While I don’t think modern digital entertainment is especially healthy, national leaders blaming movies and games instead of dealing Islamic violence is even less mentally healthy.
Here’s France’s President Macron trying hard not to talk about the thing you’re not supposed to address.
President Emmanuel Macron has mostly blamed social media for the devastation, but he has also claimed that video games have inspired copycat violence and vandalism.
“It sometimes feels like some of them are experiencing, on the streets, the video games that have intoxicated them,” Macron said in a press conference on July 1.
There were massive riots in France long before video games and while feedback cycles of simulated violence are probably not doing anything helpful for the minds of France’s youth, the bigger problem is that the youth increasingly consists of North African Muslims who have no investment in the country, a great deal of hostility to it and every reason to act out their version of the BLM riots.
Social media is playing a role here, but talking about the digital element ignores the real issue. Much like the arguments that video games caused school shootings, the vast majority of kids playing games don’t shoot up schools, and those who do have specific motives. Entertainment is rarely a motive, it may just occasionally suggest a means. Macron wants to talk about the adrenaline high rather than the underlying hatred.
Islam does not need video games to inspire violence in its followers and the clash of civilizations in France is not just a misfiring reptile brain. Everything else is a distraction from that simple reality.