Trump Meeting With Video Game Insiders Is News to the Industry

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump plans to meet next week with representatives of video-game makers to discuss violence in the wake of a deadly school shootings. But the industry’s biggest companies haven’t gotten their invitations.

The meeting is part of ongoing discussions about how to prevent shootings like the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre in the future, his spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a White House press conference Thursday.

The game industry’s main trade association and its member companies aren’t aware of any meeting, according to Dan Hewitt, a spokesman for the Washington-based Entertainment Software Association.

“The president has met with a number of stakeholders,” Sanders said. “Next week he’ll also be meeting with members of the video game industry to see what they can do on that front as well.”

After mass killings, particularly ones that involve young perpetrators, attention often turns to video games, many of which entail bloody shoot-outs. Accused Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz played violent video games as much as 15 hours a day, a neighbor told the Miami Herald.

“It was kill, kill, kill, blow up something, and kill some more, all day,” said the neighbor, Paul Gold.

The industry has long denied, however, that games such as Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s Grand Theft Auto and Activision Blizzard Corp.’s Call of Duty inspire actual mayhem. The industry has worked with parents groups and provides ratings on games to discourage young children from playing those with adult content.

“The same video games played in the U.S. are played worldwide; however, the level of gun violence is exponentially higher in the U.S. than in other countries,” Hewitt said in an emailed statement. “Numerous authorities have examined the scientific record and found there is no link between media content and real-life violence.”

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