President Trump's comments obscure the real problem with video game culture




    - Over the weekend, two deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio claimed the lives of more than 30 people, reigniting debates about gun control and the uncurtailed rise of white supremacy. To date in 2019, there have been 255 mass shootings in the US. This time, though, it feels different.
    - The shooting in El Paso, Texas, in particular, appears to be racially motivated, occurring just weeks after US President Donald Trump suggested that elected Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar should "go back" and "fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came." Both are US citizens. Weeks after "send them back" chants began to ring around Trump rallies. These shootings reflect years of divisive political discourse and a disturbing growth of online racist rhetoric that is increasingly resulting in terrifying and tragic real-world consequences. 
    - It's in this context that Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy decided to blame video games.
    - On Aug. 5, Trump called for regulation of "gruesome and grisly" video games that he argued contributed to the "glorification of violence in our society." McCarthy said that "video games that dehumanize individuals" were partly to blame for America's very real problem with mass shootings.

    The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

    - Let's state the obvious from the outset: video games aren't the reason two mass shooters tragically took the lives of 30 plus individuals last weekend. Research indicates that video games don't cause violent crimes and almost certainly have no connection to mass shootings.

    - It's almost a waste of oxygen to give credence to these claims (or defend them) and, in 2019, completely bizarre that anyone, let alone the president of the United States, would try to make those arguments.

    - Right now the hashtag #video games are not to blame is trending. Over 100,000 plus tweets defending the sacred cow. Once again it feels like we're traveling back to a different age. Gamers backs pinned against the wall, feeling like the victim of a smear campaign, fighting back, preaching the gospel, completely ignoring the fact that if video games have the power to positively change behaviours, they also have the power to negatively impact behaviours. And that's fine. That's totally fine.

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