The aftermath of last week’s horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida has seen President Trump blaming video games as a significant contributing factor to the excessive gun violence seen throughout the country. Yesterday, it was announced that he will meet with members of the video game industry to curb the issue.
It isn’t just video games that are under fire for the supposed cause of violent behaviour, as Trump has also called out movies, and potentially by extension all media as a culprit for shaping young people’s thoughts.
“We have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it,” Trump said during a meeting on school safety. “And also videogames. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on videogames is really shaping young people’s thoughts.”
While initially seeming like a deflection, it seems that the Presidential office is running with it as Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that the process will be “ongoing” and is “something that we don’t expect to happen overnight, but something we’re going to continue to be engaged in and continue to look for the best ways possible to protect schools across the country.”
At meeting on school safety, President Trump says violence in video games and movies is responsible for shaping young people’s thoughts: “We have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing” https://t.co/VfXvVkwQmq pic.twitter.com/vbt2t0dhtm
— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2018
There have been many studies into media violence and its relation to real world violence across the past few decades, with no scientific connection being found. The Entertainment Software Association reiterates this in a statement to ArsTechnica that can be seen below:
“The same video games played in the US are played worldwide; however, the level of gun violence is exponentially higher in the US than in other countries. Numerous authorities have examined the scientific record and found there is no link between media content and real-life violence. The US video game industry has a long history of partnering with parents and more than 20 years of rating video games through the Entertainment Software Rating Board. We take great steps to provide tools to help players and parents make informed entertainment decisions.”
It has yet to be revealed when the meeting will take place, let alone the industry professionals that will be attending aside from the placeholder of next week.
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KitGuru Says: It seems that this argument has been going on for as long as I can remember, but as singer Marilyn Manson famously said during Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine “who’s a bigger influence, the President or Marilyn Manson?” It’s a very valid question given the threatening speeches that have been held as of late. Do you think media causes violent behaviour?