Walmart removing violent video game displays

The Walmart in Clay is seen in a file

It told employees to unplug or turn off demos of violent games, "specifically PlayStation or Xbox units", and cancel any events for combat-style or third-person shooter games.

Employees were also ordered to turn off hunting season videos in the sporting goods department.

Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University, said the move to hide violent imagery in stores was "a cheap attempt to distract consumers and the media from the real issue, which is, Walmart continues to sell guns". While USA Today reports Walmart's gun sales policy is now unaffected - drawing criticism from gun control advocates - stores will no longer play hunting videos in sporting goods sections.

In a statement to USA Today, she added, "This action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment".

The company's policy on sales of video games that depict violence has not changed, nor has its policy on gun sales.

"This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace".

On Thursday, USAToday reports, Walmart heads sent a memo to all stores saying it was taking "immediate action" to remove signage and displays that "contain violent themes or aggressive behavior".

After the massacre at the El Paso Walmart this weekend, McMillon said the company "will be thoughtful and deliberate in our responses".

It appears, however, that Walmart is reviewing its entire video game sales policies, which has led to a temporary cease in video game sales from store locations. The following week on August 3rd, 22 people were killed with a further 24 injured in a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. The insistence on blaming vendors for violent behavior by gun purchasers, however, is a bad trend that not only fails to solve the problem but will ultimately serve to deprive law-abiding citizens of products they have every right to purchase and own. Their removal was a part of the company's decision to not promote the games it deems 'violent'.

The retailer did stop selling assault weapons in 2015, and in 2018 it upped the minimum age to buy guns and bullets to 21. It's doing this by removing signs advertising certain video games - which begs the question: how exactly is this supposed to help? Following the tragedies, some politicians, including President Donald Trump, have cited violent video games as one of the contributors to such incidents. The weapons they sell are killing their own customers and employees.

The shootings this week have left many Americans on edge.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who could not attend Saturday's forum due to a funeral, dedicated his seven-minute allotment at a Democratic fundraising dinner on Friday night to gun violence, noting that 2020 rival Beto O'Rourke was not present due to one of last week's shootings being in his home town of El Paso.

Related:

Comments


Other news