Selling Call of Duty, Gears 5 and Death Stranding is going to be a tough sell at retailers this fall if Walmart’s wide-sweeping ban on promoting shooting games and violent content in media stays in effect for longer than a week. According to some news reports, Walmart is telling employees to take down signs and display units promoting violent content, which stretches across video games, movies, and even hunting videos.
According to GameIndustry.biz, the move comes in the wake of the Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas shootings, the latter of which occurred at a Walmart.
The article notes that employees are being sent a merchandise reference sheet from the Emergency Operations Center.
Various employees have been sharing the letters from the Walmart department on social media, which outlines what the company won’t be displaying in public.
Apparently Walmart is telling its employees to take down displays that show violent video games, specifically shooters, as well as movies and hunting videos. pic.twitter.com/2N3t4B86tf
— Kenneth Shepard (@shepardcdr) August 7, 2019
The notice reads…
“Review your store for any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior. Remove from the sales floor or turn off these items immediately.
“Use your best judgment when determining whether an element is appropriate. If you are unsure, remove the item or turn it off as a precautionary measure.”
It then goes on to list a number of things that the employee needs “to do”, which includes turning off hunting season videos playing the sporting goods section or removing any monitors displaying hunting content.
They also note that they should turn off any movies depicting violence that are playing in the electronics section.
The letter further states…
“Turn off or unplug any video game display consoles that show a demo of violent games, specifically PlayStation and Xbox units. Anderson merchandisers will be in your store to update these demo units within the next week.
“Cancel any events promoting combat style or third-person shooter games that may be scheduled in Electronics.”
“Verify that no movies depicting violence are playing in Electronics.
“Turn off any hunting season videos that may be playing in Sporting Goods, and remove any monitors or displays that show the videos.
“Check all signing throughout the store and remove any referencing combat or third-person shooter video games.”
This comes shortly after President Donald Trump claimed that something would need to be done immediately about the glorification of violence in today’s media, specifically signaling out and blaming video games.
He also advocated for a red flag initiative, to work with social media services to “flag” persons that may be considered a potential threat to society, not unlike China’s AI-powered social credit system, which identifies potentially “at risk” persons for the Ministry of Justice to investigate, which usually results in said person(s) being taken to the “re-education centers” so they can be reintegrated back into Chinese society.
Some people have claimed this was all part of President Trump’s plan to play “4D chess” with the Democrats, but we’re already seeing a chilling effect from his blame being put on video games. Even if no actual laws pass, expect more censorship to ramp up in gaming not unlike what Sony instituted on the PS4 to limit the expression of fan-service in games.
This is the future you didn’t fight to protect.
(Thanks for the news tip FightSJWCensorship)