Over the weekend, the United States suffered another two mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 29 people. The horrific incidents have brought along plenty of commentary from politicians, with members of the Republican party and the US President tying these shootings into the ‘culture of violent video games’.
There have often been politicians speaking out against video games in the wake of violent crime. This time around though, the current US President is pointing the finger, saying that we need to “stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now common place”. Trump’s statement also goes on to say that “it is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence”, and that the US government must “stop or substantially reduce this”.
GOP house minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, pointed the finger at video games too, saying studies have shown the effect of violent video games people’s behaviour and claiming that shooters “dehumanize” people. Dan Patrick, Texas Lieutenant governor also had a few words to say: “There have been studies that say video games impact people, and studies that say it does not. I look at the common denominators, as a 60-something father and grandfather myself, what’s changed in this country? We’ve always had guns, we’ve always had evil, but what’s changed when we see this rash of shooting? And I see a videogame industry that teaches young people to kill.”
Facts are facts. pic.twitter.com/sSEbdYZcgE
— Reggie Fils-Aime (@Reggie) August 6, 2019
Of course, this line of thinking ignores a lot of the facts and the good that video games so. Geoff Keighley, organiser and host of the annual Game Awards shared the touching story of Lual Mayen, who spent 22 years in a refugee camp and used video games to bring the community together to keep hope alive and inspire creative thinking. Lual went on to receive Canadian citizenship for him and his family after being highlighted by the VGAs last year. Of course, there are also the streamers and the communities behind them that donate large sums of money to charity every year, raising millions of dollars to support good causes, like cancer research, children’s hospitals and more.
Former head of Nintendo America, Reggie Fils-Aime, also spoke out about recent comments from politicians, pointing out that most other countries with high per capita gaming revenue have fewer gun-shooting deaths, except for the United States.
I went on Fox News with @DanaPerino to talk about how video games don’t cause real life violence, why this only happens here in America despite gaming and esports played worldwide, and why mainstream media needs to get it right #VideogamesAreNotToBlame pic.twitter.com/FFKxEGK90P
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 5, 2019
Notable esports consultant, Rod Breslau, was also able to get a spot on Fox News to explain the argument against the idea that video games are to blame, shifting the conversation back towards gun control.
So far, no hard plans have been put in place by the US government to actually do anything about the supposed video game violence, so we’ll just have to wait and see how far the current conversation goes.
KitGuru Says: Video games often get dragged into the conversation when horrific incidents like this occur, rather than looking towards other forms of media, or a lack of more stringent gun control. Do any of you think that violent video games lead to real-life violent behaviour?