Today President Donald Trump will meet with various heads of the video game industry, as well as prominent Washington politicians and policy advisors to discuss the role of violent video games in relation to mass shootings. Here's everything you need to know about the meeting, including who's attending, and what might be discussed.
The meeting will be held at the White House in the Roosevelt Room at 11 AM PT/2 PM ET. There President Trump will be meeting with members of the video game industry and politicians to discuss the impact of violent video games on young minds.
USgamer will be keeping tabs on the meeting and will provide update and developments that come from the Trump video game meeting, as well as any new announcements or potential policy.
The Trump Administration shifts its focus to video games
The meeting follows weeks of White House scrutiny over violent video games. Days after the shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead, Trump suggested that violent media had something to do with gun violence. "We have to do something about maybe what they're seeing and how they're seeing it, and also, video games," said Trump during a White House discussion on school safety. "I'm hearing more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people's thoughts."
Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2012
Other prominent politicians such as Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (KY-R) also suggested that violent video games were to blame. "There are video games, that yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play them and everybody knows it. And there's nothing to prevent the child from playing them." The NRA has also renewed its attacks on violent video games and movies following intense debate on gun control reforms.
Trump Calls a Meeting to Discuss Violent Video Games
Last Thursday, Trump called a meeting with members of the video game industry to discuss gun violence. The news of the meeting came as a surprise to some members of the industry as the Entertainment Software Association issued a statement saying that its members had not received any such invitation.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later clarified that invitations were being sent out the following week. The ESA later announced on Monday this week that it had received an invitation to the White House and would be attending. However, other attendees to the meeting were yet unidentified.
Who will be attending the meeting? [Update: A complete list of attendees]
Thanks to a report from The Washington Post, we have been able to get an idea of who might attend the meeting with Trump at the White House. Those invited to the White House for the Trump video game meeting include:
- Robert Altman - CEO of ZeniMax (Parent company of Bethesda)
- Strauss Zelnick - Chief Executive of Take-Two Interactive (Parent company of Rockstar, 2K Games)
- Pat Vance - President of the Entertainment Software Rating Board
- Michael Gallagher - Head of the ESA
- Brent Bozell - Founder of the Parents Television Council
- Lt. Col. Dave Grossman - Author of "Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing"
- Melissa Henson - Parents Television Council
- Rep. Vicky Hartzler - Republican Representative from Missouri
- Rep. Martha Roby - Republican Representative from Alabama
- Sen. Marco Rubio - Republican Senator from Florida
Jake Tapper reported on the full list of attendees for today's meeting. Sen. Marco Rubio was previously reported to have been invited, but turning down the invite. That appears to have changed.
What will be discussed at the meeting?
In a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The President wants to continue the conversation on every different area that we can to help promote school safety. And I'm not going to get ahead of the discussion that they're going to have tomorrow, but we think it's an important discussion to have and on that the President looks forward to."
When asked what the ESA plans on speaking with Trump about during the meeting, the ESA issued this statement to USgamer:
"Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States. Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the US has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation. The upcoming meeting at the White House, which ESA will attend, will provide the opportunity to have a fact-based conversation about video game ratings, our industry's commitment to parents, and the tools we provide to make informed entertainment choices."
The confusion surrounding Trump's video game meeting certainly hasn't helped paint a clear picture as to what to actually expect from the meeting. It's still unclear whether or not Trump's video game meeting will be televised or broadcast, or even if members of the press will be allowed to sit-in on the meeting. Preliminary reports indicate the meeting will be closed to the public.
Another source of contention comes via a report by The Daily Beast that suggests Trump is ready to blame video games for gun violence. Sources suggest that "the Trump White House has scrambled to cobble together some semblance of a serious policy meeting."
Insiders who have knowledge of exchanges between members of the video game industry and the White House said that the meeting has been described as "pointless," a "stunt," and a "dog and pony show," suggesting that confidence over the meeting isn't high.
What could happen
Despite scientific evidence suggesting there is no link video games and violent behavior, Trump has repeated his assessments that we must look at violent media such as video games and movies as a potential link to gun violence.
Policies such as a ban on violent games, or a tax on games rated "M" have already been suggested by Republican lawmakers such as Rhode Island State House member Robert Nardolillo, so that could potentially be something the Trump administration is looking into.
Continue checking into USgamer as we will provide updates from the Trump video game meeting, as well as follow-up statements from the video game industry over the outcome of the meeting.