Last week, the Trump administration decided to tread some old, familiar territory by returning to a familiar bogeyman in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead and re-ignited. Video games, not assault weapons, were to ...
Dave Thier , Contributor I write about video games and technology. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Credit: Upper One Games
A screenshot from 'Never Alone' from Games For Change's montage.
Last week, the Trump administration decided to tread some old, familiar territory by returning to a familiar bogeyman in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead and re-ignited. Video games, not assault weapons, were to blame, the White House argued, and it met with representatives from the gaming industry last week to talk about that. Trump began the meeting with an ultra-violent montage of some gruesome video game scenes to hammer home his point: you can watch below, but be warned that it's specifically made to be disturbing.
The montage was affecting, no doubt: these were all games made by people and played by people, and even watching it from an informed perspective can't help but have a kind of chilling effect. Still, it seeks to select the most violent footage available from a literally infinite pool of potential footage gathered from more than a decade of game development. It reflects the views of a 71 year-old with little interest in gathering any new information, and of someone who has likely never played a video game in his life save perhaps an idle round of Candy Crush.
As anyone who plays video games knows, it wouldn't be hard to make a different kind of montage about the modern state of video games. And that's what nonprofit Games For Change did -- the 88-second video released last night seeks to communicate instead a sense of wonder and world building through titles as disparate as Celeste, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Monument Valley and Fortnite. And unlike Trump's video, it was made all with games from the last few years, in some cases in from the last few months. Watch below:
Scientific consensus has repeatedly found no link between playing violent video games and school shootings, underscored by the fact that countries like Japan and South Korea play more games than anyone else on the planet and yet have negligible instances of gun violence. There have, however, been studies linking games to positive social and spatial development for kids. Few in or outside of the industry expect any substantive regulation to result from last week's meeting.
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