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Ninja Claps Back At Trump After Video Game Claim

Weeks ago after several mass shootings, President Donald Trump stood behind a podium and placed the blame on video games. Now popular video game streamer Ninja is responding.

The story comes by way of TMZ, which caught up with Ninja last week to gather his thoughts on the president's claim that video games cause violence. Ninja — who makes a living playing games — offered up a short-but-sweet response.


"Come on man," Ninja said. "Have you seen Minecraft? What's violent about Minecraft bro?"

Ninja had another fairly short answer when asked whether or not he thought the president's remarks were helpful, adding, "Violence is not video games. Just how it is, man."

Not quite an uber legendary epic takedown, but it does put him on the record about the matter.

Ninja isn't typically one to venture into politics, but his feelings on the subject shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Prior to becoming a full-time streamer, Ninja competed professionally against other gamers in the first-person shooter Halo. And these days, Ninja earns a paycheck by shotgunning and sniping opponents in the popular game Fortnite, which he streams to tens of thousands of viewers on a daily basis.


He's played what some might consider "violent" video games, and he's seen a lot of people play those same games. So one could presume he has a sense of whether or not those games are ultimately causing players to become more violent.

The thing is, we don't really need Ninja's words to serve as a counterargument because we have facts.

Research shows that, in terms of countries with massive video game markets, the United States far and away has the most gun violence. Japan's per-person video game revenue is greater than the United States, yet that country's number of violent gun deaths per 100,000 people is a fraction of what occurs in the U.S. The same goes for South Korea, which outpaces the U.S. in video game revenue per person, yet experiences gun violence at a far lower rate.

Video games are a convenient scapegoat and have been for decades, but the facts don't support President Trump's claim that video games are the driving force behind people shooting other people in the United States. That's a far more complicated issue to tackle, which is typically why video games are brought up in the first place: to derail any real discussion just long enough for a story to fade from the headlines.


It's the same play that's been run a number of times in the past, and given that the tragic shootings in El Paso and Dayton are several weeks behind us and we've moved on to topics like purchasing Greenland, it appears to have worked yet again.

On one hand, it's nice to see Ninja speak candidly about his belief that video games have nothing to do with violence, as he wields a lot of influence over a younger generation of gamers. These are kids who, in some places, might be catching a lot of heat for busting out Fortnite on their phones during lunch, and might have parents who are convinced the game will turn their children into violent monsters.

On the other hand, though, we'd really love for the entire "video games cause violence" idea to vanish, and that starts by depriving it of oxygen. To ask someone if they believe it is to grant both sides of the subject equal weight. It turns the issue into a matter of opinion while ignoring the fact that one side — the side disproving a link — has evidence while the other side does not.

Most of all, it keeps us from progressing toward a real solution for the problem at hand. We can argue about video games and guns all day, and try to get Ninja to elaborate on his position by shoving a mic in his face outside of Starbucks. But that's not going to solve anything.


We'll be eager to see if Ninja talks more about the issue during one of his streams this week. With this news making the rounds, he'll undoubtedly be asked about by someone in his chat. We'll report back should we hear more.