...Shortly after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., President Trump said that violent video games and movies may play a role in school shootings, a claim that has been made -- and rejected -- many times since the increase in such attacks in the past two decades.
Movies are "so violent," Mr. Trump said at a meeting on school safety on Feb. 22, a week after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where, the authorities say, a former student, Nikolas Cruz, killed 17 people with a semiautomatic rifle. A neighbor of Mr. Cruz's told The Miami Herald that he played video games, often violent ones, for up to 15 hours a day...
Mr. Trump is far from the first leader to argue that violence in video games or movies can lead to violence in the real world.
A similar claim was made in the 1940s, when Mayor Fiorello La Guardia of New York argued that pinball -- which was illegal in the city for over 30 years -- was "dominated by interests heavily tainted with criminality."...
In a 2005 essay for PBS, Henry Jenkins, a professor at the University of Southern California, said that juvenile crime in the United States was at a 30-year low even though large numbers of young people play video games.
"Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population," he wrote. When it comes to video games, he said, "the overwhelming majority of kids who play do not commit antisocial acts."
According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of American adults -- including roughly equal numbers of men and women -- play video games, whether on a computer, a TV, a gaming console, or a portable device like a cellphone or an iPad.
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In Japan, about 60 percent of the population played video games in 2016, according to NewZoo, a gaming market research company. But almost no one is killed by a gun in the country, which bans possessing, carrying, selling, or buying handguns or rifles. There were only six gun deaths in Japan in 2014, compared with over 33,000 in the United States, according to GunPolicy.org, which tracks published reports on armed violence, firearm law and gun control....