Trump holds game violence meeting in wake of mass shooting
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After criticising video games in the wake of a school shooting in Florida last month, US President Donald Trump was to meet with industry executives yesterday to discuss what the president believes is a link between the games and violent acts.
Mr Trump, a Republican, cited the influence of video games after a 19-year-old gunman was accused of killing 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida and injuring more than a dozen others. “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” he said last month.
The White House said that yesterday’s meeting was only the first of several and will include an industry trade group, conservative activists and members of Congress, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
Executives from two video game-makers, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. and ZeniMax Media Inc. were to attend the meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was “to discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitisation in children,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
Mr Trump has made the issue personal by mentioning his concern for his 11-year-old son, Barron. “I look at some of the things he’s watching, and I say, how is that possible?” he said last week.
The president also has spoken for the need for a new ratings system for games. Currently, the industry employs its own system, which rates games for violence and sexual content.
Dan Hewitt, spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association, argued that studies have established no connection between video games and violent conduct.