According to a report from VICE Games, retailer Walmart is instructing its employees to take down advertisements and demos related to violent video games in-stores.
Freelance writer Kenneth Shepard released an image showing a Walmart notice to its employees, telling them to remove any signage of violent video games. The instructions range from removing any games referencing combat to verifying that no movies are depicting violence.
This comes as a response to the two recent horrific shootings in the United States. However, one shooting took place in a Walmart in El Paso, leaving 24 injured and 22 dead. Soon after outside Ned Peppers Bar in Dayton, a shooter opened fire, leaving 9 dead. In total, 31 people died from these two shootings alone.
Including these two events, in 2019, there have been 248 mass shootings in the United States at the time of this article. This equals 1.2 shootings per day.
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The argument as to whether violent video games directly link with increased aggression has seen a resurgence recently. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, cited the “glorification of violence in our society,” he went on to blame violent video games as one of these issues.
Moreover, Republican Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick cited the violent video game industry as another contributing factor. He called for the US federal government to intervene in the video game industry.
However, many members of the gaming community have been quick to criticise these claims. Some point to the Oxford University study conducted in February 2019 which found there to be no link between violent video games and adolescent aggression.
Nonetheless, the report also claims that Walmart has no plans to remove its guns from stores.