Games like Call Of Duty and Fallout have been used to illustrate the supposed dangers of video games, as Trump meets with top industry execs.
Yesterday, American president Donald Trump met with the Electronic Software Association (ESA) and representatives from major games publishers such as a Bethesda and Take-Two Interactive.
The meeting was ostensibly to address concerns about video game violence, in the wake of last month’s Florida school shooting – despite the fact that video games have not been connected with the case in any way.
But with the incumbent Republican Party apparently unwilling to consider any significant new gun control laws games have suddenly been forced into the role of scapegoat.
To illustrate the American administration’s concerns the video above was put together from footage taken from famous YouTubers, whose watermarks can clearly be seen in the videos.
The video includes scenes from franchises such as Call Of Duty, Sniper Elite, Fallout, Wolfenstein, and Dead By Daylight.
This footage features the infamous No Russian scene from 2009’s Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but as many have pointed out a lot of the violence actually involves knives and other melee weapons – not guns.
According to The Washington Post, Trump commented that, ‘This is violent, isn’t it?’ He also made the rather vague suggestion that publishers should, ‘explore things they can do on their own to make things healthier in society’.
A statement from the ESA suggests that, ‘We discussed the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence, First Amendment protection of video games, and how our industry’s rating system effectively helps parents make informed entertainment choices’.
Despite this the official White House statement on the meeting claims that, ‘The President acknowledged some studies have indicated there is a correlation between video game violence and real violence’.
It is unclear what studies he’s referring to, as no link between video game violence and real-world violence has ever been established by a reputable source.
Earlier comments from Trump suggested that he did not know that video games already had a ratings system, or that he deemed them ineffective.
But while the First Amendment should make it impossible for the US government to officially censor games they are already subject to de facto censorship, as any game with an Adult Only (AO) rating cannot be published on consoles and most retail chains refuse to stock them.
The AO rating is almost exclusively used for games with sexual content (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was threatened with an AO rating over the Hot Coffee scandal) with only three games ever having been given an AO rating because of their violence (Manhunt 2, Hatred, and the cancelled Thrill Kill).
In this way censorship in America also affects the rest of the world, as publishers shy away from sexual content that would be deemed perfectly acceptable in Europe. And so if the Trump administration attempts to limit violence as well, that could have an effect on gaming everywhere.
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