In fact, each time there is a mass killing, such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month, we are quick to ask whether the perpetrator was a fan of video games — did he play? Was racking up bodies a part of a favorite game? And, in killer Adam Lanza’s case, the answer appears to be: yes, he did play.
In fact, Southington SOS believes these games are so harmful that it is organizing a game collection, in much the same way that cities like Hartford and New Haven organize gun buybacks. Turn in a violent game and receive a gift certificate. Turn in a gun and, potentially, save a life.
Obviously, not every gamer — not even most — turns into a killer. Still, here’s an opportunity to turn back the tide on desensitization. By handing over, say, Grand Theft Auto, we can jump-start a dialogue with our young people. The goal? To ensure that our children are as horrified by true violence as we are, that they see others as human beings, rather than targets, and they know that life is precious.
Will it make a difference?
As Fortunato noted, ‘‘You don’t change the world by pressing one button. You change it by starting an idea going.’’