ESPN Delays Broadcast of Shooter-Style Video Game Tournament After Mass Shootings

ESPN
Briana Sanchez/The El Paso Times via AP

ESPN has postponed the broadcast of a first-person shooter video game tournament out of respect to victims in last week’s mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

The Apex Legends Battle Royale game is a typical shooter game featuring animated characters running around finishing each other off with guns and other weapons for points, TMZ reported.

But the network is now pushing back its broadcast of the tournament, “out of respect for the victims and all those impacted in the immediate aftermath of the shootings,” the network said.

The network said that the tournament would likely air in October. A delay, instead of cancellation, saves the network from airing the shooting-game tournament in such close proximity to real-life instances of mass shootings.

In the wake of the pair of shootings only hours apart, a list of politicians jumped to identify video games as one of the causes of mass shootings.

For one, President Trump exclaimed that we “must stop the glorification of violence in our society.”

“It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence,” the president added.

House Republican Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, also added his voice to criticism of video games.

“But the idea of these video games that dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others — I’ve always felt that is a problem for future generations and others. We’ve watched from studies shown before of what it does to individuals. When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others,” McCarthy said this week.

But those recent comments are part of a long tradition of politicians pointing fingers at video games. Back in 2005, Hillary Clinton made a big deal of blaming video games for society’s ills. Clinton was still a New York Senator at the time when she launched a well-publicized war on violent video games.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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