- Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
- After some initial confusion, the Entertainment Software Association says it will meet with the White House regarding violent video games.
- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the meeting of video game industry representatives during a press conference last week.
- President Trump has voiced concern about the effects of playing violent video games. “The level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” Trump said.
Video game industry representatives will meet with Trump administration officials this Thursday.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – which represents video game giants like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft – confirmed the meeting in an email to Business Insider on Monday afternoon.
“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 statement says.
The meeting is a response to President Donald Trump’s concern over violent video games, a debate that’s resurfaced in the wake of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“The level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” Trump said recently. “And then you go the further step, and that’s the movies.”
The statements were made during a meeting on school safety – the implication being that violent games and films are part of a culture that enables violent acts like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 students and staff members with a legally purchased AR-15 rifle.
- Thomson Reuters
Though plenty of evidence rebuts this logic, the ESA intends to make the case for the video game industry directly to the White House.
“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 ESA statement says.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the Thursday meeting during a Q&A with the White House press corps last week. President Trump will meet directly with the ESA, but it’s unclear who else will be involved.
A White House representative did not respond to requests for more information ahead of publishing.