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Trump Vows to ‘Do Something’ about Violent Video Games

by Countable | 2.26.18

What’s the story?

  • In the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, that left 17 dead, President Donald Trump said Congress must "do something" about violent video games:

"I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts."

Why are video games being blamed?

  • A neighbor of alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz told The Miami Herald that the 19-year-old played violent video games for up to 15 hours a day.

What are politicians saying?

  • Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) said violent games "celebrated death [and] the slaughter of people."

"They have desensitized people to the value of human life, to the dignity of women, to the dignity of human decency. We're reaping what we've sown here," Bevin said.

Aren’t video games regulated?

  • Video games carry age restrictions and are subjected to a rigorous certification process.

What does the research say?

  • Research has shown that countries that spend the most on video games have lower gun-related murder rates than the U.S.

  • The New York Times explained: "In Japan, about 60 percent of the population played video games in 2016, according to NewZoo, a gaming market research company. But almost no one is killed by a gun in the country, which bans possessing, carrying, selling, or buying handguns or rifles."

  • The American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics both warn against children and teens playing violent video games.

  • A few studies have found that playing violent video games makes players more aggressive—but the aggression quickly wears off.

What does the Supreme Court say?

  • SCOTUS rejected the argument that video games cause violence in 2011, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing:

"Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively. Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media."

What do you think?

Do violent video games cause violent behavior? Should there be additional regulations placed on them? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: Niyazz / iStock)

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Written by Countable

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(124)
  • hakrbill
    02/26/2018
    ···

    It’s really difficult to kill someone with a video game. It’s so easy to kill people with guns. Why is this such a difficult concept for people to grasp. Guns are killing scores of innocent Americans!!!

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  • Megan
    02/26/2018
    ···

    Let’s point fingers at anything else so we can misdirect people from the actual issue. I’d rather see an Xbox controller in the hands of a loved one or on my coffee table than a gun any day of the week. Stick to the real issues, Mr. “Fake News” and man up and address them rather than providing useless “solutions” like banning video games and putting more guns in the schools.

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  • Bernie
    02/26/2018
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    Games aren’t the problem. Guns aren’t the problem. People pulling the trigger and the people responsible for punting at every warning sign are the problem.

    Like (25)
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  • RadicalModerate
    02/26/2018
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    By “do something”, I’m afraid the president of the United corporations against Americans means he’ll find a way to make money from violent video games.

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  • Dana
    02/26/2018
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    Isn’t there an age requirement to buy violent video games? I’m not seeing where violent video games are the reason for violent crimes. There are too many people that play these games that do not commit violent crimes. Background checks on guns purchased at gun shows, in my opinion, would help keep some guns out of the hands of those that commit these violent crimes. Possibly. Criminals, though, are known to buy guns illegally, off the streets. No matter how much gun control, that’s not going to stop. Friends and neighbors warned the FBI and local law enforcement about Cruz and they did absolutely nothing about it. So more gun control or more violent video game regulations is not going to do a damn thing in stopping this from happening again if the FBI or local law enforcement don’t take these warnings seriously.

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  • IdiotKid
    02/26/2018
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    Literally, games aren't the problem. Children do, in fact, know the difference between fiction and reality, and if a kids being raised on violent video games, and being told this sort of violence is good, that's a failure on the parents part. If they cannot distinguish fiction from reality, that's a red flag easy to see, and imperative to act on. However, again- failure on the parents part to do anything.

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  • John
    02/27/2018
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    The problem is guns! Video games don’t kill people. Stop trying to find any reason to keep from dealing with the real problem. Stop the slaughter! Stop the stupidity!

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  • Donna
    02/26/2018
    ···

    Now this administration is trying to switch the focus away from the gun industry to the video game industry. Will the movie industry be next? Why is it so hard for DJT and his minions to admit we have a gun violence issue in this country? The WH claims DJT is holding listening sessions to 'get ideas from all sides', but apparently he will only listen to the ones with which he (or his NRA donors) agree. I have watched several of these 'listening' sessions. During the first one last week where the traumatized parents and students asked for comprehensive gun CONTROL measures, DJT heard 'ARM TEACHERS'. Today, when the governor of Washington state said his teachers 'don't want to be armed', DJT turned the conversation to the governor of Texas where this is already in practice. If arming more people with more firearms is such a deterrent to a bad guy with a gun, why did 26 people lose their lives in a church in Sutherland Springs, in the state of Texas? In the end, I do not believe DJT or any member of Congress will do anything meaningful to address our culture of violence. We will have to wait for the next generation - the ones now attending schools locked down like prisons, with armed guards and potentially armed teachers. If this is the type of society you want your children and grandchildren to live in, I feel sorry for them.

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  • Robert
    02/26/2018
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    For every one of these mass shootings they always say it mental illness and do nothing to address mental illnesses, check into it, you will find it very difficult to find treatment. I think parents are more capable to monitor their children gaming.

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  • Conor
    02/27/2018
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    Can you please focus on the real issue and at the bare minimum repeal the dickey amendment so the CDC can research gun violence. IT IS LITERALLY THE LEAST YOU CAN DO

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  • Ashley
    02/27/2018
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    Seriously? So trump is going with the put head in sand method? 🙄

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    02/27/2018
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    First it was to go after the rock bands of the sixties and seventies, then heavy metal, then video games. You are not seeking solutions to the root cause of anything, just blaming, anyone or anything to make it appear as if something is actually being accomplished. Go after Conservatism that brainwashes and places harmful messages in people’s minds and repeats it over and over again until the victim believes anything and everything they hear and may possibly be considered temporarily insane. Help the victims of Conservative ideology and this insanity may cease to exist. If victims were not already damaged from Conservative rhetoric, mediums such as music and video games would not likely be a trigger or a contributing factor to harmful acts, because those victims would likely be living in reality, in which they understand right from wrong, moral and immoral and ethical and unethical. They may also be able to comprehend in school and our education system may function as intended and designed.

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  • Marlena
    02/27/2018
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    There is a huge psychological difference in pulling a trigger and moving a button on a video game. I play video games as do my children. Yes, These video games involve shooting but this doesn’t make me a violent person. Nor does it make me more prone to violence. If video games were such a problem or were so good at training someone to kill then why do our military and police forces not use video games to train. The answer is there is a significant difference. The brain is able to distinguish what is real and what isn’t. There are an entire different set of hormones released when pulling a trigger.

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  • Sara
    03/17/2018
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    So, now we are conflating the video game versus violence meme into a misdirection. Hmmm. You must be kidding. There is research stating that playing video games increases violence and there is research stating the contrary. In any type of research, there are studies which appear to find opposite conclusions. Even if you are not a researcher by trade, please review these studies carefully. No one is necessarily stating that video games CAUSE violence, but I believe, based on clinical observation and research, that there is a CORRELATION between them. Please know the difference. Because I deal with children and adolescents on a daily basis, I g=have seen the effects of video gaming on these younger people, PARTICULARLY when children play games that are not age-appropriate. In those cases, children are more aggressive and violent as they don't always distinguish reality from fantasy. They become desensitized to violence and view it as a normal process. Unfortunately, far too many parents use video games and movies as babysitters to young children without really reviewing what they are playing.

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  • Kevin
    02/27/2018
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    Hey Trump, try again it looks like you misread the memo. Violent attacks are committed with guns, and not by game players. This was a non-issue resolved in the early 90's by Joe Lieberman that lead to the creation of the ESRB. The ESRB provide a rating of game content, for parents and game buyers to decide if the game is appropriate for the player, just like movies are given a rating based on the content in the film. Research studies have found no correlation between playing violent video games and actual violence.

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  • Melissa
    02/27/2018
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    Trump is once again using his magic tricks. Watch this hand while I make this other thing disappear. He is a master ring leader, we are watching a circus. His circus. Ask: why on earth would he make a statement like that?Video games are enormous business, and he likes enormous business. He knows we’re going to focus on that remark and forget about the children and adults that were just murdered at school. Time will pass, our fervor for gun control will diminish but we will still be arguing about fake guns in video games and what to do/not do about it when , spoiler alert, the govt has no control over that, consumers will have to decide. Meanwhile, in the not too distant future, we’ll have another gun massacre and the whole show will start all over. The thing the govt does have control over, will get kicked to the curb again.

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  • Jake
    02/27/2018
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    Video games aren’t the problem, guns aren’t the problem, but mentally altered people who have no regard for innocent lives are the problem. Guns can be bought on the streets with no background check just cash or drugs only fueling the underground market to criminals. Law abiding gun owners don’t want to kill people they just want to protect themselves against tyranny.

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  • Marcia
    02/27/2018
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    A “vow” from Donald Trump means exactly Jack Squat.

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  • Regis
    02/26/2018
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    How about we enforce the gun laws that are already in place instead of just creating more. The answer is not creating more legislation rather actually enforcing them. The problem is that those that shouldn’t have guns and want them will do so regardless of how many more laws are created, to add to that the only ones more laws will affect are those that actually adhere and follow the laws (law abiding citizens) not criminals or those who shouldn’t have them. Look how well anti-drug laws and the so-called “war on drugs” have worked in this country. The bigger issue is straw man purchasing and selling of guns. That is the bigger issue. Those that legally purchase guns and illegally sell them to those whom aren’t able to acquire them legally.

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  • Jasons
    02/27/2018
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    These games are age restricted already. How much more is appropriate?

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