Retail behemoth Walmart denied reports about removing violent video games from the shelves today. The company noted that it is neither halting sales nor removing any games from the stores.
It is taking some steps
The company said that it is removing the advertisement, signage, and demo for video games that could feature firearms and violence. Their move came after the El Paso mass shooting that shook the nation last week.
A company spokesperson clarified their stance on video games saying,
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and it does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment. We are focused on assisting our associates and their families, as well as supporting the community, as we continue a thoughtful and thorough review of our policies.”
All video game titles, including the ones that are more violent and come with an M rating, are still available for the users.
Are video games responsible for violence?
Last week’s mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas took 22 lives and left 24 people injured. Many political figures, including President Donald Trump, have blamed violent video games for this. Speaking at a press conference, Trump recently said the glorification of violence must stop.
IGN, which broke the story about the takedown of video games at Walmart stores posted an update recently, adding comments from Walmart spokespersons. They also notified that the removal is only applicable to signage. The publication also asked the company if the Twitter reports about some stores taking down their video games isles is true.
The company hasn’t given any clear reply on the same, and it is unclear if individual stores have the authority to decide which products will go on sale. In the meanwhile, the company spokesperson clarified that the decision to remove signage doesn’t affect the long-term prospects of their video game assortment. This suggests that the company doesn’t see video games as a problem, unlike Trump but continues to review its policy.
IGN also published another article that removes video games from the mass shooting debates, citing scientific studies that point no link between games and shootings. The article’s headline suggests that all countries have video games, but only the US has a mass shooting problem. The jury is still out on the case as the popular political opinion seems to be going against games.