Trigger Warning

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) has found a clear cause for the gun violence plaguing the United States. According to him, the radicalization of these white males with bullet-spraying guns is coming from video games.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/05/kevin-mccarthy-dan-patrick-video-games-el-paso-shooting/

“I’ve always felt that it’s a problem for future generations and others,” McCarthy said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “We’ve watched from studies, shown before, what it does to individuals, and you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.”

However, there is no social science research that has attributed gun violence rates in the U.S. to our video game consumption, so he’s lying about that.

I’m confused, because McCarthy is convinced he has the cause of gun violence clearly in his sights.

I took a look at controllers for each video game system searching for the violent extremist features that enable white supremacists to cause mass casualties.

Does the user experience of the controls of current game systems empower the user to fully emulate the experience of using a real weapon and violently act out their white nationalist rage?

Let’s start with the PS4:

https://www.playstation.com/en-us/explore/accessories/gaming-controllers/dualshock-4/

The DualShock 4 is a very ergonomic design that has a bunch of creative features to allow users to express themselves in different ways.

However, this design doesn’t seem to come anywhere close to resembling holding and operating an AR-15. There’s nothing on this controller to tell you what clips you need, where it goes, how to reload or how to operate such a weapon effectively. And of course, there is nowhere for bullets to come out of this.

Maybe these designs offer more instruction to operate a rifle designed with the sole purpose of killing real people?

They are camouflage styled, so maybe?

Nope, nothing to indicate how to use a real weapon here either. Of course, real members of the armed forces are a well-trained and heavily regulated group of volunteers who want to defend their country from real threats and not looking to express white nationalism. It seems silly to even make the leap that a video game with military re-enactments would turn you evil anyway. In many games I played, I was “shooting” virtual Nazis from the 1940s and no one person in particular.

PlayStation 4 also has VR, which is even more immersive. Maybe that user experience trains you to become a killer who hates brown people?

Here’s one controller:

This seems to be a special forces military style game, but it’s doubtful it teaches someone to hate others at a level that compels them to buy a legal assault rifle and hurt real people. The characters are holding illustrations of weapons, but again, the controller is a significantly different thing than what the characters are portrayed as using. It in no way is teaching you how to use a real weapon, because I don’t see a clip or any indication how to operate one. I doubt bullets shoot out of the pink glowing ball on the end of this contraption.

Maybe the PlayStation Move is a better…

No. No, that’s nothing like an AR-15.

Let’s move on to the current XBox:

https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/accessories

I was able to find camo style controllers here too, but again, that doesn’t imply anything other than a stylistic choice of controller and probably a preference for military content games.

Some very interesting designs here, but no clip or instructions on real weapon usage. No bullet spraying mechanism in the front of this and the recoil of a real weapon doesn’t match the vibrations of a game controller.

My last option was the Nintendo Switch. Sure it’s doubtful the House of Mario and Zelda encourages kids to radicalize beliefs that the country is under a threat of invasion, but let’s just check.

https://www.nintendo.com/switch/choose-your-joy-con-color/

You can see the Joy-Cons in 3D and from every angle, there’s nothing here that’s even close to an AR-15 or AK-47 rifle that can kill dozens of people in a synagogue, school, Walmart or town square in just a few minutes.

There isn’t a single White Nationalist game I could find in the Nintendo e-Shop, physical copy game card or disc that would misinform someone about a supposed caravan of “invaders” being funded by George Soros that is coming and it’s a threat to our country.

I also didn’t find a game that suggests a Congress with a majority of Democratic Party members who want to pass gun control legislation, which most Americans want, is a violation of 2nd Amendment freedoms.

Maybe Kevin McCarthy could take his head out of his ass and look elsewhere for the cause of violent white nationalist extremism. The causes for this violence are varied, but allowing it to continue since Sandy Hook?

McCarthy can find the reason for that in the mirror.


EDIT: Some follow-up –

Study Finds Zero Evidence Violent Video Games Cause Violence

The APA’s Technical Report on the Review of the Violent Video Game Literature

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