Video games have once again found themselves in the crosshairs of government, this time as part of President Donald Trump's campaign to better understand how school massacres like last month's one in Florida keep happening.
Trumpon Thursday, which included game executives such as Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick and Robert Altman, chairman of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax, as well as various critics of video games, like Melissa Henson of the Parents Television Council. At the beginning of the meeting, this video was played:
It includes scenes from Wolfenstein: The New Order, various Call of Duty: Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 4, Sniper Elite 4, The Evil Within and Dead by Daylight. These scenes depict gory violence, with characters across the games gruesomely shot and stabbed. While much is standard fare for video games (and Hollywood blockbusters, for that matter), there was also the infamous "No Russian" mission from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, in which the player massacres an airport of people.
"I'm hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people's thoughts,"after the mass shooting.
For decades, activists and politicians have pointed their fingers at violence depicted in video games, music and movies after tragedies, like the Parkland, Florida shooting. In 2013, former President Barack Obama encouraged research into the effects of violent video games on children.
Still, the game industry says there isn't any evidence to link games with violent behavior. "Video games are plainly not the issue," the Entertainment Software Association said.
A representative for Rep. Vickey Hartzler said this meeting is the "first of many" with industry leaders.
"Today's meeting was an opportunity to learn and hear from different sides about concerns and possible solutions to violence in school," Hartzler said in a statement posted on Twitter. "I believe significant progress was made today, and my hope is that we can build on this progress in the future."
You can read more about the meeting.
US Tech Policy
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