A primary school in the Cayman Islands is taking a cue from the German city of Stuttgart and holding an event to round-up and destroy violent videogames.
Scheduled for today, the event seeks to collect and destroy toy weapons and violent videogames as a "symbolic act against violent behavior." School principal Joseph Wallace warned parents against letting their kids play violent games, saying they can have a serious impact on them as they grow older. "Research has showed... that over time, when these kids play the video games constantly... it desensitizes them to the act of violence," he said. "But there's no off button in real life; there's no restart."
The round-up was also endorsed by Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush and West Bay Police Chief Inspector Angelique Howell. "Parents have to be responsible and screen what they are buying for children and what they allow their children to play with," Howell said.
Not everyone sees the destruction of videogames as a worthwhile endeavor, though. "If you have no relationship with your kids and they're locked up in a room with violent video games, I guess you're probably going to have some problems," said Blockbuster Video co-owner Deborah McTaggart. "Do I think we can attribute this to video games? I mean, I don't think the really violent games are good, and there are titles that I don't sell (at Blockbuster). I personally don't like horror movies... But if I don't bring them in, will it stop the violence?"
Her store doesn't sell M-rated games to anyone under the age of 17, but McTaggart said that there was nothing she could do about parents who buy the games for their children. She added that she didn't expect much to come of the school's effort to get rid of the game. "I think you'd have to pry them out of the kids' hands," she said.
The effort is very similar to one held by the Action Alliance in Stuttgart, Germany, in response to the school shootings at Winnenden earlier this year. School officials may not be aware of how that one came to a quiet, whimpering end, however; at the end of the day, only five games (and possibly less) were collected.
Coinciding with the event, parents of children at the school were emailed a list of particularly violent games to watch out for: Resident Evil 4, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, God of War, NARC, Killer 7, The Warriors, 50 Cent: Bulletproof, Crime Life: Gang Wars, Condemned: Criminal Origins and True Crime: New York City. Apparently the Caymans have a little catching up to do.