As we reported before, Walmart has sent a memo to its employees to remove signs that had violent images or aggressive behavior. In the memo, signs or displays of “violent video games” like shooters and movies and hunting videos were categorized as such. IGN afterwards reported that Walmart had ordered removed videogames from their stores. However, according to the statement given by Walmart to Kotaku, this is not true.
“It is not true,” the Walmart employee told Kotaku
The rumor started because of a picture showing bareboned game shelves at Walmart, tweeted by Erik Louden.
Mine is not even selling the games anymore (temporarily) and I’m seriously upset. Like where am I supposed to buy a physical copy now? The nearest GameStop is way too far away from me. pic.twitter.com/PRGSgMpEPL
— Erik Tyler Louden (@TylerMayCry) August 9, 2019
IGN reported as such. This is the statement they attributed to Walmart:
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and it does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment. We are focused on assisting our associates and their families, as well as supporting the community, as we continue a thoughtful and thorough review of our policies.”
Other news outlets seeking confirmation were given the same statement by Walmart. However it was a case of miscommunication, as it now seems.
Shortly after Kotaku received that statement, another Walmart rep told them.
“We have not given direction to date to remove titles.”
IGN has since updated its story with a correction.
It does seem that the discretion given to Walmart employees and managers might mean something else. Perhaps they have thought that, following the rhetoric about video games encouraging violence, that videogames fall under that category?
Perhaps a seminar is in order, so that Walmart employees know better how to “use your best judgment when determining whether an element is appropriate.”