In the wake of yet another school shooting on US soil, Trump was quick to blame television, film, the internet, and video games for all the evils of the world. A meeting was announced, in Trump’s typical “shoot first, think later” style, even before any of the supposed attendees from the video game industry had been invited. That meeting became a reality yesterday, and central to it was a video montage of death.
The big question, woven through this glorious showreel of video game violence, is that of desensitisation. Do violent video games desensitise us to violence? Now, before we dig into that, a confession: at one point during the montage, a Nazi gets his head blown clean off at near point blank range, and I laughed. Out loud. Right, now that I’ve got that off my chest, here’s the video in question (oh, and this is pretty violent stuff, make no mistake, so if you’re not of age, or if you don’t fancy video game violence, do yourself a favour and give it a miss):
So, there you have it.
Now, how did that make you feel? I’ll be honest, when it’s laid out like that, one gruesome scene after the other, there is an element of “maybe we should be rethinking what we expose ourselves to”, but I got over it pretty quickly. Because I’m desensitised like that, you see.
“The President acknowledged some studies have indicated there is a correlation between video game violence and real violence,” said the White House in a statement once the meeting was wrapped up. “The conversation centered on whether violent video games, including games that graphically simulate killing, desensitize our community to violence.”
It’s hard to know if anything of value will come from the meeting, other than perhaps the various ratings agencies taking another look at how games are classified and what measures can be taken to keep violent games out of children’s hands. But kids will always find a way, won’t they? The resourceful little buggers…