CEO Of Company Behind Grand Theft Auto Slams Trump's Claim Video Games Cause Violence
America has again suffered a mass shooting that's claimed dozens of lives. But before the grieving could even begin, there was a second, albeit unrelated, mass shooting in another state, where a further nine people were killed and many more injured.
Everyone has looked towards America's leaders to see whether this would be the straw that breaks the camel's back and causes reform on gun laws.
While there has been a very loud, collective voice from Democrats; Republicans on the other hand have blamed everything from gay marriage to not even thoughts and prayers for the Texas and Ohio shootings.
But it was President Donald Trump that attracted the biggest headlines when he said violent games can be blamed for this unnecessary violence and has ordered a crackdown on the industry.
"We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace," Trump said.
"It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately."
Unsurprisingly, that's caused a big backlash from gamers and even the head of the company that produces Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption.
Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick told Barrons: "We're just sickened and saddened by these senseless tragedies. That said, blaming entertainment is irresponsible.
"Moreover, it is highly disrespectful to the victims and their families. The fact is entertainment is consumed world-wide...but gun violence is uniquely American. So we need to address the real issues."
Zelnick seizes on the core issue at hand here: plenty of countries have access to violent video games but America leads the world with mass shootings.
A study released in February found no evidence that playing violent video games increased aggression amongst teens who played them.
Lead researcher Professor Andrew Przybylski, director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute, told Sky News: "What we found was that there are a lot of things that feed into aggression.
"There are some effects of gender and some people who are from different life backgrounds have higher or lower ratings, but video game play didn't really seem to matter here.
"Violent games don't seem to drive aggressive behaviour in young people. But really we should be looking at other things - maybe it is frustrations, maybe it is family or life circumstance - that we should be spending more time on."
The study looked at 1,000 14 and 15-year-olds, who played games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty.
Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games