It was nearly a fortnight ago that US President Donald Trump brought up the idea of regulating the content consumed by youths in video games, movies, and on the Internet - during a 'listening session' at the White House. That session occurred in the wake of the terrible Parkland, Florida high school shooting, where 17 people lost their lives and many others needed hospital admission to treat injuries.
During the listening session at the White House, Trump is quoted as saying "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." The President seemed to imply the current ESRB games rating system should either be reinforced or an entirely new rating system should be introduced. During the same session, and as widely reported, Trump pondered whether teachers should be armed with guns and be given rigorous weapons training.
News report includes an interview with a Parkland survivor about video games
A few hours ago it was reported that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which said last week it hadn't been contacted by the White House, confirmed that it will be attending a meeting with President Trump on Thursday. The ESA hopes to have a "fact-based conversation about video game ratings, our industry’s commitment to parents, and the tools we provide to make informed entertainment choices". Importantly the ESA used its statement to reaffirm there is no evidence to connect video games with violence.
"Video games are enjoyed around the world and numerous authorities and reputable scientific studies have found no connection between games and real-life violence," said the ESA in a 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."
Trump's punting of video game violence as something that needs talking about is backed up by a recent focus group of 'young moms' who are concerned about the entertainment and video games their children are exposed to. This concern is heightened among parents of children with 'mental health issues'.
Views from Trump supporting TV channel
As Rolling Stone reports, the Democrats under Obama conducted a series of meetings with sectors including mental health, education, movies, TV, gun owners, and the video game industry. That action occurred in the wake of the horrific school shooting at Sandy Hook, Newtown in 2012.