Today, Donald Trump is hosting a meeting that, according to a White House spokesperson, has been set “to discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children.” Per Jake Tapper or CNN, he tweeted a list of attendees earlier today. The list includes members of the video game industry as well as critics of violent video games. But it doesn’t end there.
Rolling Stone points out that there aren’t any scientists included in the meeting, which is quite surpassingly considering that if you’re having an important meeting like this, you’d expect to see industry experts there to have true representation and discussion for videos games and real-world violence.
Expected attendees at POTUS meeting today to “discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children,” per WH pic.twitter.com/6y61gTYZbT
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 8, 2018
Some of the video game industry members attentions Trump’s meeting today include ESRB President Pat Vance (the list says a man, but in fact is a woman), ESA President Mike Gallagher, ZeniMax Media CEO Robert Altman and Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick. Congressional representatives are Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Vicky Hartzler and Martha Roby. The other three attendees are Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell, Parents Television Council spokesperson Melissa Henson and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society and Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression and the Psychology of Killing. These are critics that have spoken out against violent video games and the video game industry.
So, what’s the problem here? Well, the meeting doesn’t have scientists that actually study the topic and these attendees don’t side with research. Many studies have found that there is no connection between video game violence and the violence in our society. The fact that there are no scientists involved in today’s White House discussion essentially makes it look like the Trump administration is looking for a scapegoat, and not a true discussion to resolve the issues. “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” Trump said after the Parkland school shooting.