What Happened at the White House Meeting on Video Game Violence?

White House Meeting Hasn’t Led to Any Government Restrictions on Video Games

Donald Trump’s White House meeting on the effects of video game violence on people under 21 took place yesterday. However, whether anything tangible comes of it is unclear. The president started the meeting by playing clips of graphic gameplay scenes, mostly from the Call of Duty series.

Here’s the sequence:

From what we can tell of reports from people who attended the meeting, there wasn’t much talk regarding government restrictions on content. Instead, the meeting focused on voluntary measures that the industry can take.

“The president encouraged [game developers] to explore things they can do on their own to make things healthier in society, and that’s where it was left,” said Brent Bozell, Media Research Center’s president.

“Discussions should not be limited to just video games and guns,” said Rep. Vicky Hartzler after the meeting. “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.”

As far as the video game industry goes, the Entertainment Software Association is still holding their ground.

“We welcomed the opportunity today to meet with the President and other elected officials at the White House,” they said in a statement. “We discussed 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.”

“I don’t think there should be any government control over it,” Bozell said. “But there is some programming that contains just absolute mind-boggling violence. We’ve all seen it. Is it appropriate in a civilized world to have that? Or could the industry listen to the better angels of their nature and say, we just don’t want to do it, on a voluntary basis?”

Vice President Joe Biden brought up the issue of violent video games in a similar 2013 summit, but backed down due to a lack of evidence. Time will tell whether Trump will do the same.