In the wake of not one, but two mass shootings that took place within 24 hours of each other in the United States, President Donald Trump gave a speech that blamed the incidents partly on violent video games. "We must stop the glorification of violence in our society," he said. "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." Other politicians, particularly Republicans and Fox News guests, have joined Trump in blaming video games on the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, but the video game community is fighting back against these accusations.
At the time of this writing, #VideogamesAreNotToBlame is the top trend on Twitter, with over 40,000 tweets and counting. Many critics of the narrative that video games played a role in the mass shootings over the weekend are using the hashtag to point out flaws in the logic. Namely, that violent video games are prominent in many other countries besides the United States, yet the US still has significantly more violent gun deaths.
Some feel as though politicians, like Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, are attempting to use video games to deflect from the real reasons why these mass shootings took place. Putting the debate over American gun rights aside, we can say definitively that the El Paso, Texas shooting was racially motivated, with the shooter primarily targeting Hispanics. Additionally, the El Paso shooter parroted white supremacist conspiracy theories in his manifesto.
Regardless of the evidence, some politicians continue to push the narrative that video games cause gun violence, and it will be interesting to see where we go from here. Trump was shown a video game violence highlight reel last year and even met with top gaming executives, but nothing ever came from those meetings, so it's unclear if any legislation designed to regulate video game violence will ever be written or not.