BY ZARE NARIC: White House representatives recently held a meeting in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. President Donald Trump took the opportunity to address the nation and express his condolences for the 17 lives lost. Unfortunately, he once again failed to mention the real issue and instead blamed video games for the tragic incident.
Trump expressed concern that video games are becoming more and more violent nowadays. He then went on to say that violent video games are shaping young people’s minds. It’s worth mentioning, however, that Trump didn’t cite any sources or present evidence for these claims. Instead, it seemed like the president was simply speculating based on some rumors he heard, which is unsurprising.
Sadly, the fact that assault rifles continue to be readily available all over the US was once again ignored. It’s interesting to see, however, that we are reverting back to the 90’s when video games were blamed for everything. Violence is certainly a big part of video games, which made the medium an ideal scapegoat almost since its inception.
Video games are indeed tied to some cases of real-life violent behaviors, though nothing involving school shootings. In fact, the victims are most often gamers themselves. Online rivalries between gamers can sometimes lead to real-life confrontations, though things rarely get physical. In extreme cases, “swatting” is also used either as a prank or as a method to hurt streamers.
So, Is There a Link Between Video Games and Violence?
This debate has been around for a few decades now, however, we rarely hear about it anymore. The reason for this is quite simple. There is no sort of clear evidence to suggest that playing video games can lead to violent behavior. In fact, quite the opposite is true in most cases. Playing video games is actually a great way of blowing off some steam.
Older readers might remember that rock music and violent action movies were also blamed for inciting real-life violence. However, there’s no reason to believe that any form of entertainment can lead to things like mass shootings.
If what Trump says were true, one would assume that school shootings would be commonplace by now. After all, nowadays video games are more popular than ever and are being played all over the world. Instead, the US is the only country where this is a real issue so maybe the problem lies elsewhere.