Uvalde shooting victims’ families claim Activision is teaching children to kill

Families of victims and survivors of the Uvalde shooting in Texas are taking Activision and Meta to court. The publisher of Call of Duty is notably accused “ to train and accustom children to kill “. However, the link between video games and violence is not proven.

Two years after the Uvalde shooting in Texas, the families of the victims and survivors took Meta and Activision to court on Friday, May 24, 2024, reports AFP. Exactly two years earlier, Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old man, carried out the shooting deadliest in Texas history, killing 22 people, including 19 children from Robb Elementary School, as well as 2 teachers, and injuring 17 people. The killer was then shot dead.


The subpoena targeting Meta and Activision was filed in a Los Angeles court, and the one against Daniel Defense in Uvalde. In their complaintcited by our colleagues from The Verge, the families of the victims accuse Meta, Activision (the developer of Call of Duty) as well as Daniel Defense (the manufacturer of the murder weapon, an AR-15 assault rifle), of having contributed to the transition to act of Salvador Ramos. “ There is a direct link between the conduct of these California companies and the deaths, injuries and trauma suffered at Robb Elementary School », Indicates the complaint from the victims' families.

Activision and Meta sued

The document accuses Activision of being “ a hugely lucrative business that trains teenagers to become shooters “. Attorney Josh Koskoff, who represents the families of victims and survivors who have taken legal action, believes that Activision “should stop training and accustoming children to kill”. Activision, acquired in 2023 by Microsoft, publishes the Call of Duty series, first-person shooter video games.

Concerning Meta, it is the Instagram application which is targeted, described in the legal summons as “ an unsupervised channel “used by gun manufacturers” to speak directly to minors “.

The new sign at the entrance to Meta (formerly Facebook) // Source: Facebook press photo
The legal summons also targets Meta. // Source: Facebook press photo

An Activision spokesperson said to the AFP that “The Uvalde shooting was horrific and tragic and we express our support for the families and individuals who remain affected by this senseless act of violence”. Before adding that “ millions of people play video games around the world without subsequently committing horrible acts “. For their part, Meta and Daniel Defense have not yet reacted.


No proven link between video games and violence

This case reminds us that the discourse linking video games and violence is far from being new. Many political leaders have blamed video games for real-world violence. In France, Emmanuel Macron had thus castigated the role of video games in the riots linked to the death of Nahel, at the end of June 2023. However, this is a political refrain not based on any findings supported by solid evidence. There is no scientifically proven link between violence and video games.