Marin County in California has decided to one-up the video game industry and create a trade-in program for those in possession of violent video games. Much like a gun buy back program, district attorney Ed Berberian feels that violent video games should be taken off of the streets and replaced with something more innocent, like ice cream. In partnership with Ben & Jerry’s, each video game that is turned in will be replaced with a delicious flavor of ice cream.
Berberian feels that children that are placed in situations where there is domestic violence can carry that experience into adulthood and begin to carry on the pattern over time.
“As we know, domestic violence incidents almost always have children present and these children develop over time imprinted images of the family violence. These children then carry those experiences into their adult lives and often repeat the pattern of violence in their own family units.”
It is unclear how video games are meant to deter domestic violence and the experiences that children absorb from such violence. Many children turn to video games to escape from such situations, allowing them to become the heroes that they are afraid to become in real life, for fear of being retaliated against by the domestic abuse situation. Few children that play violent video games become ravenous murderers or psychological deviants. Instead, their imaginations are expanded similarly to reading an intriguing book or painting a beautiful picture.
Despite the lack of a clear connection between domestic violence and video games, Berberian is going to begin the trade in on October 4, 2014 and continue it each Saturday during October. During a similar exchange last year, which focused on weapons, 857 weapons were traded in for nearly $100 thousand dollars. It is unknown how many video games will be exchanged for ice cream.
Responses on [H]ard Forum focus on ridiculing the event. a poster going by Steve stated the following,
“Okay Mr. District Attorney, I’m on my way down with a violent video game, please have my $59.99 + tax worth of ice cream ready. Oh wait, it’s a scoop in a cup? Yeah, this is going to be a successful program.”
Another poster, AMDGamer, stated his displeasure in Ben & Jerry’s for getting involved,
“I guess I will add Ben and Jerry to my list of brands I will no longer buy for getting caught up in something so idiotic. How about offering ice cream in exchange for the voluntary sterilization of stupid parents? 50 scoops for getting the snip and 100 scoops for getting the tubes tied.”
Another poster, Ducman69, focuses on a different aspect of the event,
“The leading cause of death is obesity, not guns, and yet he hands out ice cream?
Approximately 360,000 deaths a year are attributed to obesity. Approximately 400 deaths a year are attributed to accidental discharge (includes hunting accidents, police discharges, etc), and unless you accidentally shoot yourself, you aren’t LESS safe having a gun yourself in your quick access safe. Guns are used approximately 2.5 million times a year in self-defense, with 92 percent of cases being deescalated by a warning shot or merely brandishing the weapon causing the attacker/invader to flee. As many as 200,000 women use a gun every year to defend themselves against sexual abuse.
Yet here this jerkwad liberal is promoting junk food, the leading cause of preventable death, over self-defense.”
Finally, AaronGrant offers up the question that has been avoided thus far,
“I just want to know how many deaths are caused by video games and toy guns.”
The definition of violent video games is quite vague, so it is unclear of what games they will receive. The exchange could result in a multitude of nearly worthless Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridges due to the violent nature of duck hunting and the destruction of innocent creatures under Mario’s feet. Of course, destruction of those cartridges could result in a price increase to cartridges that still exist afterward. Or, the month could end with a lot of leftover and melted ice cream.
What are your thoughts on the video game exchange? Is Ben & Jerry’s a big enough draw to make it a success?
[Photo Courtesy: YouTube]