President Trump on Monday, Aug. 5, partially blamed video games for the mass shootings over the weekend that left 31 dead and many others wounded.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” the president said during a speech over the shootings on Monday. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.”
“It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”
“Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life. That’s what we have to do,” the president added.
Republican lawmakers also raised the concern over video games.
“How long are we going to let, for example, and ignore at the federal level particularly, where they can do something about the video game industry,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said on Sunday on “Fox & Friends,” condemning the attack as “evil.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shared the same thought with President Trump in an interview on Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” program, saying “Video games dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals or others.”
“We watched from studies shown before, of what it does to individuals. When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games,” he added.
In 2012 President Trump also blamed video games for violence in tweet. “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!”
Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2012
After the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 people dead, President Trump hosted a roundtable discussion with representatives from the video game industry to talk about violence in video games in order to find possible solutions to deal with violence in schools.
Studies relationship between violence video games and gun violence have mixing results.
“The conclusion of the public health community, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values, and behavior, particularly in children,” according to joint statement on the impact of entertainment violence on children, Congressional Public Health Summit, 2000.
But in another study, Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, found no relationship between aggressive behavior in teenagers and the amount of time spent playing violent video games.
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) said gamers who are “characterized by impaired control over gaming” are now classified as suffering from a mental health condition.