Last week’s strange and largely unproductive meeting between President Trump and key members of the video game community kicked off with a montage of particularly violent moments in video games. The video, later posted to the White House’s YouTube channel as well, compounded footage from Call of Duty, Fallout 4, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Dead by Daylight, and Sniper Elite 4. It was to this footage that Trump reportedly asked, “This is violent, isn’t it?” as the correlation between violent games and gun violence was once again questioned.
While there is certainly no denying that video games can indeed be quite violent, they’re also much more than that. It was this idea that spurred non-profit organization Games for Change to make a rebuttal, highlighting the beauty within video games.
“After seeing that the White House produced a video depicting video games as ultra-violent, we felt compelled to share a different view of games,” Games for Change wrote in the description for its video, titled “88 Seconds of Video Games.” “Video games, their innovative creators and the vast community of players are so much more than what is depicted in the White House’s video. We wanted to create our own version, at the same length, to challenge the White House’s misdirected blame being placed upon video games. To all you game developers and players who create and enjoy games – this is for you!”
The video, also captioned with the hashtag #GAMEON, pulls clips from such games as Journey, Life is Strange, Monument Valley, and Never Alone, among many others. The games included in the video do not hinge on violence as a core mechanic; even the ones included that do contain violence, like Shadow of the Colossus, are more focused on storytelling and adventure.
Games for Change’s quiet tribute to the magic of video games brings a positive note to the current conversation. Without any scientific evidence to connect video games with gun violence, this recent attempt at finger-pointing towards the gaming industry seems pretty pointless. Luckily, there’s plenty of evidence that games are a dynamic and multi-faceted media with more to them than combat and gore—just like television, movies, or any other media.