The International Game Developers Association has taken to Twitter to issue a strongly worded statement rejecting any attempts to use the games industry as a scapegoat for gun violence in the US.
Following the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump announced that he will be calling representatives of the games industry into a meeting, which is scheduled to take place on 9 March. Given Trump’s praise of the National Rifle Association, the meeting is widely presumed to be an attempt to deflect the growing clamour for gun-law reform in the US.
In its tweets, the IGDA stated: “Let’s be blunt on video games and gun violence — we will not be used as a scapegoat. The facts are very clear — no study has shown a causal relationship between playing video games and gun violence. The Supreme Court has clearly established video games as protected free speech in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association. And the stereotype of gamers as disaffected teenage boys is simply untrue; 41% of the 150M+ gamers in the United States are women, and more women over 35 play video games than boys under 18. The United States plays the same video games as the rest of the world, but we’re unique in our problem with gun violence.”
Some details have begun to emerge regarding who will attend the meeting with Trump: the Washington Post confirmed that ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman, Take 2 CEO Strauss Zelnick and Michael Gallagher, head of the US games industry’s representative body for publishers, the ESA will comprise the guest-list.
It will be interesting to find out whether any of those attendees come out with anything as strongly worded as the end of the IGDA’s Twitter statement: “Overwhelmingly, we’re law-abiding citizens who agree with the majority of Americans who support reasonable gun control measures like stronger background checks, banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, and a minimum purchase age of 21 for all firearms. Making video games — or any form of media — a scapegoat for consistently refusing to even CONSIDER the reasonable, rational firearm restrictions Americans want and deserve isn’t fooling anyone.”