Utah gamers say 'no way' are video games influencing violence

Utah gamers say 'no way' are video games influencing violence (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV)-- It’s a decade's old debate that’s resurfacing in Washington: do violent video games prompt real-life violence?

On Thursday, President Donald Trump met with lawmakers and members of the video game industry to discuss the topic, suggesting a correlation between video game exposure and “aggression and desensitization in children,” the White House said.

Gamers here in Utah say there is no relationship.

"The idea that playing a violent video game for x-amount of hours could turn you into a bad person, it's out of my mind," Jeffery Francis said.

He’s been playing video games for as long as he can remember. He even prefers the gory ones.

"I do enjoy a lot of the ones that involve a lot of shooting and fighting and all of that," Francis said.

Gamers are not the only ones to come to this conclusion.

Research over the last few decades has failed to find any link between video games and actual violence. The Entertainment Software Association noted the games played in other countries don’t result in the same level of gun violence.

The group released a statement saying, “the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence, First Amendment protection of video games, and how our industry’s rating system effectively helps parents make informed entertainment choices.”

"There are probably more things happening in the home then just the violent video games," Jeremy McCord, store manager at Game Changerz in South Salt Lake said.

McCord said there needs to be better education out there for parents about what types of games they are bringing into their homes.

He said he will not sell a mature rated game to anyone under 18 without a parent’s note. He finds himself turning down kids several times a week.

"Typically it's 13 year-olds or below wanting to buy Grand Theft Auto, Left for Dead. They're new to the store so I don't have a relationship with their parents or I don't know their family," McCord said.

"If a parent's not ok with it, it's not my place to put it in the home."

President Trump is focusing on video game violence after the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people, mostly children. He has not yet said what he would like to see as far as legislation.

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