While many from the video game industry were surprised by the announcement last week that President Trump would be meeting with representatives from the video game industry, it seems that the meeting is moving forward. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders just announced that the meeting is set to happen on Thursday, though there still has been no announcement about who will be attending the meeting.
The point of this get together seems to be to discuss video game violence and its possible impact on actual gun violence. As we explained in our first article, there is currently no strong evidence that links violence in video games with real world violence. This is especially evident when you consider that most of the world consumes the same video games as the US, yet they do not currently experience the same level of gun violence, or mass killings that the US does.
It’s also unclear what the aim of this meeting might be in terms of real actions on the part of the video game industry. Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in 2011 video games enjoy the same free speech protections that movies, books, and other media do. Unless there was an exceptionally strong link between real world violence and violence in video games, it is tough to see what can or should be done by developers and publishers.
President Trump did call for a rating system, though he likely is not aware or familiar with the ESRB ratings that have been widely praised as an effective self regulation system. This will certainly be a topic of discussion during this meeting, which is said to take place this coming Thursday. Hopefully we get a list of attendees soon so we can see what might be the aim of the meeting and the possible ramifications across the industry.