80 percent of mass shooters showed no interest in video games, researcher says

CBS News

NEW YORK (CBS)  President Trump met with video game industry representatives Thursday, after saying last month violent video games may play a role in mass shootings. The president met with parents like Melissa Henson.

“The kind of messages and images that they are putting in their minds, I think they’re nightly dress rehearsals for huge acts of violence,” she said.

But psychologist Patrick Markey’s research shows 80 percent of mass shooters did not show an interest in violent video games.


President Trump has said violence in video games may play a role in mass shootings


“It seems like something that should make us safer so it’s a totally understandable reaction,” Markey said. “The problem is just the science, the data, does not back up that they actually have an effect.”

Other critics point to the appearance of specific weapons in video games, like a Remington assault rifle pictured in popular game “Call of Duty.” Images of the rifle come from a lawsuit by Sandy Hook parents, who are suing Remington, saying the company bears responsibility for the killings of the 26 children at the school by shooter Adam Lanza in 2012.

“He was within this younger male demographic that Remington was trying to sell guns to,” said attorney Josh Koskoff. “What we are seeing here is what I describe as a ‘chickens coming home to roost’ scenario, where you saturate, you sell so recklessly so many of these weapons to this high-risk demographic.”

We reached out to Remington but did not hear back. The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the video game industry, said it told the president that “numerous scientific studies” show there is “no connection between video games and violence.”  In fact, Markey said his work shows when a new violent game is released, crime actually drops.

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