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ZeniMax, Take Two CEOs to meet with President Trump - report

White House sources have confirmed two attendees of today's meeting on gun violence

The CEOs of ZeniMax Media and Take Two Interactive have both been invited to meet with US President Donald Trump today, the Washington Post reports.

The Washington Post cited sources with knowledge of the planning for today's meeting at the White House, who confirmed that ZeniMax's Robert Altman and Take Two's Strauss Zelnick have both been invited. The White House declined to share its list of attendees, but Entertainment Software Association head Michael Gallagher has already confirmed that he will be there.

The meeting will also include representatives from organisations who have emphasised a potential link between gun violence and violence in media in the past: Parents Television Council founder Brent Bozell, and the Republican Representative Vicky Hartzler, who both took that stance in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

A statement issued by the White House said: "As we continue to work towards creating school safety programs that protect all children, the president will be meeting with video game industry leaders and Members of Congress to discuss violent video-game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children. This meeting will be the first of many with industry leaders to discuss this important issue."

President Trump made public statements about the link between gun violence and video games last month, after a shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 17 people were killed.

"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," he said. "And we have to do something about maybe what they're seeing and how they're seeing it. And also video games. I'm hearing more and more people saying the level of violence in video games is really shaping young people's thoughts."

The announcement of the meeting soon followed, and the ESA responded by framing gun violence as specific to the US, rather than specific to the industry and its products.

"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."

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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