In the wake of a violent weekend across the United States where 29 people were killed in mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH, President Trump and other GOP leadership has placed at least some of the blame on violent video games in recent public addresses.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grizzly 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,” said Trump.
The President’s comments suggest that there may be legislation introduced that would try to curb the sale of violent video games and it could be sooner rather than later. These comments from the President follow-up on a similar sentiment from the Lt. Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick. Who in the wake of the El Paso shootings had a similar rhetoric.
“This was maybe a video game to this evil demon. A video game to him. He has no sense of humanity, no sense of life. He wanted to be a super soldier, for his Call of Duty game,” Patrick said about the shooter. “As long as we continue to only praise God and look at God on a Sunday morning and kick him out of the town square at our schools the other six days of the week, what do we expect?,” said Patrick in an interview with Fox News.
An alleged manifesto had been circulating over the weekend from the El Paso shooter who opened fire in a crowded Wal-Mart with an AK-47 which included references to the popular shooter, Call of Duty. “Remember: it is not cowardly to pick low hanging fruit. AKA Don’t attack heavily guarded areas to fulfill your super soldier COD fantasy. Attack low security targets.” It’s unclear if this manifesto is actually from the shooter or not at this time.
Shares of big video game publishers have dipped following the comments, lagging an already down market. At the time of publication, shares in Activision, Take Two, and Electronic Arts were all down between 5-7%.