Do violent video games contribute to gun violence?

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WEHT) – In his remarks to the nation following mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Donald Trump suggested that violent video games are partly to blame for gun violence in the United States. The video game industry, however, maintains there’s no scientific evidence that video games are to blame.

Following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the president made similar comments.

The Parents Television Council agrees, saying the video game industry must take some accountability.

Program Director Melissa Henson with the Parents Television Council said, “They’re deliberately marketing violent entertainment to children.”

Henson said research shows violent games change the way the brain reacts to stressful situations.

The Entertainment Software Association, a trade group for the video game industry, refutes those claims.

In a statement, the association said, “Numerous scientific studies have established that there is no casual connection between video games and violence.”

Professor Whitney DeCamp of Western Michigan University agrees with the association.

“Mass shootings are not the result of playing violent video games,” DeCamp said.

“The more common explanation is they’ve been exposed to violence in real life, in their own personal lives, social environment, maybe in their own home,” said DeCamp.

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This story was originally published on August 6, 2019

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