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It’s been a tough week for late-night hosts trying to figure out what warrants top priority when it comes to current events in the Trump White House. On Thursday, Trevor Noah addressed something the other hosts haven’t: Trump’s Thursday meeting about violent video games maybe is the reason why people shoot each other.
Noah reminded everyone that government officials have been talking about the dangers of violent video games for decades, even when its art style was so cartoonish that the idea that somehow it presented realistic depictions of violence was absurd. Noah pointed out how weird it is that video games are only credited with influencing youths in this one specific way.
“Here’s what I don’t get about this argument: how come video games are supposedly so influential but only when it comes to guns? Because I mean if they really were as influential as politicians say, then shouldn’t games influence us with everything? As kids we spent every day playing ‘Paperboy,’ but that never inspired anyone to commit mass paper deliveries,” Noah joked.
“There have been hundreds of studies on this issue, and they have shown that there isn’t any connection between violent video games and violent activities” Noah continued. “Now, that doesn’t mean that video games have no influence on you because let’s be honest, everything we consume as human beings affects us somehow. ‘Sex and the City’ might make you want to go to brunch. ‘Karate Kid’ might have made people join the local dojo.”
Noah then pointed out that something else in our culture maybe could influence people to commit violence.
“So yes, I agree that video games can affect your behavior, but so can TV and movies and, hell, there’s even violence in the Bible,” Noah said. “Motherf—ers were killing people with jawbones in there. You can’t take violence out of the world. What you can do is limit the tools that violent people have–which is exactly what they’ve done in Japan.”
“The Daily Show” played a clip from a news broadcast about how folks in Japan play almost as much video games as Americans, and yet there was only a single gun death in the entire country in 2015. So maybe, Noah suggested, the issue really is about guns and not video games.
“Look man, the truth is, many countries around the world have figured this out,” Noah said. “The most effective and realistic way to limit gun violence is to regulate who has access to guns.”
You can watch Noah’s full comments in the video embedded at the top of this post, or on YouTube.