Following several mass shooting incidents in the United States over the weekend, President Donald Trump blamed video games, at least in part, for glorifying violence in society, describing these games as “gruesome and grisly.” This, unsurprisingly, caused a huge backlash amongst the gamer community, prompting the hashtag ‘video games are not to blame’ to start trending on various social media sites. Many researchers, journalists, and industry figures have spoken up against the idea of associating virtual violence with actual atrocities in our real world.

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President Donald Trump blames video games for glorifying violence

Back in 2017, the media psychology division of the American Psychology Association released a policy statement in which it cited a long list of researches carried out over the past few decades saying that “scant evidence has emerged that makes any causal or correlational connection between playing violent video games and actually committing violent activities.”

Dr. Chris Ferguson, the leader of the body that made the statement, was even more straightforward in a recent interview with the New York Times. “The data on bananas causing suicide is about as conclusive. Literally. The numbers work out about the same,” he said.

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"The data on bananas causing suicide is about as conclusive. Literally. The numbers work out about the same."

Yes, it’s true that many of those who commit violent crimes are video games players, but Dr. James Ivory compares it to saying that these perpetrators wear shoes. They do, but so do most people, and it has nothing to do with violent tendencies.

A lot of gamers– including several prominent figures Reggie Fils-Aime , former president of Nintendo America – have cited a bar graph created by Vox, which shows game industry revenue next to the number of deaths by guns in several countries around the globe, as arguments against Trump’s statement.

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A lot of countries have video games, only one has gun violence problems

In short, video games are present in most countries, but the US is the only one that has a shooting problem. As reports from Pew Research Center show, the violent crime rate in the country – including those that involve guns and those that don’t – dropped by 49% in the 25-year period from 1993 to 2017, the same period when video games witnessed major spikes. As a result, saying that video games cause violence is a nonsensical statement.