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President Trump’s video game violence discussion was just the first step

President Trump’s meeting surrounding video game violence went ahead as planned yesterday, starting with a montage of bloody clips handpicked from specific titles. This seems like the first of many discussions, with no answers achieved as of yet, however the President was praised for his “receptive and comprehensive approach.”

According to the Washington Post, President Trump took the time during the montage, which collected scenes from various Call of Duty titles, Sniper Elite 4, Dead by Daylight and The Evil Within among others, to ask attendees “This is violent, isn’t it?”

“I think [Trump] is deeply disturbed by some of the things you see in these video games that are so darn violent, viciously violent, and clearly inappropriate for children, and I think he’s bothered by that,” explains Brent Bozell of the Media Research Council regarding Trump’s stance on video game violence, calling for “much tougher regulation.”

Melissa Henson of the Parents Television Council also believes that a “steady diet of media violence is having a corrosive effect on our culture” and that something needs to be done about it.

Some video game bodies opted not to attend the meeting, with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) issuing a statement explaining its refusal. “Let’s be blunt on video games and gun violence—we will not be used as a scapegoat,” said the organisation.

Of course, the industry executives that did attend maintained that there was no connection between violence in media and the vicious behaviour of those in the real world. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal echoed this, stating that the discussion falling towards violence in the media being the reason for an increase in gun crime is and “an unacceptable excuse to avoid talking about serious policy proposals.”

Bozell fired back, saying that he “would ask them respectfully for once to stop playing politics. If you care about this issue, you will look at Jonesboro, Ark.; Columbine; Newton, Conn. In so many other places where you had mass shootings by children and every instance I just gave, that child who was the shooter was watching violent videogames.”

No specific plans of action were made during the meeting, with Rep. Hartzler stating on Twitter that discussions likely aren’t over. “Discussions should not be limited to just videogames and guns. The president’s approach of leaving no stone unturned is prudent and similar meetings with the movie industry pertaining to gun violence on film should also be conducted.”

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) said that the whole discussion encompassed “the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between videogames and violence, First Amendment protection of videogames, and how our industry’s rating system effectively helps parents make informed entertainment choices,” and while there has been no development as of yet on the matter, it “appreciates the President’s receptive and comprehensive approach to this discussion.”

KitGuru Says: Discussion is something I would always encourage, but while this seems completely civil on both ends, it is still the same conversation that has been had over the past 20+ years. It is unlikely to produce a different result this time around from a scientific standpoint, but will that matter to the Trump Administration? Do you think video game violence contributes to real world violence?

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