Former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime is the latest in a long line of industry giants to stand up and take issue with President Trump’s recent comments about violent video games.
Following the horrific back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Trump was quick to pin the blame on mental illness and “gruesome and violent video games” for contributing to the “glorification of violence in our society.”
These comments were met with swift condemnation by a number of high-profile figures and groups in the video game industry, including the ESA, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, and God of War Director Cory Barlog. All blasted the blaming of video games for gun violence as irresponsible and disrespectful.
In an effort the combat the negative rhetoric that had started swirling on social media, journalist and The Game Awards creator Geoff Keighley shared a story that demonstrated the positive power of video games.
He explained how The Game Awards once shared the story of a man named Lual Mayen, who’d spent the majority of his life in a refugee camp in Uganda, but used video games as a way to inspire and bring together his community. Touched by the story, the Canadian Government reached out and offered Mayen and his family permanent refugee status, moving them to Toronto.
Fils-Aime shared this story on Twitter, writing:
When the ill-informed are being critical of the gaming industry and community, this is a very powerful story. The facts are that countries with high per capita gaming revenue have fewer gun-shooting deaths. Except the US, where 4% of the population own 43% of the guns.
Not content with simply sharing the heartfelt story, Fils-Aime went on to reiterate some incredibly important statistics that are current doing the rounds – a study that shows video game revenue by country compared with violent gun deaths.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of countries with high video game revenue, but no other country in the world comes close to the number of violent gun deaths America has. One might think video games aren’t actually the problem after all.
As Reggie said, “facts are facts.” Unfortunately, we seem to live in age where gut feelings and knee-jerk reactions take priority over something as trivial as “facts”. The study the former Nintendo President shared is just another in a long line of research that shows no substantial proven link between video games and violence.
Until the people in charge stop treating video games, mental illness, and whatever else they can think of as scapegoats for gun violence, it’s unlikely anything will really change in America.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.