Earlier this week, Trump officially announced that he would be meeting with video game industry execs to discuss violence in their games. Though, it’s worth mentioning that numerous studies have already showed that playing games does not cause people to become more violent. To make it more interesting, Trump invited zero scientists and respected researchers to the summit. Instead, just inviting video game execs, trip of Republican lawmakers and outspoken critics of video games.
So what exactly happen at the meeting? Well, the hour-long meeting reduced very few actionable results. Trump had opened the meeting with a highlight reel of clips from the last decade of gaming, ranging from comedic-style games to excessively bloody violence. Glixel reported that some attendees didn’t expect any significant solution to come out of the meeting, and instead saw the meeting as an opening to lead into a larger conversation on gun violence in America. Critics of violent video games have long called for regulation that would make it increasingly difficult for youths to buy violent video games, and some have even asked Trump to include violent movies and TV shows into the discussion. Beyond sharing opinions in the close-door summit, however, there was no commitment from attendees or the White House on what kind of action to take in the future.
“Today’s meeting was an opportunity to learn and hear from different sides about concerns and possible solutions to violence in schools,” Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) said in a prepared statement after the meeting, according to Glixel. Per reports (since no press were allowed), Trump entertained everyone’s opinion around the table, listening to various concerns from critics of the industry as well as opinions from video game industry CEOs. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which also was present in the meeting, released a statement after the meeting which defended video games and politely denounced the meeting’s premise:
“We welcomed the opportunity today to meet with the President and other elected officials at the White House. We discussed the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence, First Amendment protection of video games, and how our industry’s rating system effectively helps parents make informed entertainment choices. We appreciate the President’s receptive and comprehensive approach to this discussion.”
Mellissa Henson of the Parents Television Council told The Washington Post that yesterday’s summit was “respectful but contentious.” From her side of the debate, she added that the “steady diet of media violence is having a corrosive effect on our culture.”