Skip to main content

President Trump wants a crackdown on violent games. What does that mean?

How to Watch Trump State of the Union
AFP/Getty Images

This past weekend, separate mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton left 30 dead and dozens more wounded. President Trump addressed the shootings in a statement on Monday morning, placing part of the blame on violent video games.

“It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence,” said President Trump. “We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.” The President said the”gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace” must be addressed to stop the “glorification of violence in our society.”

Video games have served as a common scapegoat when a mass shooting occurs, with the Columbine massacre of 1999 initially being blamed on shooters such as Doom, as well as shock rocker Marilyn Manson. However, experts don’t believe the motive for mass shootings stem from video games or other forms of media.

“It is the underlying interest in violence, which likely predates exposure to violent games, that seems to be the real cause,” sociology professor Whitney DeCamp of Western Michigan University told Digital Trends. DeCamp added that racism appeared to have been a major factor in at least one of the recent shootings. “If we are looking for something to change to try to prevent future tragedies,” DeCamp continued, “these seem like areas with far more potential for effective change.”

Trump Calls For Crackdown On Violent Video Games, Mental Health Reforms After Shootings | TIME

In past studies, researchers have found that individuals serving time for violent crimes are less likely to play video games than the average American. The number of Americans who play video games is astronomical, with about half of adults doing so, and several of the most popular titles feature gun violence. These same games are available in other countries, however, where extremely limited access to gun control remains the primary difference compared to the United States.

This was echoed by the Entertainment Software Association in a statement given to Digital Trends. “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.

What does President Trump’s statement mean for gaming?

It’s unclear what, if any, action President Trump plans to take against violent video games. His statement didn’t hint at specifics.

Any move made to regulate violent games would likely need the support of Congress. Even then, laws or regulations that impact games would no doubt be challenged in court. In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled a California law that blocked the sale of violent video games to children was unconstitutional. That sets a tough precedent for any future laws seeking to restrict the sale of video games.

In short, the President’s statement almost certainly won’t have an immediate impact on video games. Any laws made to regulate the sale of video games, or the content in them, would face multiple challenges. Placing blame on video games will no doubt make players and the video game industry uncomfortable, but it won’t bar you from buying games in the near future.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
The 2020 Game Awards: How to watch and what time it starts
The Game Awards 2020

Game of the Year season enters full swing this week when the 2020 Game Awards broadcasts digitally. The awards show has become a can't-miss spectacle in recent years, with studios using it as a platform for major game announcements. The event could be bigger than ever this year considering that conventions like E3 didn't happen, removing what is usually the centerpiece for new game reveals.
When do the Game Awards start?
This year's Game Awards kick off at 4 p.m. PT on Thursday, December 10. There will be a 30-minute preshow beforehand hosted by Sydnee Goodman that starts at 3:30 p.m. PT.
Where can I watch the Game Awards?
The good news is that there's no shortage of ways to catch the show this year, so it'll be hard to miss. It will broadcast on 45 different platforms around the world, including TikTok and Steam.

The Game Awards will host the show on all of its social channels, including Twitter, Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitch. The show is also allowing any content creator to co-stream it. Anyone who's looking to host it on their own channel can sign up here.
What will be shown at the Game Awards?
While there will be plenty of secrets at this year's show, a few game reveals have been confirmed. BioWare says it will give a new look at Dragon Age 4 during the broadcast and Activision will show a trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's first season. Among Us will reveal its new map at the show as well. The preshow will feature five world premieres.

Read more
What is DRM in video games and how does it work?
Steam logo on a PC.

For the first time since the inception of gaming, digital game sales are starting to overtake physical sales. The gaming industry is soaring in 2020, and a lot of the revenue stimulating the industry comes from digital game sales. Buying digital games is convenient and often cheaper, but it comes with one big caveat: DRM. But, what is DRM in video games? And more importantly, how does it work?

In this guide, we're going to cover everything you need to know about DRM in video games. In addition to giving you a rundown, we'll also cover some of the risks and benefits of using a DRM platform, as well as the pros and cons of buying DRM-free games. Before getting to that, though, let's start with a definition.
What is DRM, and how does it work in video games?

Read more
President Trump suspended travel from Europe. What does it mean for tech?
coronavirus trump halts flights from mainland europe president  march 2020

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that the federal government would suspend travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days, beginning at the end of the day on Friday, March 13. The move came in response to the escalating COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared a pandemic.

What exactly are the parameters of the ban, and how will it affect the tech world? Here’s what you need to know.
What or who does the ban affect?
There was some confusion after Trump’s initial announcement, in which the president said, “We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” adding that “these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we’re discussing.”

Read more