Donald Trump met with lawmakers, video game executives, and parents groups to discuss violent video games. Afterwards, the White House released a montage that was mocked quickly.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Even ardent Trump supporters are upset over his violent video games stance

Even pro-Trump people don't like his focus on video games.

 

Andrew Wyrich

Internet Culture

Published Mar 9, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 10:19 pm CDT

President Donald Trump met with gaming industry executives, parents, and lawmakers on Thursday to discuss violent imagery in video games as part of a series of discussions in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed last month.

During the meeting—which was closed to the press—some tried to persuade the president to consider regulations on video games aimed at making it harder for children to purchase them, according to the Washington Post.

After the summit ended, the White House published a video on its official YouTube channel showing graphic scenes from several popular video games.

“During today’s meeting, the group spoke with the President about the effect that violent video games have on our youth, especially young males,” the White House said in a statement, adding: “These video game scenes have been found on YouTube. They contain extreme violence, intense gore, and criminal behavior. Content is not suitable for children. Use caution when viewing.”

According to the Post, Trump opened the meeting by showing the montage, asking the group: “This is violent isn’t it?”

Shortly after it’s release, the video was quickly mocked and criticized, as Trump has reignited a long-ago settled debate about violent video games. Their connection to real-world violence has been debunked numerous times in the past several decades.

In 2014, one study showed that “no evidence was found to suggest” that violent video games led to aggressive behavior. The study, by Villanova University researcher Patrick Markey, found that “many of the results were suggestive of a decrease in violent crime in response to violent video games.”

Breitbart writer Charlie Nash seemed to think the White House’s violent video games YouTube montage received such a substantial dislike ratio on YouTube because supporters of the president vehemently disagreed with him on his stance regarding violent video games. As of Friday morning, the video had 858 likes on YouTube compared to more than 24,000 dislikes.

“For those who are scoffing at my claims that Trump could lose his substantial youth base over his attack on gaming, look at the dislikes on the White House’s “Violence in Video Games” video. Sure some of these are people who never supported him, but a good percentage are not,” Nash wrote on Twitter. “The White House never gets this sort of ratio on their videos. A large number of these dislikes are people who have typically supported him.”

Nash wasn’t alone in criticizing the administration’s violent video game response.

On r/The Donald, a feverish pro-Trump forum on Reddit, one user posted a link to the White House video and asked: “How can we convince Trump that video games are not the problem?”

Reddit

While YouTube comments are known to be less-than-insightful, a surprising number of well-reasoned arguments sprung up under the White House’s video.

“Before video games, it was comic books. Before comic books, it was rock and roll. Before rock and roll, it was movies. Before movies, it was novels,” one user wrote. “No matter the year, no matter the issue, there will always be a scapegoat, and there will always be fools who try to blame media for acts of violence.”

“If killing someone in a game makes me a murderer, does playing Dr. Mario make me a pharmacist?” another person wrote. “This sad excuse for propaganda is just more proof that the Republican party is literally some of the most disconnected people from society.”
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*First Published: Mar 9, 2018, 8:27 am CST