The Level of Violence in Video Games & Other Media Is Brought Up Yet Again
President Trump brought up the possibility on Thursday that violent media such as violent video games could be to blame while addressing school safety in the aftermath of a mass shooting that occurred at a Florida high school last week.
Trump said that something would have to done about the violent media that young people consume. “I’m hearing more and more people saying that the level of violence on videogames is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” said Trump. He also pointed to violent films: “And then you go the further step and that’s the movies. You see these movies, they’re so violent and yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved…but killing is involved and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”
This isn’t the first time Trump blamed violent games for mass shootings. “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped-it is creating monsters!” he tweeted in 2012 in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting which had a death toll of 28 people (20 of which were small children).
The President’s comments mirror those made by a U.S. governor last week in the wake of the school shooting in Florida.
“There are video games that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play them and everybody knows it, and there’s nothing to prevent the child from playing them,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin in a radio interview. Bevin described violent video games as media that “celebrate slaughtering of people.”
“There are games that literally replicate and give people the ability to score points for doing the same thing that these students are doing inside of schools, where you get extra points for finishing someone who’s lying there begging for their life,” Bevin said.
Despite much evidence that disputes the notion that playing violent video games can cause people to commit violence in real life, violent games such as Grand Theft Auto or DOOM have always been one of the factors pointed to when people (particularly politicians) want to discuss the reasons why mass shootings happen.
What do you think? Do you agree with Trump and others that say that violent media is to blame for mass shootings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.