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Don’t Blame the Video Games

Vice President Joe Biden is meeting with representatives of the video game industry to talk about gun violence, so I want to take a moment to talk about how incredibly misguided it is to blame video games for the incredible amount of gun violence in this country. It shows how distorted the debate has become in this country that regulating virtual depictions of guns is often more discussed as a solution than regulating the actual guns.

There has basically been a natural worldwide experiment taking place and it shows video games are not responsible for Americans’ unusually high number of gun deaths. It is important to note there is no such thing as an “American” market for video games. The market for video games is completely international. The best selling games in America and Europe right now are nearly identical, except for the regional difference in sports game preference. The same “violent” first person shooter games are equally as popular in Europe as they are in the United States. In fact, many of the most violent videos on the market are not even made by American companies.

American and Europeans play the same video games, yet the rates of gun violence in Europe are radically lower than in the United States. It is not the video games that are causing the problems.

Photo by Diane/Team Terminator by permission

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at