Games For Change Respond To White House

Games For Change Respond To White House
Image: Nintendo

Last week in response to the Parkland shooting, US President Donald Trump held a meeting with game executives where an 88 second video highlighting violence in video games was shown.

Non-profit organisation Games for Change has made a video in response. A video that highlights the beauty, wonder and joy of video games.

Violence in video games is a topic that never seems to go away. People involved in the meeting with President Trump tried to argue that there’s a causal link between video game violence and real world violence. There isn’t one.

But violence isn’t all that video games are about. They are also provide beauty, wonder and joy. They are a social outlet and a way to build communities. That’s why Games for Change have made their own video.

Games for Change is a non-profit organisation that helps game creators drive real-world change using games and technology that help people to learn, improve their communities, and contribute to make the world a better place. So when they saw the highlight reel that played at the White House they wanted to challenge the misdirected blame put on video games.

The video – which also includes 88 seconds of game footage – shows clips from 21 different games. Games ranging from Minecraft to Monument Valley. Games like Journey that are about working together. Games like Life is Strange and Firewatch that tell unique stories. Games like Breath of the Wild that let you experience the joy of exploring.

The video concludes with a message:

To all game creators and players. Thank you. #GameOn

It’s easy to get caught up in arguments. To focus on the bad and try to tell people why they’re wrong to worry about it. Sometimes it’s nice to embrace the good instead.


    • Nah the whole fiasco was never about video games. It was entirely about shifting the focus off of guns. Worst part is it has worked. Instead of being angry at guns people are once again debating video game violence even though the subject has long been concluded through rigorous scientific reserch and studies.
      Reminds me of the blame vaccinations get.

      I can’t wait until America takes up it method for fighting gun violence into the field of drugs and narcotics. I can see the slogan now ” only a good man selling illegal drugs can stop a bad man selling illegal drugs”

      • I would say they are already doing the same shit with narcotics.
        Their war on drugs has only ever been a war on drugs they aren’t selling.

  • I don’t understand this targeting of the games industry as a medium for violent themes but the film industry has been ignored? Especially when they have similar levels and are graded by the same Board for age groups.
    Seems a scare campaign and a scapegoat for a (relatively) fledgling industry that the powers that be and decision makers don’t fully understand.
    The industry has a massive uphill battle with a non-receptive audience I fear.
    Best of luck to all who take up the fight.

    • They are only graded by the same board in Australia. In America, the ESRB that classifies video games is a separate entity to the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America).

    • Films and music were the scapegoat in the 80’s.
      It’s been games since the mid-90’s when they got graphically advanced enough to be Mortal Combat, basically. It’s an easier argument to sell to older people who’ve never played games and grew up with film (but miraculously never turned into mass-murderers).

      I wouldn’t look too far into it if I was you. The people regurgitating this issue are the same people who think guns are the answer to violence, every climate scientist in the world is a secret Chinese agent and that the creator of all things is following people around judging them for not sharing their values.

      They’re dumb fucks and you’re just screaming into the wind getting upset about it.
      You won’t change these people, just don’t be a moron yourself and wait for them to die.

      • Which is more surprising when you realise it should be youtube or social medias turned to be blamed for this decades flaws.

        • The advent of intentionally antagonistically news/ information/ social media has done more harm than entertainment media ever will.

          Rage, division and fear gets viewers, clicks and comments- and that’s what drives revenue- so that’s what drives 99% of all media reporting.
          Modern media is designed to be alarmist, extremist and infuriating first and foremost; misleading if necessary and truthful as a distant third.

          Look at half the shit that gets posted even just on this website. Why report facts and games-related stories when posting a hysterical overreaction to a barely-gaming related social issue will generate the most traffic? When you get paid for attention you may as well strip down, smear yourself in shit and run screaming through the streets.

          I’m a right-leaning type but Capitalism rewards this kind of behaviour and doing anything about it isn’t being discussed anywhere. It’s the biggest problem facing mankind IMO, because it drowns out our ability to sensibly discuss all other issues and pushes discussion to extremes where people like Trump are normalised.

          We’re all f*cked.

          • I hate classifying myself, but if I had to, I’d definitely be on the left. I agree with everything you’ve brought up.

            “I’m a right-leaning type but Capitalism rewards this kind of behaviour and doing anything about it isn’t being discussed anywhere. It’s the biggest problem facing mankind IMO, because it drowns out our ability to sensibly discuss all other issues and pushes discussion to extremes where people like Trump are normalised.”

            Preach, brother. You put it better than I ever could.

      • You won’t change these people
        It’s really just that simple. My dad is even one of ‘those people’ and regardless of how many studies I show him that it’s rubbish he’ll just say something like “I just don’t see how shooting people in a game can be good for you.”
        Mind you he hasn’t played a video game since Sim City 2000 when it was new, so early 90s.

        • “I just don’t see how shooting people in a game can be good for you.”

          To be fair, on the face of it that seems a perfectly reasonable point of view.

          The thing is though, people from his generation like reading scary books, murder mysteries, crime shows, violent TV and films.

          Ask him to justify why he enjoyed Saving Private Ryan (assuming he’s human and did).
          You can’t really. It’s a horrible story about a horrible time. It shouldn’t be enjoyable AT ALL.

          But it is, because we’re human, and horrible things can entertain us in the safety of our own homes. It’s just how we are.
          If you rationalise it though, it’s hard to justify without looking like a complete psycho.

          • Yeah we’ve had all those arguments over the years because he is a big Stephen King fan and loves so many violent shows/films but regardless of what I say/do he’s convinced that controlling a game makes it worse.

            He’s not a stupid person, I really just think it’s because his entire exposure to games is arcade games, classic management games, seeing bits of me playing random games as a kid and the rubbish Facebook games my mum plays. So (despite me trying) the only exposure he really has to modern ‘adult’ games is what I’ve told him and what he’s read/seen on the news :/

          • Saving Private Ryan is to be admired for it’s willingness to show us the horror of war while at the same time recognising heroism and sacrifice. There is nothing gratuitous about it.

            It’s not the same experience as playing Call of Duty.

          • “That’s just like… your opinion, man.”

            War movies can be every bit as gratuitous in their depiction of death as many video games, and your modern patriotic military shooter can be every bit as respectful to the sacrifice and heroism of soldiers as the average war movie.

            Demonising video games is nothing more than idiotic behaviour from people who don’t understand or appreciate the medium.

          • Perhaps some better examples would be GoT, Westworld, Sopranos (HBO in general lol), John Wick, pretty much every Tarantino film ever (I remember that he was a popular scapegoat before games)

        • Zipper flys

          My personal all-time favourite.

          Apparently the transition from a world where undoing buttons was required to get your old-fella out to one where it was only a “zip” away was going to destroy the moral fabric of our society. The zip was going to cut lag time between the impulse to whip “it” out and the whipping out of “it” by a solid 10 seconds, making it almost impossible to get through the day without exposing yourself. Dicks at the ready 24/7. The world has never recovered.

    • Might be because of the passive vs. active experiences that watching a film and playing a game offer, respectively. Sadly, that means something to some people who need to meet their outrage quota.

  • I’m not going to let myself feel anything in response to “video games make our children crave violence!” debate anymore. It’s getting to the point where people throwing that opinion out sound like flat earth theorists.
    It used to drive me nuts. Now it’s like when I’m being told that I’m going to hell for being an atheist: There is no hell, so the opinion has zero information value to me.
    If we stop feeding the notion with responses it can finally be left alone to die naturally.

  • All while every child psychologist is waiting patiently with their hands up to tell them that games don’t do anything, all the damage is pretty much done in the first 3 years of life….

  • What a great video. It really shows some of the awesome talent out there from AAA budgets to indies to the ubiquitous block builder behemoth that shall not be named 🙂
    Games can and do have violence in them. Just like movies or books, comics, TV or real life. But is any single medium to blame….

    Sadly I expect that clip will be ignored by a US Government that has no will to change, either inherently due to the legal bind they are in, or more likely due to the big business behind guns.

    It did inspire me to go out and play some of the games featured that I’d missed or maybe wouldn’t have considered playing.

  • That’s great and all but what does it do to further the discussion about the violence that exists in video games? It’s like someone pointing out that a park is full of litter and then someone else saying “But look at this lovely patch of flowers. The park isn’t all full of litter.” Though it provides a broader context, in the end it’s not solving the problem that exists, it’s drawing attention away from it.

    Just to clarify too. I’m not saying anything about vilence in games causing people to be violent. My point is that violence exists in games and there is a valid discussion to be had about whether it is excessive and how to effectively keep it out of reach of those who are at an inappropriate age to understand it.

    • Yeah. Pointing out how wonderfully serene and beautiful non-violent games can be is going to do sweet fuck all for violent games in this argument.

      The argument to be had is that excessive violence in games should a) still be fully and freely available to adults, even if restricted to children, and b) has been studied to death, continually, overwhelmingly proving the absence of any links to actual violence – even in children.

      “There are non-violent, touching games, too!” doesn’t contribute fucking shit to that argument. It’s an irrelevant distraction, an answer to a completely different argument about banning video gaming wholesale.

      I’d be more impressed if the clip reel was somehow able to demonstrate that there is merit to using violence in games to demonstrate artistic and philosophical points, such as Bioshock’s collapsed, Randian society, or the ‘would you kindly’ illusion of choice. The commentary and messages of Spec Ops: the Line would’ve been meaningless without the violence. The contrast of violence is what gives meaning to the suspense in System Shock 2/Deadspace type games.

      We don’t need to be proving that games can exist without violence. We need to be proving that violence can have VALUE in games.

  • Maybe trump will finally raise the legal age to buying video games to 21, include background checks on customers and put a ban on Adult Rated (AR) games. That will solve the violent people video games create that end up buying guns…

  • Great video, kinda wish they’d used more than just the 21 games as it felt like some just kept showing up a little too much (and there are more than 21 beautiful games around) but great all the same.
    Probably pointless though as I imagine the only people who will ever watch this already knew that games were more than just violence and gore.

  • Sometimes I feel that America is leaning towards a dictatorship rather then a Democratic system with all the decisions being made by a single entity, who isn’t really in touch with the demographic as a country. That being said, he must be some what in touch because he was elected as the leader of that “fine” country. Just kind of shows how out of touch and date geriatric people truly are.

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