U.S. President Donald Trump meets Thursday at the White House with video game representatives to discuss what he believes is an association between games and violence three weeks after a suspected 19-year-old gunmen killed 17 people at a Florida high school.
In addition to the video game industry’s largest lobbyist and other big industry players, the meeting will be attended by conservative activists who have pushed for more control over violent content in the media and members of Congress, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
The meeting will be held “to discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
Trump repeatedly has mentioned violence in video games and movies in public remarks about guns and school violence since the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
But Dan Hewitt, a spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association, whose chief executive officer will be present, said studies have shown no link between video games and violent acts.
The trade association, which spends millions of dollars annually against efforts to regulate video game content and on a wide range of other issues, also has noted that while video games are played throughout the world, mass shootings are primarily an American problem.
Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell and Parents Television Council program director Melissa Henson will be among the critics who have admonished video game manufacturers after previous mass shootings.