Marvel Comics writer Saladin Ahmed took to Twitter to claim that we currently live in an “omnipresent culture of misogynist white supremacist violence.” The comment came following two tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
tired: VIDEO GAMES CAUSE VIOLENCE
wired: no they don’t
inspired: *of course* video games don’t cause violence but it’s always worth thinking about how any given game partakes in our omnipresent culture of misogynist white supremacist violence because uh lots of them do so
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) August 5, 2019
Ahmed’s comments came hours before President Donald Trump addressed the nation stating:
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”
Professor Christopher Ferguson responded to Ahmed’s comments.
Well, increasingly the studies are showing no effects. See: https://t.co/qx3YjbPQR7
— Chris Ferguson (@CJFerguson1111) August 5, 2019
He linked to one of his most recent research papers that declares:
“Results indicate that aggressive video games were unrelated to any of the outcomes using the study criteria for signiﬁcance. It would take 27h/day of M-rated game play to produce clinically noticeable changes in aggression. Effect sizes for aggression/prosocial outcomes were 20 little different than for nonsense outcomes. Evidence from this study does not support the conclusion that aggressive video 21 games are a predictor of later aggression or reduced prosocial behavior in youth.”
This isn’t the first time Ahmed has made controversial comments. In a recent interview with Salon’s Chauncey Devega, Saladin stated that politics are central to his fictional stories about Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel.
“Politics are central to the story for me. If I want to understand a character I need to know how they grew up. I want to know what they expected out of life. I want to know whether they achieved that. You don’t know those things unless you as a writer know the social and political landscape. That’s the reality that we’re writing about. This is central to writing a good story and believable compelling characters.”
He would also discuss race answering a question about why it’s “terrifying” to recognize “there is no American popular culture without black and brown folks.”
Ahmed addressed the question:
“Well, we like to say that people just don’t like what’s different. But it is never just about that. The real reason is that negative reaction is connected to systems of power. If you start telling stories where the focus is on people other than those who are always at the center of the conventional mainstream narrative then questions about society and power and opportunity have to be asked. There are many people who benefit from not asking those questions.”
Saladin has also openly called for both the denial of service and public harassment of those who support President Trump. He also took issue with Kellogg’s Corn Pops due to the shading of a corn pop character on their cereal box. He claimed the darker corn pop’s job as a janitor is “teaching kids racism.”
What do you make of Saladin Ahmed’s comments? Let me know your thoughts!