Business & Lobbying

Video game group pushes back on blaming industry for shootings

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which represents the $43.4 billion U.S. video game industry, pushed back on attempts to connect games with gun violence.

“More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games, and billions of people play video games worldwide. Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the U.S.,” the ESA said in a statement.

Following two mass shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump called for action on video games after tying the industry to part of the problem with violence in the U.S.

“Video games positively contribute to society, from new medical therapies and advancements, educational tools, business innovation, and more. Video games help players connect with family and friends, relieve stress, and have fun,” the ESA said.

The group noted a resource for concerned parents to learn how to control what games are played in their homes:

Researchers have concluded that video games likely do not directly cause young people to become more violent.

“Numerous scientific studies have established that there is no causal connection between video games and violence,” the ESA said.

Some Republican lawmakers pushed the same message as Trump and put blame on video games. 

After the Parkland, Fla., shooting last year, Trump met with representatives of the video game industry and critics of video game violence. The ESA noted that they shared with the White House at the meeting that there is no connection.

The ESA’s president and CEO, Stanley Pierre-Louis, noted in an interview with The Hill in May that the ESA has been an advocate for providing parents with information and tools to limit the amount of time spent playing. 

“We are the leading form of entertainment in American culture and we enhance how humans and technology interact and how they interact with each other,” he said at the time.

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