AUSTIN, Texas — Members of the video game industry are speaking out after President Trump and GOP lawmakers blamed violent games for crime.
- Gamers push back on critics who blame video games for mass shootings
- Say that talking point has been debunked
The statements came after two mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. It’s a common argument made after many recent acts of violence in the United States. After years of studies on the topic, many researchers found years ago no link between violent video games and aggression in teens.
Still, that hasn’t stopped GOP lawmakers and President Donald Trump from listing it as one of their main targets in the country’s fight against mass shootings.
Adam Sessler, former G4 network host and co-founder of gaming analytics company Spiketrap, said he believes that argument is pure deflection.
“There’s something so deeply disingenuous about blaming video games for something that could be dealt with in a far more practical and fundamental ways,” Sessler said. “Especially with the regulation of guns, background checks and all that.”
Sessler said he believed the conversation made more sense in the days of Columbine, when violent video games were relatively new to the mainstream. Now that years of research is available to debunk the link between violent games and crime, Sessler has faith people won’t buy into that narrative.
“It definitely is a more sour note now than it was during the anxieties of the late 90s and early 2000s,” Sessler said.
Joe Vargas, host of The Angry Joe Show on YouTube agrees. He’s made a living off of gaming for 10 years but is still discouraged that this conversation still has to happen.
“It just gets frustrating because we have to do this every time,” Vargas said. “It reminds me when they were blaming rock music, rap music, heavy metal or action movies.”
As Congress is on recess, there’s still no plan from Washington on how to deal with mass shootings or violent games despite many lawmakers calling to end recess early to work on legislation.