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#VideoGamesAreNotToBlame refers to a social media campaign and a hashtag launched to support video games against the widespread belief that they can be the cause of violence and aggression. The hashtag gained popularity after US President Donald Trump and two prominent Republican politicians put partial blame on violent video games following 2019 El Paso and Dayton shootings.
Republican Texas Lieutenant Governor @DanPatrick is calling for federal government intervention into the video game industry, citing the Call of Duty reference from the terrorist's manifesto
he also wants you to pray more in school
Dan Patrick is religious boomer personified pic.twitter.com/hOwaW4zzJS
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 4, 2019
We've always had guns and we've always had evil, but what's changed when we see this rash of shootings? And I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill. – Dan Patrick
To have a game of shooting individuals and others, I’ve always felt that is a problem for future generations and others. – Kevin McCarthy
On August 5th, 2019, following the deadly El Paso and Dayton shootings which took place on August 3rd and 4th, the US President Donald Trump addressed the subject of violent videogames during a televised speech.
We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.
On August 4th, 2019, Twitter user @nancygrz launched a hashtag #VideoGamesAreNotToBlame as a way to support video game industry against being blamed for mass shootings. The original tweet gained over 70 retweets and 310 likes in two days (shown below).
On the following day, multiple Twitter users made posts in support of video games containing the hashtag. On August 5th, 2019, Optic Gaming CEO Hector Rodriguez made a tweet with the hashtag, receiving over 1,200 retweets and 6,000 likes in one day. In the following hours, more notable posts with the hashtag were posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
On the same day, Vox published an article "Why video games aren’t causing America’s gun problem, in one chart," with the chart later being shared by users online as a part of the hashtag campaign.