The problem of gun violence in the United States is a perpetual source of debate, and the tragedy at Parkland, Florida has elevated that debate to the highest levels. President Donald Trump has made a variety of policy suggestions regarding gun control, but he’s also taking aim at the movie and video game industries. If you’ve got a sense of déjà vu right now, it’s not just you.
Last week, Trump suggested that the internet, the film industry, and the video game industry are causing “a lot of bad things” to happen to the minds of children, and that a rating that denotes killing may be a necessary addition.
“We have to look at the internet, because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds, and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it. And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go one further step and that’s the movies. You see these movies, and they’re so violent, a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe we need to put a rating system for that.”
— Donald Trump
This is not a recent stance of Trump’s either. Trump has been blaming video games for real world violence since at least 2012 when he
tweeted out that video game violence “is creating monsters!” So what does the President intend to do about it? In a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump has set up a meeting next week with “members of the video game industry to see what they can do on that front as well.”
It’s unclear who Trump will be meeting with, as the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has released a statement noting that they have
not been asked to meet with the President. Additionally, they can confirm that no such meeting is planned with any of their member companies, a list which includes Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Capcom, Epic Games, Bethesda, and dozens more. The ESA also issued the following statement to counter Trump’s claims of the evils of gaming:
“The same video games played in the US are played worldwide; however, the level of gun violence is exponentially higher in the US than in other countries. Numerous authorities have examined the scientific record and found there is no link between media content and real-life violence.”
— Entertainment Software Association
Whether or not Trump is serious about putting pressure on the video game industry remains to be seen (and no one in the video game industry itself seems to be aware of any at this point), but the ESA is clearly not planning to be made into a scapegoat.
Source: Rolling Stone