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Video Game Violence: The White House Doesn't Like You Being Mean To Nazis Or Russians

Yesterday President Donald Trump met with representatives of the video game industry, along with pro-gun representatives and chap who had written a paper linking video game violence to gun violence using research that had been debunked by many, many academics. Here’s the press release from the White House.

Today, President Trump and senior members of the Administration met with leaders in the video game industry and experts on violence to discuss violent video game exposure and its impact on our children.  To date, the Administration has led many discussions about how to prevent violent behavior in our schools, with a focus on stopping those intent on committing mass murder.  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 President acknowledged some studies have indicated there is a correlation between video game violence and real violence.  The conversation centered on whether violent video games, including games that graphically simulate killing, desensitize our community to violence.  This meeting is part of ongoing discussions with local leaders and Congress on issues concerning school and public safety and protecting America’s youth.

Please note that “The President acknowledged some studies have indicated there is a correlation between video game violence and real violence,” which only a handful of very dubious studies have concluded, the majority have clearly stated that there is not link and he did not acknowledge that.

Just in case you didn’t know about violent video games the White House helpfully uploaded a video. It features lots Call of Duty including the infamous ‘No Russians’ scene without context, and also features Wolfenstein clearly showing a Nazi getting it in the neck, and then more Nazi’s getting killed in Sniper Elite.

So to be clear, shooting Nazis and Russians is bad, be nice to them else The Donald will be upset.

UPDATE: The Washington Post has more information. Trump is said to be “open minded” but does want to “much tougher regulation” of the video-game industry, adding that video games “needed to be given the same kind of thought as tobacco and liquor.”

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri, showed the clip above and said “Even though I know there are studies that have said there is no causal link, as a mom and a former high school teacher, it just intuitively seems that prolonged viewing of violent nature would desensitize a young person.”

Source: YouTube / The White House

  1. 3shirts
    Since: Aug 2008

    I was reading this article yesterday and it really did put me in mind of the videogame violence argument: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2018/03/06/ad-hominem-attacks-on-scientists-are-just-as-likely-to-undermine-public-faith-in-research-as-legitimate-empirical-critiques/

    Basically people are stupid, suck at even basic analysis or cynicism, and fall for confirmation bias time and time again.

    I am just glad that this latest renewed attack didn’t go anywhere. We are finally reaching a point where kids that grew up with violent games (the argument that they shouldn’t have played them aside) are now healthy functioning adults who, crucially, vote.

    Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 11:17.
  2. Avenger
    Since: Oct 2012

    To be fair, you can’t argue with the content of that video, and some of it I personally find unhealthy (never did play the no russian scene). But anyone questioning exposure to violence needs to look at television and film too. You can’t be picky if you’re looking at how society is getting exposed to certain content.

    Also this doesn’t take away from the fact that America’s issue with gun crime is much bigger than this, like say, guns being legal. I do find it fascinating that there seems to be some sort of vision where Americans can have legal firearms and for there to be minimal gun crime, but that takes them into looking at all sorts of other issues and achieving some near perfectly maintained society which isn’t realistic at the moment.

    I’m not too sure it’s that healthy making a video of blind violence out of video games and then showing it to people on youtube as an illustration. That’d be like showing a video of how easy it is to buy a gun in America and do whatever the hell you like with it, at least by the president’s own claims.

    Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 12:11.
  3. Andrewww
    Since: Jan 2010

    Did anyone expect anything meaningful coming out of this, except for the usual article showing how ridiculous the US administration is these days?
    Of course, this is just a way of diverting attention away from the real problems in the US, the real guns.

    Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 13:07.
    • kjkg
      Since: Apr 2010

      It is quite stunning how far they will go to not actually talk about one of the main contributions to the issue.

      It’s not all guns, of course it isn’t. But I would bet a lot of money that there would be a much larger decrease in gun crimes if they were to ban guns than there would be if they were to ban video games.

      The ability to bury their head in the sand and cover their ears will never fail to amaze, (unfortunately it no longer surprises).

      Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 13:41.
      • Andrewww
        Since: Jan 2010

        Yeah, of course, it’s not only guns, there’s always many factors at play. Still, sometimes I wonder how humanity ever made it this far, if we can’t even solve the straightforward problems.

        Comment posted on 10/03/2018 at 10:49.
  4. JR.
    Since: Apr 2013

    I played WM2 recently for the first time and that Airport level did shock me. I remember hearing about it years ago (when I didn’t like FPS games or COD) and thinking, ‘it can’t be THAT bad.’ But it was actually worse than I’d imagined and I felt genuinely uneasy afterward. I think it probably seems worse now after the recent terrorist attacks like the Bataclan theatre in Paris and the incidents in Las Vegas and Florida. I can’t think of any recent games (or any games since) that included anything quite as shocking, so it’s possibly a one-off.

    I do think these kinds of games can desensitize people to violence. And as a gamer, I’m not offended if there is found to be a link. I don’t feel a sudden urge to blindly defend my hobby because all gamers will suddenly be seen as potential, mass-murdering psychos.

    I also don’t think it matters if it’s Nazis/Russians being killed or not. It’s the simulated act of killing another person, that’s the issue. A crazed shooter probably see’s their victims as being worse than Nazis anyway, especially if they were bullied.

    Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 14:13.
    • JR.
      Since: Apr 2013

      In fact, I’d be surprised if most young people today can even comprehend what Nazis even were. I mean, beyond being ‘bad people’ who killed a lot of Jews in a War a long time ago. Do they even care?

      Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 14:19.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        They do but only the grammer nazis. Personally, I hate the Grammer Communist Party and the Ancient evil that is….. EGYPTIAN GRAMMER! *Imperial march plays* :P

        Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 14:34.
      • JR.
        Since: Apr 2013

        If, only they maid a game who Let – you mow down gramargh natsiz. No juan wood even care and peepul wood go pro gunz.

        Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 16:16.
  5. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    Allow me to point out the biggest flaw of blaming video games and how we shouldn’t demonise nazis.

    THEY. ARE. NAZIS. World War II set stuff will *gasp* feature nazis as the enemy. I mean, unless it’s a really good RPG with a lot of twists in, a game where Nazis are the good guys will never go down well. (Granted, I have just purchased Silent Hunter 3 but that’s just a simulation of submarines). Even COD wouldn’t do that and they are out of ideas.

    Russians have always been default villians in modern day FPSes. If anything, they should stop being used as default villians.

    That said, this is all a distraction from politics stuff that i won’t get into and because the NRA dislikes the idea of *gasp* Regulations about guns that benefits the safety of others.

    That and if games are so dangerous then wouldn’t we be living in a Mad Max world by now? Though, i do admit, that Mario did make me want to consume mushrooms and jump on turtles. Sonic did make me want to run everywhere and steal rings. Zelda did make me want to crossdress as a princess. :P

    Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 14:32.
    • 3shirts
      Since: Aug 2008

      That would actually be an incredible twist for an FPS. Keep it deliberately vague but still run with the usual gung-ho, kill-all-the-baddies, support-your-friends gameplay and a story that builds relationships, loss, and an emotional connection with your character but then at the end reveals that you were a Nazi in WW2 the whole time.

      Might make people think a little more about the nuance of war and the grey areas in human behaviour.

      Comment posted on 15/03/2018 at 15:01.
  6. Sad Panda
    Since: May 2010

    If video games reflected on society, the generation growing up on Pac Man would have ended up popping pills to repetitive music and brightly coloured lights…

    It’s all bullshit. The rest of the world play the same games, how many mass shootings outside of America in the last few years?

    While the NRA continue to have deep pockets, nothing will change over there.

    Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 16:24.
    • Nate
      Since: Apr 2010

      I was waiting for someone to make that quote! Thought Steven was going to get there but he veered off at the last second into cross dressing.

      Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 17:24.
  7. duff_em_up_dave
    Since: Sep 2011

    The NRA secretly rule America. They have so much money that they hand out bonuses and fat paychecks, regularly, to politicians and other “important people” and all they ask in return is for the politicians to turn a blind eye every time there is gun violence in America. They tell the politicians to never mention the words firearms, sidearms, guns, rifles, etc whenever there is gun violence, but to focus on how depraved the perpetrator is.
    The way I see it America has two options: ban all firearms in America or ban all human beings in America.
    As for that Donald Trumpton, why any rational human being would vote a businessman into the Whitehouse is beyond me. Businessman are not in it for the good of the people. They are businessman for themselves, their own fat bank accounts and their status.
    I’m a little bit angry about this whole “blame videogames” bulls**t. Can you tell?

    Comment posted on 09/03/2018 at 21:17.

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