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Trump meeting with game execs yields "significant progress" - Legislator

Missouri Representative Vicky Hartzler gives her assessment as ESA thanks president for "receptive and comprehensive approach"

A number of representatives of the game industry met with US president Donald Trump today to discuss the issue of school safety in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead. While it's unclear what exactly went on during the meeting, one attendee has released the first public statement out of the event.

Missouri Representative Vicky Hartzler posted a statement to her Twitter account, saying she appreciated the president's efforts to address the American trend of mass shootings.

"I believe the solution to curtailing violence lies in an all-encompassing approach, focused on several different factors that may contribute to school shootings," Hartzler said. "Discussions should not be limited to just video games and guns. The President's approach of leaving no stone unturned is prudent and similar meetings with the movie industry pertaining to gun violence on film should also be conducted."

As for how the meeting with game execs went, Hartzler said, "Today's meeting was an opportunity to learn and hear from different sides about concerns and possible solutions to violence in schools. I believe significant progress was made today, and my hope is that we can build on this progress in the future."

Games industry attendees reportedly included heads of the Entertainment Software Association, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, Take-Two Interactive, and Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media (whose board of directors includes the president's brother, Robert S. Trump). Other attendees included Republican members of Congress (Hartzler, Senator Marco Rubio, and Representative Martha Roby) and vocal critics of the games industry Media Research Center founder L. Brent Bozell, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (author of Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing), and Parents Television Council program director Melissa Henson.

Update: The Entertainment Software Association has released its own statement about the event, saying, "We welcomed the opportunity today to meet with the President and other elected officials at the White House. We discussed the numerous scientific studies establishing that there is no connection between video games and violence, First Amendment protection of video games, and how our industry's rating system effectively helps parents make informed entertainment choices. We appreciate the President's receptive and comprehensive approach to this discussion."

As for what might reflect Trump's perspective on the matter, the verified White House YouTube account posted the following (unlisted) video.

Cover image for YouTube video
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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.