“ESA and our member companies have not received an invitation to meet with President Trump.”
The White House has said that President Donald Trump will meet with video game executives to discuss the violent video games blamed for February’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which claimed the lives of 17 people.
However, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), a trade body that represents every major video game company in the US, has said that none of its member companies have any knowledge of such plans.
Trump’s plans were announced by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee.
She said yesterday (1 March): “He’ll also be meeting with members of the video game industry to see what they can do on that front as well.”
Following the attack Trump shrugged off calls for stricter gun laws and a ban on assault rifles, instead inferring that the blame lay with the internet and violent entertainment.
“We have to look at the internet, because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds, and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it,” he said.
“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. And you go one further step and that’s the movies. You see these movies, and they’re so violent, a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe we need to put a rating system for that.”
Regarding the meetings apparently set for next week, the ESA said: “ESA and our member companies have not received an invitation to meet with President Trump.”
ESA members include Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, EA, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Capcom, Take Two Interactive and Square Enix.
The body then commented on claims violent games are to blame for the shootings.
“The same video games played in the US are played worldwide; however, the level of gun violence is exponentially higher in the US than in other countries. Numerous authorities have examined the scientific record and found there is no link between media content and real-life violence.
“The US video game industry has a long history of partnering with parents and more than 20 years of rating video games through the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). We take great steps to provide tools to help players and parents make informed entertainment decisions.”
The White House did not elaborate on its plans. There was no mention of who Trump is said to be meeting with.