Following the recent tragedies that took place in the United States, the discussion of violent video games being the cause popped up once again. This even led to Donald Trump blaming "gruesome and grisly video games" for adding to the "glorification of violence in our society," despite video games not being exclusive to the United States. That said, the Entertainment Software Association has officially responded to these claims and criticized Trump's remarks, mentioning how video games not only contribute to society, but are also played worldwide.
"More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games, and billions of people play video games worldwide," an ESA spokesperson said. "Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the U.S." They then went on to say how "Video games contribute to society, from new medical therapies and advancements, educational tools, business innovation, and more."
Trump's claims have garnered the reaction from many industry professionals, including God of War director Cory Barlog. "Wait...that's it," Barlog said in a tweet. "Violent video games and mental health? Not the high powered weapons of war being sold to civilians by the millions that are actually being USED to carry out these acts of domestic terror??"
Wait...that's it??? Violent video games and mental health? Not the high powered weapons of war being sold to civilians by the millions that are actually being USED to carry out these acts of domestic terror??— Cory Barlog 🎮 (@corybarlog) August 5, 2019
This, of course, is not the first time that violent video games have been blamed for yet another senseless tragedy to take place in the United States. Even Hilary Clinton called for the ban of mature games sales to minors back in 2005, saying, "We need to treat violent video games the way we treat tobacco, alcohol and pornography. If you put it just really simply, these violent video games are stealing the innocence of our children — and it is certainly making the job of being a parent even more difficult."
In regards to the latest mass shootings and the discussions that are taking place because of them, Clinton had this to say:
People suffer from mental illness in every other country on earth; people play video games in virtually every other country on earth.
The difference is the guns.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 5, 2019
Needless to say, something has to change, but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with video games, no matter how much people want to believe that it does.
[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]