Weeks after the unspeakable tragedy at a Florida high school, President Donald Trump will host a group of video game executives at the White House as he reopens the debate around video games and their role in inciting real-world violence.
Despite an endless parade of scientific studies that show no link between video games and committing violent acts over the past several decades, President Trump made public statements recently on the “vicious” level of game and movie violence in reference to school safety. In his eagerness to explore the issue, President Trump extended invites to video game executives for a summit at the White House on the issue.
UPDATE: WH official tells me invites to video game companies will be going out in the coming days.
So, to be clear:
-WH announces a mtg w video game execs next week
-Video game execs say it's the first they're hearing of it
-Now, WH says it's sending out invites https://t.co/yXyuWyJ22J
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) March 2, 2018
The Entertainment Software Association—the largest trade group in the video game space, which organizes the annual E3 event in Los Angeles—confirmed on Monday that it would attend the meeting. In a statement that reads like many the ESA has made in the past, the group expressed its sympathy towards the situation in Florida but said placing the blame on video games was not the most prudent move.
“Video games are enjoyed around the world and numerous authorities and reputable scientific studies have found no connection between games and real-life violence,” ESA said in the statement. “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 association said its meeting with the White House and President Trump would provide the opportunity to have a “fact-based conversation” about the video games rating system—which Trump seemingly wasn’t aware of—as well as the tools the association provides to help parents make “informed entertainment choices” for kids.