President Donald Trump showed a reel of video game violence last week during a meeting with the game industry as part of an attempt to find solutions to gun violence. And this week, the game industry has responded with an 88-second reel — the same length as Trump’s video — showing the beauty of games.
The video comes from Games for Change, a video game nonprofit that highlights the power of games to change the world. If Trump’s video represented the worst of video games and a reason to blame them for gun violence, this response video could be seen as the best that games have to offer.
“We made it at Games for Change over the weekend,” said Asi Burak, the chairman of Games for Change, in an email. “Its more of a love letter to the industry and to the medium. We hope it contributes to the conversation and demonstrates the beauty and joy of games in a way that is very different from the White House video.”
The team chose to show scenes from The Last of Us, including a touching part where Ellie finds a group of giraffes, a small piece of beauty amid the apocalypse. It also shows scenes from Abzu, a beautiful underwater adventure game, as well as the female friendship of Life is Strange.
(Here’s Trump’s violent games reel below).
It shows inspiring landscape shots and other breathtaking scenes from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Minecraft, The Last Guardian, Little Big Planet, Monument Valley, Never Alone, Overwatch, Celeste, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Shadow of the Colossus, Fortnite, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Leo’s Fortune, Firewatch, Portal 2, The Witness, and Journey.
And it has emotional moments in scenes from Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Ori and the Blind Forest.
It closes with the message: “To all the game creators and players, thank you.”
Trump’s video was issued publicly, with no age gate indicating the mature nature of the video, after the meeting with game industry representatives (including the Entertainment Software Association’s CEO Mike Gallagher, as well as Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick and ZeniMax Media CEO Robert Altman).
After recent school shootings, many in the industry fear the president will use games as a scapegoat for violence in society — rather than blaming guns. Warren Spector, creator of games such as Deus Ex and Epic Mickey, criticized the game industry for creating the violent games that Trump highlighted. He said he hoped to inspire game developers to create more elevated works of art — of the kind highlighted in the Games for Change video.