Trump turns spotlight on violent video games in wake of Parkland shootings

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders would not elaborate on what the president hoped to accomplish with Thursdays meeting with video game leaders, except to say that it is intended to be part of ongoing discussions the president is having as he explores specific policy solutions.

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PresidentDonald Trumpis set to meet with representatives from the video game industry at the White House Thursday after the president pointed to violent games as a contributing ctor to school violence in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. high school shooting.

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The full list of participants expected at todays meeting, as provided by White House, includes

Trump turns spotlight on violent video games in wake of Parkland shootings

Mr. Strauss Zelnick, TakeTwo Interactive Former Chairman of ESA, CEO of Rockstar Games Mr. Brent Bozell, Media Research Center Lt. Col. Dave Grossman Ret., On Killing The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society and Assassination Generation Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing Mr. Pat Vance, President of Entertainment Software Rating Board Mr. Mike Gallagher, President and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association Mr. Robert Altman, Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media parent company of Bethesda Softworks Melissa Henson, Mother from Parents Television Council

Trump turns spotlight on violent video games in wake of Parkland shootings

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The President wants to continue the conversation on every different area that we can to help promote school safety. And Im not going to get ahead of the discussion that theyre going to have tomorrow, but we think its an important discussion to have and one that the President looks forward to, Sanders said.

The president again pondered the role violent video games play in shaping young minds during a freewheeling meeting with lawmakers last week on how to strengthen school safety. When Tennessee Republican Rep.Marsha Blackburntold the president she hears from concerned parents about the ratings system for video games and movies, the president agreed and said its a concern he shares as a parent.

Im hearing more and more people say the level of violence onvideo gamesis really shaping young peoples thoughts, the president said during a meeting with state and local officials on school safety a little more than a week after the Parkland shooting.

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I think thats a very important point, the president told Blackburn. The video games, the movies, the internet stuff is so violent. Its so incredible. I see it. I get to see things that you wouldnt be youd be amazed at. I have a young very young son, who I look at some of the things hes watching, and I say, how is that possible?

Among participants expected at Thursdays meeting will be the president of the biggest video game trade group, Pat Vance of Entertainment Software Rating Board, but also outspoken critics on violence in video games, such as Melissa Henson of the Parents Television Council.

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Several members of Congress, including Sens. Marco Rubio, RFlorida, Rep Vicky Hartzler, RMissouri, and Rep Martha Roby, RAlabama, will also be at the meeting.

A White House spokesperson said the meeting will be the first of many with industry leaders on the topic.

Its hard to believe that, at least for a percentage and maybe its a small percentage of children this doesnt have a negative impact on their thought process. But these things are really violent, he continued.

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As we continue to work towards creating school safety programs that protect all children, the President will be meeting with video game industry leaders and Members of Congress to discuss violent videogame exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children, Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters.

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The president has inserted himself in an ageold debate over whether video games contribute to violent tendencies in young people, with a range of studies on the topic over more than two decades of research reaching varying conclusions about whether a reliable correlation exists. The American Psychological Association stated in a policy statementthat the link between violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior is one of the most studied and best eslished but also noted that insufficient research has examined whether violent video game use causes lethal violence.

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President Donald Trump speaks about ways to combat mass shootings at high schools during a meeting with the nations governors at the White House on Feb. , .

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Samuel Zeif, left, speaks to President Trump during a listening session with high school students and teachers, at the White House on Feb. , .

Since the shooting, the president has repeatedly suggested that reforms may be in order for the gaming industry as part of a broader package of preventative policy steps to prevent gun and school violence.

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