The video game industry Counter-programs Trump
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The video game industry Counter-programs Trump

Donald Trump is not the most subtle man in the world, and after the attack at Marjory Stoneman High School, in which a young man murdered 17 students using an assault rifle, the president of the United States resorted to a well-worn recourse to look for culprits: video games were to blame.

Regardless of the response from the gambling community and social networks, which generally don’t hold the president in high esteem, the White House decided it was a good time to convene several representatives from the video game industry to talk about how the environment affects young people and whether they are really to blame for school shootings.

According to The Washington Post, as representatives of video games, the directors of the main association of video game creators in the USA (the ESA) and the CEOs of Zenimax and Take-Two, under whose labels games such as Skyrim or the saga Grand Theft Auto are developed and distributed, attended. In front of them were some critics of the video game, such as Missouri senator Vicky Hartzler and PTV’s Brent Bozell, an important parent association.

The conflict was assured, as Bozell is of the opinion that video games should be watched as much as the NRA, the US rifle association. The presence of figures in this profile has created a fear of tougher regulation with violent games.

But the same day that this was happening, big video game companies have decided to announce a handful of new titles, as if it wasn’t with them. And not unimportant games: they are great titles that move millions of players.

It may be a coincidence, but Activision announces Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII (sic) on the same day that Ubisoft confirms the development of The Division 2 and that Nintendo broadcasts live Super Smash Bros. will arrive at Switch in 2018

There’s no need to talk about Call of Duty as a saga of first-person shooting video games that moves year after year (there’s a game every fall for a decade) millions of dollars.

The Division 2 does need a little more introduction: it’s the sequel to a kind of shooting video game so focused on getting better equipment with each fight than on blowing up a lot of heads in them. It was a risky bet on the part of Ubisoft that sold well, but it didn’t have the long range or community of players behind it’s main competition, Destiny.

As for Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game in which Nintendo characters beat the crap out of each other and in which there are usually also fighters from other Nintendo-related video games in some way. In their latest incarnation, some 15 million copies were sold between their two versions, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

In short, three major franchises to turn March 8 into a day marked by its existence and not by what Trump may think of the video game industry.

It doesn’t seem likely that Trump will put this market on. There are not enough studies to support the fact that violence is engendered in the real world, on the contrary: most experts point out that there is no direct relationship between high school shootings and video game consumption.

In addition, video games move 92 billion euros worldwide, according to Newzoo’s estimates, and the United States is one of the countries, for tax and market advantages, that move more money, so despite pressure from more conservative groups, it is unlikely that Trump will impose sanctions or restrict an industry that works like clockwork.

Although the film and television industries also have a film and serial production where violence against people and the use of weapons abounds, both have escaped the scrutiny that video games have constantly faced since their conception as a medium.

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