Trump Holds Meeting on Video Game Violence
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What’s the story?
In an attempt to respond to gun violence, President Donald Trump met with executives from the video-game industry – and its critics - "to discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children," the White House said in a statement.
In the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, that left 17 dead, Trump said Congress must "do something" about violent video games: "I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts."
A neighbor of alleged Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz told The Miami Herald that the 19-year-old played violent video games for up to 15 hours a day.
Who attended the meeting?
Attendees included the makers of games with violent themes - such as Grand Theft Auto and Fallout – and outspoken critics of violent video games, including members of Congress.
But as USA Today pointed out: "Missing from the lineup: any researcher to talk about the wealth of evidence absolving video games from violent behavior."
The full list of attendees:
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
Why does it matter?
According to the White House, this is the first of many meetings with industry leaders to discuss the correlation of video game violence and aggressive behavior.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), who attended the closed-door meeting, said the president "asked a lot of questions and he raised concerns with the violent nature of these games and asked the question: Is this causing the kids to have (this) violent behavior?”
Dan Hewitt, a spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association, whose CEO attended the meeting, told Reuters that studies have shown there’s no connection between video games and violence:
"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 U.S. has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation."
What do you think?
Do violent video games cause violent behavior? Should there be additional regulations placed on them? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
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(Photo Credit: PeopleImages/ iStock)
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