Video games do not cause violent behavior. There is no scientific, consensus-backed research supporting the idea that playing video games -- even bloody, realistic shooters -- leads to real-life acts of brutality.
However, this misguided theory prevails. After a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead on February 14th, a handful of politicians decried video games for corrupting young minds and inciting violent behavior. Days later, President Donald Trump said during a meeting about safety in schools, "I'm hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people's thoughts."
Tomorrow, video game industry leaders are scheduled to meet with Trump to discuss the (non-existent, completely imaginary) problem. The Entertainment Software Association will be there and it has a clear message for the White House: "Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the US has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation."
This isn't a new setting for the ESA. The trade association represents due-paying titans including Sony, Microsoft, Activision and Nintendo, and it's the industry's first line of defense against federal attempts to regulate video games. For example, the ESA established the Entertainment Software Rating Board in 1994, at the height of video game panic in Congress. The ESRB's promise to put ratings on all games placated politicians who were calling for the government to step in and censor.