Video games do not cause violence. That’s not an opinion but a scientific fact proven over and over again. Yet, in the wake of the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio certain US representatives were quick to blame violent video games as the main reason for the atrocities. It couldn’t possibly be the lack of access to mental health facilities, the increasing influence of hate groups, and easy accessibility to guns. Nope, it’s video games. We all know the world was a much more peaceful place before video games existed. There were no violent things such as war and murder until Pong, Space Invaders, and Tetris infiltrated the collective consciousness of humanity.
Taking heed of this reaction where people in power look for simple causes to complex issues both Walmart and ESPN have decided to reduce the amount of advertising and exposure to video games. Walmart has apparently begun removing any video game imagery from stores that could show violent imagery.
In a statement on USAToday Walmart spokesperson Tara House said, We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment.”
Walmart has not halted the sales of guns and ammunition, however.
For ESPN the decision was made to remove coverage of an Apex Legends tournament on its channel. The company issued a statement saying, “The decision was made out of respect for the victims and all those impacted in the immediate aftermath of the shootings and it seemed the prudent thing to do given the swirl of that moment.”
If video games were the cause of all this violence then surely other places like Canada, Australia, Europe, and Japan would see a lot more violence too considering how big the video game industry is in these places. We all know that isn’t the case though. What we do know is that in 2019 the USA has had 297 mass shootings so far.