In the wake of the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people, US President Donald Trump has been attending a number of meetings around school safety. After suggesting school teachers should be trained and armed to stop future attacks, the topic soon turned to violent video games and movies.
“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” Trump said via CNN on Twitter.
“And then you go the further step, and that’s the movies. You see these movies, and they’re so violent, and yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”
While movie and game ratings already exist for this very purpose, it’s not clear whether Trump is talking about them, or replacing them with some kind of government controlled system.
IGN point out similar comments made by Trump on Twitter back in 2012 – “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!”
Please keep in mind that this is coming from a man who told The New Yorker that his favourite movie is Bloodsport. He’s also known to make his son fast-forward through the slow bits so he can just watch the fight scenes.
But Trump isn’t the first person to blame video games for real-life violence, it’s been a topic of debate since violence in gaming first emerged. Among the many studies that show no correlation between video game violence and aggressive behaviour is a decade-long study of over 11,000 children in the UK. It concludes that gaming has no impact on behaviour, attention, or emotional issues in kids.
Violent games receive heavy ratings for a reason and judging by the research, removing them altogether will solve nothing.
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