Republican lawmakers and conservative media critics pressed President Trump to explore new restrictions on the videogame industry, arguing that violent games might have contributed to mass shootings like the attack at a Parkland, Fl., high school.
Republican lawmakers and conservative media critics pressed President Trump on Thursday to explore new restrictions on the videogame industry, arguing that violent games might have contributed to mass shootings like the attack at a Parkland, Fl., high school, the Washington Post reports. In a private meeting at the White House attended by several videogame executives, some participants urged Trump to consider new regulations that would make it harder for young children to purchase the games. Others asked the president to expand his inquiry to focus on violent movies and TV shows too.
Trump opened the meeting by showing “a montage of clips of various violent video games,” said Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO). Hartzler said Trump would ask, “This is violent isn’t it?” Trump’s roundtable marked his latest listening session on gun violence after last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 dead. The Entertainment Software Association said it told Trump of “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.” Attendees said Trump appeared open-minded. It was “respectful but contentious,” said Melissa Henson of the Parents Television Council. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Council asked Trump for “much tougher regulation” of the videogame industry, stressing that violent games “needed to be given the same kind of thought as tobacco and liquor.” The White House has hinted at sustained, broader scrutiny to come. A spokeswoman for Trump said the sit-down with video-game executives and their critics is “the first of many with industry leaders to discuss this important issue.” Lobbyists for tech giants and movie studios expressed unease that they might soon be dragged to the White House.