romanucci, Huffington Post blogger.

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