Today, president Donald Trump met with a few game makers – and a few against video games in general – to discuss violence in our favorite products, and how they might be affecting today’s youth. Trump promised the discussion would be an open forum to hear both sides of the story, and Rolling Stone has managed to post several notes about what went down.
First off, the meeting began with a string of violent video game clips, which reportedly left a few people stunned in silence. Once it ran its course, Trump asked for comments from all in attendance, and explained just how violence the scenes were. Melissa Henson, who speaks for the Parents Television Council, noted, “Those from the video game industry were quick to defend (the video games) saying they were meant for a mature audience and that they weren’t intended for kids to see.” (The video above shows exactly what was shown during the meeting – and, as you might guess, it shows conveniently a number of mature-rated games, and not a variety of games available on the market.)
While no specific actions were taken during the meeting, there could be future ones to discuss the matter further. "The tone of the meeting was that it was for information gathering, fact finding," Henson explained during a press call following the meeting. "I don't believe anyone came in there with a policy outcome in mind. The President was not walking in there with his mind already made up. I am under the impression there will be future conversations, though no next steps were discussed."
The ESA didn’t talk about its stance on the meeting, but did release a statement afterwards, noting, “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," according to the statement. "We appreciate the President’s receptive and comprehensive approach to this discussion.”
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who has taken a stance against video games for quite some time, noted, “Today’s meeting was an opportunity to learn and hear from different sides about concerns and possible solutions to violence in schools. I believe significant progess was made today, and my hope is that we can build on this progress in the future.”
One interesting point that went in with the meeting is that, while the ESA said there was no connection between real world and video game violence, the Parents Television Council said the opposite, though didn’t have evidence to support its claim. It did, however, claim that the ESA’s notation on this was “flatly untrue,” and that the real issue lies in access to weapons, along with mental health and “a violent media culture that leads to aggressive behavior.”
The White House also released a statement on the meeting. “Today, President Trump and senior members of the Administration met with leaders in the video game industry and experts on violence to discuss violent video game exposure and its impact on our children. To date, the Administration has led many discussions about how to prevent violent behavior in our schools, with a focus on stopping those intent on committing mass murder. During today’s meeting, the group spoke with the President about the effect that violent video games have on our youth, especially young males. The President acknowledged some studies have indicated there is a correlation between video game violence and real violence. The conversation centered on whether violent video games, including games that graphically simulate killing, desensitize our community to violence. This meeting is part of ongoing discussions with local leaders and Congress on issues concerning school and public safety and protecting America’s youth."
As far as what the next step will be, it’s not yet known, but this issue appears to be far from over – at least, according to Henson and company.
We haven’t heard back yet from the game makers that attended the meeting, but here’s hoping they have a better chance to have their side heard, instead of simply being dismissed because of opposite views.
(Hat tip to Rolling Stone for the details!)0comments
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