On Thursday's episode of The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah decried Trump's recent video game violence meeting, which entertained the concept that video games are to blame for shootings. In Noah's opinion, Trump's apparent focus on video games as a driver of violence is way misguided. Instead, he suggests the administration would be better off concentrating on preventing people from acquiring guns — plain and simple.
Noah opened his segment by noting that Trump held a private roundtable discussion on Thursday at the White House with both executives in the video game industry and critics of violent video games. Media was barred from attending the meeting, but the White House did release a statement prior to the roundtable, which reflected on its purpose.
"As we continue to work towards creating school safety programs that protect all children, the president will be meeting with video game industry leaders and members of Congress to discuss violent video game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children," White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said.
Noah noted that Trump appearing to link video games to gun violence does not constitute the first time that politicians have sought to make this connection. He played a clip from a 1993 Senate subcommittee meeting where lawmakers made similar assertions as Trump. And he definitely got the point across — Trump's exploration of the link between gun violence and video game violence is outdated.
The late night host then questioned the validity of historically blaming violence on video games, reflecting on Paperboy, a 1980s game centered around delivering newspapers, to illustrate his point:
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 go out and commit mass paper deliveries.
Noah also noted that hundreds of studies on the issue have reveled that there is not a connection between violent video games and violent activity. He also commented that you can't necessarily "take violence out of the world — what you can do is limit the tools violent people have."
The host then used the example of Japan to further drive home his point. Noah played a CNN clip from August 2016 that described how many people in Japan play violent games similar to the ones played in the United States. It revealed that, in 2015, video game revenue in Japan was over $12 billion, the third highest in the world. However, the clip went on to describe that Japan has exceedingly strict gun control laws and in, 2015, there was only one gun death out of 127 million people. Thus, the clip implied that gun control laws — not video game regulation — were responsible for the very low rates of gun violence in Japan.
Noah echoed this sentiment in his commentary following the clip, saying, "The truth is, many countries around the world have figured this out. The most effective and realistic way to limit gun violence is to regulate who has access to guns."
The comedian closed his segment by asking if the audience would excuse him because he's been "playing a ton of Angry Birds, so he has to go outside and throw some pigeons at pigs" — using the joke a way to further illustrate that he believes that blaming video games for gun violence constitutes flawed logic. You can bet that Noah will be keeping tabs on how the Trump administration continues to address the issue of gun violence — and that the late-night host will not hesitate to comment if he feels that its approach is misguided.