Emmanuel Macron has a new scapegoat for the unrest in France. As violent protests sparked by the deadly police shooting of a teenager spread across the country, the president first blamed social media and parents before pointing the finger at a black man he loves: video games.
“Sometimes it feels like some of them are reliving the video games that got them high on the street,” Macron said at a crisis meeting on Friday.
The 45-year-old reiterated a common claim for which there is little empirical evidence. Studies have consistently dismissed the link between violent video games and violent behavior. Christopher Ferguson, a professor at Stetson University who studies the links, says, “There is no evidence of a link, let alone causation.”
Other experts fear the issue is attracting too much attention. According to the American Psychological Association, “attributing violence to violent video games is not scientifically sound and diverts attention from other factors” — which cynics say is the whole point.
Undoubtedly, there have been numerous occasions when video games have provided politically meaningful excuses for social ills. Here are five of them.
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1. Mass shootings
Macron is not the first leader to attribute violence to gambling. After two mass shootings over a weekend in 2019, then-US President Donald Trump made a similar claim.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” he said. “That includes the grisly and grisly video games that are now commonplace.”
Trump reiterated a theory widely circulated since the horrifying Columbine High School shooting in 1999. It’s not surprising that the National Rifle Association has become a prominent proponent of the hypothesis.
“After Columbine, honesty stopped,” Ferguson told The Atlantic.
The teens got the protesting idea from video games? Macron sounds a lot like…
(Posted in The New Yorker in 2018, by me and @scottdools) pic.twitter.com/LAoGAmiz1Y
— Jason Chatfield (@NewYorkCartoons) June 30, 2023
Some of the world’s most popular video games are associated with devil worship. Two notable examples are first-person shooter Doom and the Pokémon franchise, both of which have been accused of promoting satanic themes.
However, the Catholic Church has denied such allegations. in 2020, Said Sat2000, a satellite TV station operated by the Vatican Pokemon was based on “intense bonds of friendship” and lacked “any harmful moral side effects”.
World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Fortnite have all been blamed for adultery.
After To Divorce online, 5% of In 2018 British divorce filings, online gaming addiction was cited as the reason for their split. Admittedly, partners with video game addiction can be annoying (sorry baby), but it’s more of a symptom than a cause of relationship troubles.
Gaming is regularly linked to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. However, Research indicates that the impact Typically, only people with existing mental health problems are affected.
On a positive note, Several studies have shown that games can actually help fight depression and fear.
5. Bad dancing
There’s one detrimental effect of gaming that just can’t be denied: Fortnite’s influence on terrifying dancing.
The global hit features a range of hugely popular emotes, from dab to raft. Unfortunately, these dances are now also increasingly found in IRL. Footballers, pop stars, and influencers have all tried the creepy moves and introduced the wretched bops to countless impressionable youth and adults.
If Macron is genuinely concerned about video games, he should investigate the matter immediately. But that might include a disturbing look in the mirror:
Only Macron dabs at Pogba’s post-game insta.
I want Theresa to do the Fortnite dance with Jesse now. pic.twitter.com/7ZoJPMtU3V
— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) July 15, 2018