Monday, 19 March, 2018

After industry meeting, Trump highlights alleged game violence effects

OMB Press OMB Press Verified account @OMBPress
Theresa Hayes | 11 March, 2018, 13:37

In the aftermath of last month's mass shooting at a Florida high school, Trump said he was struck by the level of violence in modern video games.

"As we continue to work towards creating school safety programs that protect all children, the president will be meeting with video game industry leaders and members of Congress to discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children", said White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters.

The video game makers and their lobbyist, who were in the meeting, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the United States has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation", it said ahead of the Washington talks, which the White House said also involved experts on violence. Those in attendance representing the gaming industry defended the content seen in the montage by pointing out that the games on display are rated M for Mature, and aren't meant for children. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) and Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.).

"The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), an industry lobbying group that sent a representative to the meeting, said it used the opportunity to "[discuss] the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence".

"The video games, the movies, the Internet stuff, it's so violent", the president said, mentioning his son, Barron Trump.

The goal of the meeting will be to discuss video games and gun violence.

But groups that advocate for greater parental controls say research shows a definite correlation between violent media consumption and long-term harm to a child.

In the meeting the president and executives watched a short video that compiled violent clips from popular video games including Call of Duty, Fallout and Wolfenstein. "While he was doing that, there was silence around the room". "During the meeting, I was able to interject and say just how untrue their excuses are", she added.

The suggestions are not limited to video games and even expanded to movies and television shows as well.

The Entertainment Software Association, which includes Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Nintendo, and Sony was part of the White House meeting. Rich Blumenthal (D-Conn.) rounded out the chorus of skeptical senators, telling the Post that "focusing entirely on video games distracts from the substantive debate we should be having about how to take guns out of the hands of unsafe people".

'I don't think there are easy answers and I don't think that we're going to be able to figure out the solution in the course of a one-hour conversation, ' Henson said. Such an approach would run afoul of a 2011 Supreme Court decision granting full First Amendment protections to video games, a fact which the ESA highlighted at the meeting and which Sen.

Trump has linked video games and violence in society for years.