Leftists have already contorted themselves with plenty of dumb reactions to the terrorist attack in Orlando, FL, but now there are some leftists who have found another scapegoat: video games.
The Wrap published a headline on Sunday titled, “Orlando Shooting Puts E3’s Shooting Games in Crosshairs” and has the following passage:
The largest and most prominent video game trade show kicked off in Los Angeles on Sunday, and showcases video games including violent shooter games such as Electronic Arts’ “Battlefield 1.” In remarks at 1 p.m. PT, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson didn’t mention the Orlando shooting at all. The first game showcased after his opening statement was the shooter “Titanfall 2.”
Shooter franchises like “Battlefield” and Activision’s “Call of Duty,” in which the player is given an arsenal of firearms and tasked with killing enemies, are among the most popular in the industry. Though there is no indication the Orlando killer played first-person shooting games, past mass killings — including the Columbine massacre — have sparked criticism of games that let people imagine themselves as gunmen.
The Verge also posted a Sunday headline titled “How do you sell violent games after a tragedy? Pretend like it didn’t happen.” It had the following passage:
Perhaps EA executives thought it would be hypocritical to comment on a real-life shooting before promoting a first-person shooter. The early portion of the event focused on Titanfall 2, a sci-fi action game in which giant machines and realistic humans kill each other with hyper-detailed guns. Co-founder of developer of Respawn Vince Zampella cued a montage of multiplayer gameplay, and the crowd at the Novo theater erupted into cheers. More than 400,000 people were watching online.
First-person shooters have been one of gaming’s most popular genres since their inception in the 1990s, and EA has promoted many shooters at previous E3 conferences. But moving forward with games that find the fun in gun violence, felt, at the theater, strange to say the least. It’s not just the uncomfortable collision of fantasy and reality — the dream world of violence in the auditorium, and the real world of violence outside it — it’s the uncanny monotony they share.
This is the first major press event at E3, a conference that has a reputation for celebrating graphic violence with an adolescent zeal. Throughout the week, we may see publishers of first-person shooters, and other violent games, respond to recent events. But what we really expect every year, like we saw at E3’s conference today, is a familiar, over-rehearsed routine that regurgitates the same ideas in slightly different configurations. In this sense, the fantasy world of E3 feels like the world outside it — a world where the President has just given the same speech after a mass murder for the 18th time.
On Monday, The Daily Beast published the headline “Gaming Industry Mourns Victims At E3–And Sees No Link Between Video Games and Violence.” The second paragraph reads, “No top gaming figures have yet publicly acknowledged the elephant in the convention hall: The unsettling parallels between horrific displays of real world violence like that in Orlando, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Isla Vista, Charleston, or San Bernardino and the fantasy violence that fuels their multi-billion dollar industry.”
These are not-so-subtle ways of leftist journalists implying that violent video games are to blame for the terror attack in Orlando and other mass shootings.
There are also leftist journalists and entertainers who are incredibly vocal about their hatred for video games featuring first-person shooters:
I might still tweet about E3 but fair warning, today I’ve got no patience for video games that glorify guns, gun violence or gun culture.
— Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) June 12, 2016
We need to have a serious discussion about how video games that fetishize guns and glorify gun violence end up contributing to gun culture.
— Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) June 12, 2016
But will EA drop the guns from its press conference? Should they? https://t.co/9MDnQu19Mt
— (((Kyle Orland))) (@KyleOrl) June 12, 2016
Let’s make a deal to boo all games at E3 that feature real-world gun violence without any substantial qualifying of why it’s there.
— Mike Diver (@MikeDiver) June 12, 2016
Just stop all of it. The video games. The movies. All of it.
— Michael Showalter (@mshowalter) June 12, 2016
Except that despite their righteous indignation, there is zero evidence linking video games to mass shootings.
In a study co-authored by Northeastern University professor James Alan Fox and student Monica DeLateur, they “found no link between video games and expanded violence, and blamed the media and lawmakers for using the entertainment industry as a ‘convenient scapegoat.'”
Additionally, Dr. Patrick Markey, associate professor of psychology at Villanova University, writes in U.S. News and World Report, “In the past 15 years, sales of video games have consistently increased whereas homicides, rapes and aggravated assaults during this same time have decreased. It appears that any negative effect of violent video games is dwarfed by the effects of other societal factors.”
Taken together, research clearly suggests that exposure to violent video games temporarily increases a person’s hostility. A child or adult who plays a video game will be slightly more antagonistic and might even see his or her world as a more hostile place immediately after playing the game. However, research does not show a clear link between playing violent video games and real world violence. Although researchers have often noted the preference of violent video games by many school shooters, given that 97 percent of adolescents play video games such a preference is not overly surprising. It could similarly be argued that bread consumption predicts school shootings, because most school shooters likely consumed a bread product within 24 hours before their violent attacks.
But that won’t stop leftists from attacking the video game scapegoat to avoid the hard truth that the terrorist was a radical Islamist who was targeting gays.