US President Donald Trump gathered game industry representatives, as well as videogame critics, early on March 8 to ask their opinions on how violence in the sphere of digital entertainment might affect children and push them into commit acts of mass murder.
He started by showing them a video, featuring examples of violence in video games, commenting on it with the question "this is violent, isn’t it?" The move was not well received by advocates of stricter gun control in the country, with many of them claiming that the president is trying to shift responsibility for mass shootings away from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
#Idoit & soon to be ex-president #trump @realDonaldTrump and #NRA @NRA is trying to distract the #GunControl #GunViolence debate by blaming #videogames & #videogame playing.— Gary Braden (@bradengw) 8 марта 2018 г.
I'm 57 and have been an active gamer since 1975 (Think PONG)
Don't believe the BS spewing from his mouth
The #NRA and Trump are using #videogames as a bugbear to shift the attention away from #guncontrol. The link between video game violence and shootings is tenuous at best. The link between guns and gun violence is, well, kinda strong. #NeverAgain #GunControlNow— 7 Things Oracle (@7ThingsOracle) 8 марта 2018 г.
Trump is going to blame #MassShootings, AGAIN, on #VideoGames (instead of where it belongs: #Guns, the #NRA, and their cult of irresponsibility).— Dr. Joseph Santoro (@Joseph_Santoro) 8 марта 2018 г.
Here’s why he’s wrong, AGAIN…https://t.co/yiPEU2vjiX #tech #games, #gamers #VG #GamersUnite #TechPolicy #VR #AR #dctech
Twitterians living in Canada joined the fray to throw in some statistics showing that while they have the same interactive entertainment as Americans do, Canadians don't kill so many of their fellow citizens using guns each year.
#Trump’s #NRA Copout Answer 👇#Canada has the v same movies, music, #VideoGames, lvl of #MentalIllness yet we don’t hv #MassShootings (3 I think?)— Brravehart 🦁💗 (@Brravehart09) 25 февраля 2018 г.
Meanwhile just across ur border—often just miles away like in Vancouver or Toronto & our #Children hv NEVER HAD #ActiveShooterDrills https://t.co/UnLhNfC1QE
Some Twitter users noted that so far, no scientific proof has been found for the alleged link between violence in videogames and violence in real life. Some users added that they play a lot of games, but have still not killed anyone.
As a researcher and child of video game era, violence is in NO WAY caused by games. It's caused by immoral people who are discouraged from acknowledging sin and seeking Christ and instead told to trust their feelings…#Truth #videogames trump— Kevin Krahenbuhl (@DrKrahenbuhl) 8 марта 2018 г.
I've played all kinds of video games since I was a child — countless kills in COD, CS, Battlefield, Fallout, Skyrim, MGS and beyond. Yet, no kills in real life. Is there something wrong with me? #Trump #videogames #deflectingfromtherealissue— Alex Young (@dudeyoungy) 9 марта 2018 г.
Access to weapons and the skill required to use them does not come from gaming with a mouse or twin stick controller. Most relying on this will pick up a gun and be totally unaware of what will happen once the trigger is pulled and the destruction caused after.— Masters Of Nothing (@MastersONothing) 9 марта 2018 г.
The idea that videogame violence is adversely affecting young minds has been circulating in the public sphere for decades, often popping up in wake of a new mass shooter being found "guilty" of playing violent games. This was, however, quite possibly the first time that the media in the US took the other side, not blaming the games industry. Instead, it was Trump who focused on the videogame factor.
So far, scientific studies on the connection between playing video games and becoming more violent in real life have yielded controversial results. While some of them showed that certain correlations between the two really do exist, others have failed to find proof for this assumption.