In a recent report published by Vice, a memo was reportedly sent by the higher-ups at Walmart to an unconfirmed amount of their stores. The memo, which has since been posted on Twitter, told employees to “check all signing throughout the store and remove any referencing combat or third-person shooter video games,” amongst other subjective “violent images or aggressive behavior.” While violent imagery in video games was singled out, videos playing on televisions in the sporting goods and electronics departments were also recommended to be stopped or unplugged.
Apparently Walmart is telling its employees to take down displays that show violent video games, specifically shooters, as well as movies and hunting videos. pic.twitter.com/2N3t4B86tf
— Kenneth Shepard (@shepardcdr) August 7, 2019
The memo states that any events scheduled to promote “combat style or third-person shooter games” should be canceled, and specifically directed game demos on both the PlayStation and Xbox consoles to be shut off or unplugged. Games with demos that fall within the memo’s guidelines are set to be replaced sometime next week. While it would seem that Walmart has issued the memo with violent video games in mind, “hunting season videos,” as well as potentially violent movies, were also mentioned and recommended to be turned off.
The memo is more than likely in response to the shootings that took place last week at Walmart stores in Texas and Mississippi. After the shootings, President Trump specifically called out violent video games as one of the causes of the trend of mass shootings in the country, despite many academic studies contesting the link between violent video games and real-world violent acts. Former Vice President Biden, within the days following President Trump’s speech, challenged that argument. It would seem that Walmart is, however, doing what they can in response to the tragedy, despite having no plans to alter its stance on the sale of guns in its stores.