Walmart is pulling violent video game displays, specifically shooter games, from its stores after the recent shootings. The games will still be for sale, but the ability to play demos or view video clips from the games won’t be available. Walmart is also making similar changes to movie and television displays in the retailer’s stores.
Previously, Walmart put up displays designed to promote video games that many consider violent, allowing customers to see demonstrations or try the game before making a purchase. In the wake of the recent mass shootings, Walmart has decided to take these displays down.
The reason for the change has to do with the sounds emanating from the displays. CNN writes, “some shoppers could conceivably mistake the soundtrack of those games for actual gunshots.”
After two recent shootings in Walmart stores, both the retail giant and its customers could be especially sensitive to the noises.
The retailer also went a step further, instructing stores to remove signage depicting violent images and cancel any events involving the promotion of games that fall into that category.
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment,” Tara House, a Walmart spokesperson, stated.
Violent movie and television show displays will also be removed from the stores’ electronics sections for similar reasons. Additionally, hunting videos in Walmart sporting goods sections will not be playing.
An image of the new policy was published on social media on Thursday.
The memo came out shortly after Doug McMillion, Walmart’s CEO, made a statement where he promised a “thoughtful and deliberate” response to the recent shootings.
“We will work to understand the many important issues that arise from El Paso and Southaven, as well as those that have been raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence,” said McMillon in a memo addressing employees.
Walmart is one of the largest gun sellers in the world, and some are calling on the retailer to stop selling firearms.
The retail giant has not sold assault rifles since 2015, a change made after the Sandy Hook shooting. Additionally, Walmart adjusted its age policy after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, setting the minimum age to 21.
Handguns are not available at Walmart aside from in Alaska.