Donald Trump has blamed “gruesome and grisly video games” for America’s recent catastrophes, but Japan is proof that the medium doesn’t cause violence.
Despite how far video games have progressed over the years and how they’ve become a form of art equal to movies, books, and music (for which they incorporate all three), the industry always seems to come under scrutiny pretty much every year for supposedly encouraging violence. We’re now over halfway through 2019, and the circle of life has repeated itself with the USA’s President, Donald Trump, having blamed the medium for two recent and diabolical massacres in Texas and Ohio. However, if video games were truly the devil’s work, then why are there no mass shootings in Japan or anywhere else?
It’s always difficult covering politics with video games because you’d much rather talk about the upcoming excellent titles coming this August 2019 and beyond, but sometimes you’re forced to because of idiotic comments that have no evidence and insult the industry.
Developers, publishers, and famous names in the video games industry have justly spoken up for their peers and magnificent creations, and it’s clear that America should look at themselves instead of blaming video games for another mass shooting in their country.
Donald Trump blames video games, yet there are no mass shootings in Japan
The recent massacres in Texas and Ohio left at least 29 people dead, and the unfortunate events has resulted in a grieving nation in which its President has deemed video games culpable.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” said Donald Trump via CNN. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.”
“It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this and it has to begin immediately.”
On top of this, House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, said that video games “dehumanize individuals”.
“The idea of these video games that dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others — I’ve always felt that is a problem for future generations and others. We’ve watched from studies shown before of what it does to individuals. When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy suggests that studies have evidenced a connection between video games and violence before, but there is no such studies.
The Department of Media and Technology Psychology at the American Psychological Association stated two years ago that there is “scant evidence” for there being “any causal or correlational connection between playing violent video games and actually committing violent activities.”
In addition, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive, Strauss Zelnick, has rightly pointed out that “entertainment is consumed world-wide… but gun violence is uniquely American.”
Gamepressure further notes that if there was a link between video games and mass shootings, then Japan and South Korea would see the same amount of barbaric massacres as the USA. Yet they don’t despite 60% of Japan’s population enjoying the medium on a daily basis.
As noted by Esquire, there’s a poll which shows that Japan sees little to no gun violence at all, with the nation’s overall murder rate only being 0.3 killings per 100,000 people; a mere fraction of the USA’s 5.3 per 100,000.
Video games aren’t to blame for the recent massacres in Texas and Ohio, and they’re an art form that doesn’t encourage violence similar to music, books, and movies. If they did, then it wouldn’t just be America to suffer from so many avoidable catastrophes.