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Walmart tells staff to pull violent game ads and demos, but guns still for sale

Walmart tells staff to pull violent game ads and demos, but guns still for sale

August 9, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

Walmart has told employees to remove advertising and displays that reference violence, including those promoting video games.

Although the company didn't explicitly link the move to the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the first of which took place in a Walmart store and left 22 people dead and 24 others injured, the decision appears to be a direct response to those incidents.

Addressing the nation on Monday, U.S. president Donald Trump suggested the "glorification of violence" in society was responsible for the recent spate of shootings, and blamed "the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace" for propagating that violent ideology.

Now, mere days after that White House address, Walmart has instructed staff (via a notice that's been circulating on social media) to review their store for "any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behavior," before removing or turning off those offensive items. 

More specifically, workers have been told to "turn off or unplug any video game display consoles that show a demo of violent games" and cancel "any events promoting combat style or third-person shooter games that may be scheduled in Electronics."

The letter also asks staff to "turn off any hunting season videos," but it appears the company's main focus is on switching off and removing video game advertising. Curiously, the retailer has decided against halting the sale of firearms, and earlier this week told USA Today there has been no change in its gun policy.

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