Online gamers tell Donald Trump why #VideoGamesAreNotToBlame after Dayton and El Paso gun massacres

Donald Trump's attempt to lay part of the blame for the weekend's deadly shootings on "grisly video games" has been met with a fierce backlash from the gaming community.

The hashtag #VideoGamesAreNotToBlame trended highly after comments by the president in the aftermath of the two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton which claimed the lives of 31 people.

Speaking in the White House, Mr Trump said: "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."

Many online have criticised the president for squaring the blame elsewhere and not focusing on gun control measures.

A graphic posted by American news site, Vox, which questioned the link between video game revenue and violent gun deaths was widely shared.

The graph showed South Korea had the highest sales of video games, followed by China, with America coming third.

Yet the US had by far the most violent gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.

Others posted about their personal experiences of video games, arguing they had a positive impact, rather than being a root cause of violence.

Michael Wighton wrote on Twitter he had played computer games for more than 35 years.

"They have never caused me to be violent," he posted. "In fact video games have helped me to escape from my mental health problems.

"I believe you need to look at your country's gun control laws @realDonaldTrump #VideogamesAreNotToBlame."

While Griffin Hogan said: "Are we really in 2019 still blaming video games? #VideogamesAreNotToBlame.

"The government would much faster blame a piece of media, rather than the weapon, and person that did the job."

Co-founder of pro-EU group, Our Future, Our Choice, Femi Oluwole said video games had actually improved his mental health.

He tweeted: "As someone who had some pretty significant childhood issues, I can tell you that GTA San Andreas had the exact opposite effect on my real-world behaviour.

"#VideogamesAreNotToBlame for the mass shootings @realDonaldTrump's racism inspires."

Other Republican lawmakers backed the president's claims and suggested video games informed real-world violence.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told Fox & Friends: "We've always had guns, always had evil, but I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill."

While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said video games "dehumanise individuals".

However academics who have investigated video games and violent behaviour have played the causal link.

In 2019, Professor Andrew Przybylski, director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute, conducted one of the most comprehensive studies.

He said in February: "The idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time."