This seems like a basic enough point, but apparently it needs repeating. Awhile back, Kotaku posted a well-cited article about the research behind video games over the past three decades, which is worth a read. The short answer is that the research falls into two categories: studies either show no causation between violent video games and aggression, or show that video games are a part of what can lead to feelings of aggression. This is not settled science.
Trump, of course, does not care about science. In fact, I wrote a whole article about this sad phenomenon:
This is not a leader who cares about critical thought or the scientific process. He does not read books. He gets his news from his hand-picked Twitter feed and Fox News. He is a technophobe. He twice a day receives a dossier filled only with positive news about himself. Trump lives in a bubble of confirmation bias. If you are not someone who seeks to learn new things, what reason exists for scientific research or technological innovation?
So, his dumb comments about video games were not surprising.
I don’t doubt that all forms of media have an impact on culture. Novels, video games, films, comic books, movies, urban legends, music – these are all important parts of who we are as a society. So is history, religion, government, and tradition. There seems to be no cause to single video games out of such a complicated equation, although saying video games have no impact on society is plain wrong.
I’m quite happy to address this topic in a serious, nuanced manner. However, speaking realistically, people like Trump are not good-faith actors. Video games are just their scapegoat de jour, in an attempt to avoid tackling the issue of guns in the United States.