This week, the president met with representatives from the video game industry. They discussed the possible link between violence depicted and real events. We’ve been down this road before. The search for the boogeyman has been through music, Dungeons & Dragons, Pokémon, and now back to video games again. As always, the cause of gun violence is anything but guns. The meeting at the White House was a closed session, not open to reporters. No point or conclusion was met.
Past studies have shown that there is no connection between gaming and actual violence. People are not heading out on shooting sprees after gaming sessions any more than they gardened after playing FarmVille. The most popular games, like Call of Duty and Overwatch, are played all over the world. Same with movies. In countries where guns are not so easily obtained, they don’t have the types of mass shootings we have here in the US. Why does the president think only Americans are impressionable when it comes to games? Every time someone says, “Maybe it’s the guns,” the NRA and those they fund start pointing elsewhere.
Are there some games that take things too far with violence? Yes, there are examples that most people would agree are in bad taste and not for younger players. These games come with an established rating system, and the parents should be paying attention to what their children are playing. People love to say that ratings systems should be enforced more strictly, but what would that mean? Should parents be fined or jailed if it’s found that their child was exposed to inappropriate content? If you’re not a fan of big government regulating how you raise your children, then you probably wouldn’t buy into that.
Violence in games is not the problem. Violence in movies is not the problem. Disturbed individuals with easy access to dangerous weapons are the problem. This administration seems to be searching for any party to lay the burden of gun violence on other than guns. It’s hard to take anything at face value from people who take money from the NRA. NBC News reports that Trump’s campaign received about 21 million dollars from the gun lobby. It’s easy enough to find lists on the web of those who receive large contributions from them. Millions of reasons why the violence boogeyman will always be anything but a gun.