Monday, 25 June, 2018

Trump Meets with Video Game Industry to Talk About School Violence

U.S. President Donald Trump is flanked by Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney as he speaks Trump Meets with Video Game Industry to Talk About School Violence
Velma Reese | 11 March, 2018, 13:36

On March 8th, President Donald Trump met with a bunch of video game experts such as Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick (parent company of Grand Theft Auto developer, Rockstar Games), Robert Altman, chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media, and Mike Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association amongst other high profile industry executives.

Do violent video games and violent media consumption in general cause children to become violent themselves?

After the Florida slaughter Trump pointed to video games as a possible contributing factor in firearms violence. The White House said it'll be "the first of many with industry leaders" on this issue.

The industry contends that decades of research have failed to show a direct link between gun violence in real life and violence in video games, TV and movies.

"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", said Dan Hewitt, a spokesman for lobby group the Entertainment Software Association, earlier. The video was posted on the official YouTube account of the White House, and was used to further the argument on restricting the laws regarding violent video games.

Also scheduled are Melissa Henson, program director of the Parents Television Council, and Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group.

Trump calls outgoing economic adviser Gary Cohn a 'globalist'
Trump then said that Cohn is "gonna go out and make another couple of hundred million, and then he's maybe going to come back". President Donald Trump on Thursday praised his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who announced his resignation Tuesday.

The clips chosen show a myriad of violence being perpetrated against humans in video games, like the X-ray clips of people being shot from the game Sniper Elite 4 or the airport shooting scene from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 known as "No Russian", which with no context seems like a glorification of mass shootings when in fact it's the opposite. House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated that part of the discussion would be whether there is a causal link between on-screen mayhem and real-life aggression. All three are critics of violent video games and have spoken out against the video game industry.

PTC President Tim Winter told CBN News that violent video games "desensitizes kids to real-life violence, encourages them to resolve disputes with violence and gives them an unfair sense of fear of their environment around them-that it's more risky than it is". "During the meeting, I was able to interject and say just how untrue their excuses are", she added.

Conservative activists and members of Congress, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida were also in attendance.

After the meeting, the president seemed to hold the same mindset, despite contrary evidence.

Dan Hewitt, a spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association, rejected Trump's rhetoric about violence in the media, noting that mass shootings are a unique problem to the United States, while violent media is distributed worldwide.

"Surveys of scholars in the field suggest that only 10 to 15 percent of scholars agree that violent games contribute to societal violence, so scholars who'd support Trump appear to be in the minority", Stetson University Psychology Professor Chris Ferguson told Ars last month.

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