The publishers of video games such games asDoomandGrand Theft Autojoined President Trump Thursday in a White House roundle discussion about violent video games and whether they play a part in desensitizing some players and contribute to the likelihood they might commit violence.
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These are the video games the White House played in its meeting on game violence
Thursdays meeting was part of the presidents response to last months shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which were killed. Trump has made a range of remarks as Democratic and some Republican lawmakers call for more gun control, suggesting he wouldtake guns away from mentally ill people with or without a court order and supported arming teachers. He also criticized violence in video games, as well as in movies and online.
While the video game industry representatives were not willing to concede video games have a role to play in mass shootings, said Melissa Henson, a participant and program director at the Parents Television Council, she argued that there is a burden of responsibility on them.
During the meeting, a short video was played showing some violent ry from video games such asCall of Duty,FalloutandWolfenstein. The clips, since posted on theWhite House YouTube channel, appear to be ripped from YouTubers footage of the game as well as from the gaming outlet Giant Bomb, reported video game news siteKotaku.
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Im hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young peoples thoughts, he saidduring a meeting about school safetywith local and state officials.
Only of video games released in were rated for ages and older, according to the industrys voluntary rating system, which was adopted in after Senate hearings about graphic violence in video games such asMortal KombatandNight Trap.
Parents and retailers have some responsibility, too, in keeping violent games out of the hands of young people, Bozell says. Treating video games like alcohol or tobacco products could help restrict young people from getting violent games, he says. I think the industry should support something like this, Bozell said.
Also in attendance were several longtime industry critics including Brent Bozell, the founder and president of the Media Research Center, a conservativeleaning media watchdog group. He hadcriticized President Obamafor targeting gun makers but going soft on violent video games, TV and movies.
In the meeting Thursday afternoon, the president said some studies have indicated shown a correlation between video game violence and real violence, the White House said Thursday. No reporters were allowed in the meeting.
Even though there is a video game rating system, many children and teens get to play games labelled for older players, she says. Video game industry representatives say violent games are … only ever intended to be played by adult players, but they must surely be aware that kids are playing them despite whatever their intentions might be, Henson said.
These studies have been rejected by every court to consider them, and with good reason They do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively, he wrote.
MoreDebate over videogame violence link resucesFollow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on TwitterMikeSnider.
Game art for Grand Theft Auto Online depicting a city skyline with a graphic of ingame characters, vehicles, a helicopter, and fighter jet in the foreground.
During the meeting, President Trump was asking questions and listening to the answers. He didnt give any speeches. He was genuinely inquisitive, Bozell said. You hate to speak for everybody in that room but you got the sense everyone was appreciative of the way he was dealing with this, no matter where you go with this issue.
We discussed the numerous scientific studies eslishing that there is no connection between video games and violence, First Amendment protection of video games, and how our industrys rating system effectively helps parents make informed entertainment choices, the ESA said in a statement after the meeting.The trade group officials and the video game publishing executives declined requests for interviews.
MoreSandy Hook Elementary School shooting anniversary brings reflection, after years of advocacy
The Parents Television Council, a parents education group also founded by the Media Research Centers Bozell, on Wednesday called for the entertainment industry to stop marketing violence to children, citing an increase in violence on TV since the Sandy Hook shooting.
The firstperson shooting computer gameDoomgained notoriety after it was learned Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two teenagers who committed the Columbine High School shooting, were players.
While some research suggests that playing violent video games can increase aggression, the violent crime rate has llen as video games have grown in popularity.
This likely feels like dj vu for the video game industry. Several attendees Thursday had also attended a January meeting convened by Vice President Joe Biden after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting Michael Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, a video game industry trade group; Patricia Vance, president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board; and Robert Altman, CEO of ZeniMax Media, which owns Bethesda Softworks Fallout and id Software Doom. Also attending Strauss Zelnick, CEO of TakeTwo Interactive Grand Theft Auto.
These videos games are cause for concern, White House says
However, the number of people who play firstperson shooting games such asDoomandCall of Duty, and other games with violent content such asGrand Theft Auto, has increased over the decades.
Today, more than twothirds of U.S. homes have a video game device, according to the ESA. The average gamer is years old and those over the age of make up more than of all gamers.
Justice Antonin Scalia dismissed a link between violent games and aggression in the majority opinion he wrote in the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Californias ban on the sale of violent video games to minors.