Some politicians are hastening to blame violent video games for mass shootings, and Walmart is fast to respond to this funk. Leaked internal memos exposed that the retailer is rushing to pull all retailer shows that include “violent images or aggressive behavior.” This contains demos and occasions for some console games, films playing within the electronics section, and hunting season movies. It is notably concerned about anything representing “combat or third-person shooter” video games.
Walmart confirmed the move in an announcement to Vice, saying it was paying respect for the sufferers of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, and that this does not indicate a change within the actual game catalog. You can still purchase Call of Duty; you will not see it advertised.
On the same time, ESPN2 postponed its August 11th airing of the Xgames’ Apex Legends EXP Invitational for similar causes. Kotaku sources noted that the competition would now air on October 6th, October 15th, and October 27th.
While both moves had been made out of sensitivity, they might still be problematic by giving confidence to the unsupported claim that video games trigger violence. Multiple studies have proven that these titles do not lead to violent behavior and that proponents of restricting violent game sales have traditionally used it to distract from questions about gun control and gun tradition. Walmart is still selling guns, although CEO Doug McMillon hinted at openness to change with promises of “thoughtful and deliberate” responses to issues raised by gun violence. The video game and movie display changes may be the start of a broader strategy shift.