Wal-Mart removes video game for violent content (but leave the guns)
The spate of gun violence in the US is causing misguided reactions
There have been a string of unimaginable mass killings recently, all perpetrated by people with high-powered firearms. In an attempt to try to place blame for the mental failings of the individuals, several people have asserted that video games are at the root of the issue. This is despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, but the assertion has caused the video game industry to once again be blasted as evil. Wal-Mart has decided to take a stance and lessen the attention given to violent video games, but the irony is glaring. It doesn’t have a problem selling the weapons that are used in the crimes.
Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world and the only large retailer in the US to offer firearm sales (Target and Amazon are strictly firearm-free). It used to sell assault-style rifles, but dropped them only four years ago. In Alaska, it only offers handguns, but doesn’t mind offering an arsenal everywhere else. Before last year, it was fine with selling guns to individuals under 21 years of age. Video games, on the other hand, must be deadly weapons if Wal-Mart has decided to take action.
The stores have been directed to remove any signs or displays that reference violent video games. They also must get rid of demos for the games, with a memo sent to the stores that reads, “Review your store for any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior. Remove from the salesfloor or turn off these items immediately.”
It further clarifies that demos of “violent games, specifically PlayStation or Xbox units,” events for “combat style or third-person shooter games” scheduled in the electronics department, movies depicting violence, and hunting season videos playing in the sporting goods section must be removed.
It’s a ridiculous move and a failed attempt to shift the blame of a greater problem that needs to be addressed.